Iomega is a big name in the removable storage market. There was a time when the Iomega Zip drive was the de facto standard for removable storage, with the Iomega Jaz drive taking care of the more space and performance hungry users.
As writable CD media became more common place and cheaper, the need for proprietary removable storage devices lessened, and Iomegaâ€™s grip on this market loosened. However, Iomega moved with the times and started to produce its own CD and DVD writers.
The Dual DVD writer from Iomega can manage two out of the three re-writable DVD formats. Iomega does have a drive thatâ€™s also compatible with DVD-RAM like the LG GSA-4040B and we were expecting to receive that unit for this test. However, Iomega chose to supply the Dual DVD drive instead.
If the Dual DVD drive looks familiar thatâ€™s not surprising. Itâ€™s actually an NEC ND-1300A underneath the Iomega branding. This is hardly anything new since many vendors re-badge other manufacturerâ€™s products and repackage them.
In this case Iomega has created a retail bundle around the ND-1300A, whereas NEC sells the unit as a bare drive. So Iomega is counting on potential buyers wanting everything they need in one box.
So what do you get in the one box? Well Iomega has tried to cover all the bases by including an IDE cable to connect the drive to your motherboard, and an audio cable to connect it to your sound card. You also get mounting screws to fix the drive in your PC and an Iomega Solutions software CD. Thereâ€™s no blank media included, so youâ€™ll have to get online and order some before you can get going.
The Iomega Solutions CD contains Iomega HotBurn Pro for writing, Iomega Automatic Backup, Sonic MyDVD for creating DVD movie discs, Sonic CinePlayer and MusicMatch for ripping CDs. Iomegaâ€™s decision to provide its own burning software is questionable. Although HotBurn Pro works, itâ€™s not as comprehensive or easy to use as Nero, and we would have preferred to see the latter included.
The front fascia consists of a single eject button, a headphone socket, volume wheel, indicator light and a manual eject hole. The drawer is covered with logos for the various standards that the drive supports as well as Iomegaâ€™s own logo and branding.
Specification wise the Dual DVD will write DVD+R at four-speed, DVD+RW at 2.4-speed, DVD-R at four-speed, DVD-RW at two-speed, CD-R at 16-speed and CD-RW at 10-speed. In real world testing these specs equate to fairly average performance. Unsurprisingly, the Iomega and NEC produced near identical times across the tests, but neither stood out in any particular area.
So, the Iomega is another middle of the road DVD burner with a reasonable package. The inclusion of Iomegaâ€™s own burning software over a suite like Nero is an issue, but if you donâ€™t know any better youâ€™ll probably be happy with HotBurn Pro. However, where the Iomega really falls down is on price. With a street price of Â£129 itâ€™s a very expensive unit, more expensive even than the award winning LG. With such a high selling price youâ€™re better off looking elsewhere.
Iomega has put together a decent enough package but the price is way too high. If you really like the drive itself, youâ€™re better off buying the identical NEC drive as a bare unit and spending the money you save on a full version of Nero 6.