Now I got a chance to install the drive and give it a check.
The initial firmware was D.IC. I've upgraded it to D.LC using the link http://global.benq.com/service/cdr/drivers2.htm
What is noticeable first of all, the drive properties listed on the package are misleading:
1. Listed speed is 48x12x48 while actually it's 48x24x48.
2. Listed buffer size is 1984Mb while the Nero reports 2048Mb.
3. Listed part number is CDICD00118 which, by the data on CenDyne WEB site, has nothing to do with this drive (part # is unknown).
Nero Drive Speed is not able to determine and set the drive read speed. This is a minus but as far as I can see even at maximum speed the drive reads CDs pretty well.
Nero CD Speed showed quite impressive results in the Advanced DAE Quality test:
1. Quality score is 100%.
2. CPU usage is quite low (7% at 8x).
3. Seek times are very good. So is the average access time.
4. Laser stream is accurate.
5. Probably the only missing feature is capability to read the Lead-Out (maybe is not that big deal).
Also, the drive reports the Damaged Sectors (unlike the Yamaha F1) and C2 errors however the accuracy is yet not known to me.
It is interesting that before the firmware was upgraded (original is D.IC) the drive could not pass the Harmonica Read test!
With the FW = D.IC, the drive did not support CD+Graphycs (by the Nero Info Tool). Not anymore with the FW = D.LC.
The only common feature missing is the Mt. Rainier support. Well, at this time it's the least of my concerns.
I've written a music CD via on-the-fly copying at 32x (normally, I write music at no higher than 24x) using a so-so media (Circuit City brand, Prodisk make). Surprisingly, the quality was very good. Not only the drive reads it without any problems but also the CD Doctor C1/C2 errors check (via Sony CRX220E1 drive) gives excellent results on C1 errors and 0 of C2 errors. Yet the CD plays well.
The drive is very quiet and leaves a solid impression about its make.
Of course, at this time I don't have enough data for some comparisons (say, against my other burners) and many more tests would be needed. However, my first feeling about this drive is good, nothing to say.