The LiteOn drive is a fast CD reader regardless of whether the media is pressed, CD-R, CD-RW or AudioCD, while the LG drive seems to perform better with pressed media. This is something which also happens with DVD media. LG was faster with pressed DVD-ROM Double Layer test discs but not with the DVD±R/RW where the LiteOn performed better. The ripping process revealed that both drives had similar speeds. DVD-RAM support is an extra advantage of the LG drive.
To be honest however, we expected something more from both drives, something closer to the Asus DVD-ROM or the LiteOn 167 with the hacked firmware in order to say we were satisfied with their performance.
Error correction was also similar for both readers with the LiteOn being slightly better with the CD format. All DVD test discs were read without reporting any errors and at high speeds.
Another thing we liked was that if you are planning to read Key2Audio or CDS200 protected AudioCDs, both drives will help you in your quest. All tested discs were recognized and ripped without problems. When it comes to game protections, both drives will make SecuROM and PSX images quite fast but Safedisc is a bit of a problem, which is also the case with most drives.
The quality scans for recorded media is a strong feature of the LiteOn DVD-ROM. Unfortunately, the LG drive we had, failed with CDSpeed and DVDinfoPro.
One thing we always like about the LiteOn drives, is their unofficial support with altered firmware upgrades that make the drive faster in all tasks, something that made the previous DVD-ROM from LiteOn very popular. This is something that we are waiting for with the new 169 reader.
Fortunately, both drives can be set to region free. For the LiteOn, the procedure is simple and doesn't require re-flashing the drive with new firmware, something that is the case with the LG.
The price for the drives is almost the same, at approximately US$25.