HP’s LightScribe label burning technology has been rather popular so contenders were inevitable. Step forward NEC.
It has launched ‘Labelflash’, granted not the most inspiring of names, but it does claim to work far faster than LightScribe. We’re hoping NEC isn’t taking a brief sojourn in the self deceiving world of Printer Page Per Minute Land as its seven minute boast is highly impressive. Our pragmatic cynicism tells us this will be on the most simplistic of designs, since LightScribe took in excess of 30 minutes when Riyad challenged its laser to get around the curvaceous figure of Lara Croft.
Either way, Labelflash quality should be rather good with its 256 brightness shades, while an extremely neat feature is that designs can be inscribed on both the top and data sides of a disc. Given that I’ve wrecked more than my fair share of storage media over the years with only seemingly superficial scratches I was curious how NEC has achieved this. Then I discovered the downside.
Just like LightScribe, Labelflash also requires its own specialist media. This has an additional 0.6mm thick layer which protects the data but adds to the cost. Still, NEC has made a Labelflash burner immediately available so no doubt we’ll be testing all the pros and cons in our technical torture chamber before too long. It’s called the ND-3551A and on top of the aforementioned scribbling shenanigans it’s rather quick.
16x DVD +/- R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD–RW, 8x DL DVD+R, 6x DL DVD-R and for the first time 5x DVD-RAM. NEC has also launched the ND-3550A, this it is identical to the ND-3551A but without Labelflash, which makes it boring really. The 3551A can be yours if you bribe a shopkeeper with £58.75 (incl.VAT), sneak him just £52.87 however and he’ll slide you the 3550A instead.