CompUsa has a $20 instant rebate and $30 mail in rebate on the IOMagic 16X/ Benq1620) drive thru tomorrow (10/23). I do not trust mail ins anyway so I took the ad to my Local Circuit City and with their "match + 10% policy) picked one up for $73. NO TOO BAD I figured.
Now the strange part. I took the first one home which had an older version of the B firmware, flashed it to the B7L9 firmware and made 3 coasters in a row using Nero, DVD Shrink, and CloneDVD2 with my tried and trusted Verbatim M002 Mitsubshi DVD +R disks!
Back it went, but I figured for that price, I would try another one. I opened it at the counter and low and behold, it had the G older firmware. The gal was nice and let me open another one…This one was the charm. Had the B firmware and after taking it home and flashing, I wrote 3 good DVD’s (Verbatim Mits 002 4x which wrote nicely at 8x with the new firmware). BTW ALL 3 drives had an August 2004 manufacturer date. I guess they throw whatever they can get their hands on in the repakager boxes! The girl behind the counter was simply astonished that they were different!
I bought the 1620 initially because of the price (IMHO investing big bucks in this technology is a total waste as fast as things are changing)
My Liteon 812s 8x has been very stable, but with the performance gains, newer technology etc, the 1620 will no doubt relegate the Liteon to an also ran status. I will miss the 3rd party Liteon Utils but BenQ seems pretty serious about firmware upgrades (love to tinker). needless to say, so far I like this little beastie!!!