NEC ND-3520 DVD±RW Dual Layer Burner Reviews
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NEC ND-3520 DVD±RW Dual Layer Burner

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☼ Burn Baby Burn! ☼

Feb 18, 2005 (Updated Mar 19, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:

Pros:Fast! Fast! Fast! dual layer DVD Burner!

Cons:No standard format for a dual layer DVD burner.

The Bottom Line: For the price and the burning speeds, it is a bargain!


The NEC ND-3520A DVD+/-R DL is the new generation of DVD and CD burners. Now burn dual layer DVD+R DL, DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, CD-R and CR-RW discs. If a DVD-R DL comes available, NEC will have firmware updates from their web site to make this burner a DVD-R DL burner.

I have wanted a dual burner for a while now and with the price of $59, it was time to get one. One reason I wanted one was to store all of my digital photos on one DVD; currently I have 10 CDs full of digital photos and all 10 would not fit on a single layer DVD, but they will on one dual layer. Now I will keep my eyes open for some bargain dual layer DVDs.

The NEC ND-3520A DVD+/-R DL has plenty of burning and writing speeds for DVDs as well as CDs. This unit is great for storage, DVD movies, CD music and MP3 files. Wow! 8.5MB of storage for MP3 files!

► Dual Layer Verses Single Layer ◄
The DVD recorders (burners) most of us are use to are the single layer DVDs that hold 4.7GB on one side for data storage or about a 2 hour movie.

DVD movies are typically on dual layers of 8.5GB that are stamped instead of burning them on with a laser. The dual layer DVDs gives a storage of 8.5GB and 4 hours of movie time; they are burned in with a laser. A dual-layer DVD+R uses two thin embedded organic dye films for data storage separated by a spacer layer.

Bottom Line: double the storage

Though dual layer DVDs are still hard to find and expensive when they are found; most dual layer DVD burners will burn the single layer DVDs. One problem with dual layer is there is not a standard out there for one type, right now it seems like DVD+R DL is what is out there, but will there be a DVD-R DL or other formats fighting for the spotlight? It would be nice if everyone would adopt one format this time.

Δ Speeds Δ
The faster the x-speed, the faster it can burn a DVD or CD for you. Most dual layer burners have a 2.4x burning speed; the ND-3520A has a 4x speed, which is about the fastest out there for now. Reading for the dual layer DVDs is at 5x.

For DVD+R and DVD-R discs it will write at 16x; for DV+RW it writes at 8x and DVD-RW it write at 6x. Read speeds for the DVD+R and DVD-R are16x and for DVD+RW and DVD-RW are 8X.

DVD-ROM has a reading speed of 7x for the dual layer and 16x for the single layer.

For CD-R it has a read and write speed of 48x; CD-RW writes at 24x and reads at 32x. CD-ROM has a read speed of 48x.

☼ My Thoughts ☺
I didn’t need another DVD burner, but when it went on sale for $59.00, it was hard to turn down. My old DVD burner does burn DVD+R and DVD-R discs at 4x, now I can burn at 16x; four times as fast. I haven’t tried any 16x DVDs yet, but the 8x DVDs did cut the recording time in half compared to my old burner.

I haven’t used any dual layer DVDs because of the price; I am glad to have the capability to burn dual layer DVDs now because the price will drop as popularity increases. The good part about this dual burner over most is, it is a 4x instead of a 2.4 x and if DVD-R DL comes out; this burner can upgrade to the new format through firmware updates provided on the NEC web site.

I got the OEM version, which is just the drive, no software or cables. Nero 6 is my main software for all my CD and DVD burning. Installation was a breeze; I had to set jumpers to slave because the hard drive on the same ribbon runs as the master. Used my old cables that worked fine; I didn’t need any new cables, Windows XP recognized the drive without any problems; no extra software needed to be loaded.

100% satisfied with the NEC ND-3520A DVD+/-R DL; a very fast performer! ☺



Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 59
Operating System: Windows

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