Strangely, the NEC did seem to be sensitive to the type of media used and although it performed flawlessly using Verbatim four-speed DVD+RW discs, it had trouble formatting four-speed TDK +RW media. Flashing a new firmware helped, but didn’t completely dispel the problem.
Where the NEC does lose out to the MSI is in the CD performance, with 32-speed and 16-speed compared to 40-speed and 24-speed for CD-R and CD-RW respectively. That said, just over three and a half minutes to burn a 700MB CD-R is perfectly acceptable, and just under five minutes to copy 600MB of mp3 files to CD-RW isn’t bad either.
Another minor media issue is that the ND-2500A refuses to use 32-speed CD-RW discs. Although this isn’t a major surprise since it’s only rated at 16-speed, it’s still worth remembering when buying new discs. It was however perfectly happy with 24-speed CD-RW media, but of course still only wrote to it at 16-speed.
With cutting edge technology you expect to pay a price premium, especially from a big brand like NEC. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find the ND-2500A retail box for only £84.60. That’s a pretty impressive price for a brand new product with cutting edge spec. However, if you’re only after the drive and can live without the retail bundle, I managed to find the OEM drive for sale at Scan for an incredible £66.98.
It’s pretty much impossible not to recommend the NEC ND-2500A. The feature set is superb, the performance is first rate and even the retail bundle is stacked to the gills. Plus, if you can live with just a bare OEM drive, the price is a complete steal.
A truly excellent DVD writer from NEC at an incredible price. If it wasn’t for the minor issues with some types of media the ND-2500A would be walking away with an Editor’s Choice award. As it stands though, it deservedly wins a Recommended award.