Putting the dual layer functionality to one side, the specifications of the ND2510A are pretty much identical to the award winning ND2500A. This drive will write to DVD+/-R media at eight-speed, to DVD+/-RW media at four-speed, burn CD-R media at 32-speed and CD-RW discs at 16-speed. These specs are par for the course for a DVD writer these days. However, one thing that the NEC ND2510A has in its favour is that it will write at eight-speed to both DVD+R and DVD-R four-speed media. This means that if you already have a lot of decent four-speed media, you’ll be able to burn to it at the faster rate. Also, since the high-speed media generally carries a price premium, you can also save yourself some money when buying new blank discs.
Performance is pretty much on par with the best drives from the recent DVD writer group test that I did. In fact you won’t be disappointed no matter what type of DVD media you choose to burn to. It would be nice to see the CD-R and CD-RW speeds bumped up a little, but even here you’re talking about a less than a minute difference between the ND2510A and the faster 40-speed CD-R, 24-speed CD-RW drives out there.
The drive on test is an early sample, so there’s no retail box or bundled software to talk about. What NEC did supply was a version of Nero 6, with the latest patch to allow dual layer writing. Installing the patch was simple and Nero instantly recognised the dual layer disc and reported the correct capacity.
Physically this drive looks identical to the ND2500A. The front fascia sports a single eject button, a headphone socket with volume wheel, an indicator light and a manual eject hole.
Since this is the first dual layer DVD writer to land in the TrustedReviews labs, I fully expected it to carry a pretty scary price tag. I was however amazed to find that Scan has the ND2510A listed at an unbelievable price of £69.33inc VAT. With a price this low, there’s really no reason not to jump on the dual layer bandwagon, especially when the single layer performance is also rock solid.
NEC’s ND2510A represents a major breakthrough in optical storage. Of course every DVD manufacturer will be bringing out a dual layer writer in the next few months, but it’s NEC that got a drive out to me first. I’m also fairly confident that many of the other manufacturers’ models will actually be re-badged NEC units, if the situation with the ND2500A is anything to go by. What you have here is a cutting edge DVD writer, that doesn’t sacrifice traditional performance to implement new functionality. The NEC ND2510A offers excellent DVD writing performance and the ability to burn 8.5GB to a single sided dual layer disc, making it a pretty compelling option for anyone looking for a DVD burner. But what makes this product truly special is the amazing price. At £69.33, the question of whether to go down the dual layer route is a no brainer, and it’s this that clinches an Editor’s Choice award for NEC.