Awards

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Summary

Our Score

10/10

Review Price free/subscription

There’s a significant improvement in CD performance over the outgoing drive. The ND-2510A took three minutes 29 seconds to burn a single 700MB file to CD-R, while the ND-3500A shaved almost a minute off that, turning in a time of two minutes 31 seconds. CD-RW writing didn’t show quite such an impressive gain, where writing 600MB of MP3 files took four minutes five seconds, compared to four minutes 41 seconds on the old drive. However, formatting a CD-RW disc proved to be very quick indeed – at three minutes 29 seconds, the ND-3500A is a whole two minutes faster than its older sibling.

Strangely, despite the fact that the ND-3500A will write at 12-speed to eight-speed media, when I put a 12-speed rated DVD+R disc in the drive, not only would it not write to it at 16-speed, but it wouldn’t even write to it at 12-speed. Now, to be fair, the ND-3500A is not rated as a 12-speed DVD+R drive, but then it’s not rated as a 12-speed DVD-R drive either.

Despite its reluctance to write to 12-speed DVD+R discs above eight-speed, the ND-3500A is probably the fastest and most versatile DVD writer that I’ve ever seen. Ok, it doesn’t write to DVD-RAM discs like the LG drives, but DVD-RAM is becoming more and more of a niche market.

Of course price is still a factor, but in the past NEC hasn’t allowed cutting edge technology to push the price of its products up. Thankfully, once more NEC has managed to push the performance envelope, without slapping on a high price tag. With a street price of only £54.04, the ND-3500A offers outstanding value, providing truly cutting edge specifications at a bargain basement price.

If you’re in the market for a fast DVD writer, look no further than the ND-3500A. Not only is it rated at the highest speeds available, but its ability to write above the rated speed of slower media means you can save yourself a few pennies when buying blank discs.

Verdict

I don’t know how NEC does it, but once again it has produced a superb DVD writer at a truly stunning price. The ND-3500A is a real bargain, and the specification is ahead of the available media at present. If you’re looking for a cutting edge DVD writer, this is the one to go for.

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