NEC ND-3500A review: NEC ND-3500A

CNET Labs' benchmark testing revealed that the drive is adept in only some tasks. The drive burned double-layer DVDs just a few seconds faster than the ultrafast Pioneer DVR-A08X (in our tests, we used 2.4X DL media, which the NEC and Pioneer drives write to at 4X speed). The NEC also earned one of the fastest audio CD-burning scores we've seen to date. The DVR-A08XL had the last laugh at double-layer DVD ripping, though, completing this job nearly 20 minutes faster than the ND-3500A. The NEC also faltered in our single-layer DVD rip test. The remainder of the ND-3500A's test results in audio CD ripping and DVD+/-RW reading were merely average. We're happy to report that our test disc played successfully in four out of four drives.

DVD movie rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
4.4GB DVD Video burn test  
4.4GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)  
Note: * As 16X DVD-R media was not available, the Asus and Pioneer drives were tested using 8X DVD-R, which both drives write to at 12X.
** The BenQ drive was tested with 16X DVD-R media supplied by BenQ.
Double-layer DVD movie rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
7.9GB DVD Video burn test  
7.9GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)  
Note: *The Pioneer and the Asus drives write to 2.4X double-layer DVD+R media at 4X.

CD Audio rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
74:35 CD Audio burn test  
74:35 CD Audio rip test  
NEC ND-3500A (48X CD-R)
02:49 
06:21 
BenQ DW-1620 (48X CD-R)
03:07 
06:15 
Asus DRW-1604P (32X CD-R)
04:02 
06:33 

RW read/write tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
4.22GB RW write test  
4.22GB RW read test  

Unless otherwise mentioned, all write tests are run with Verbatim media, rated at the drive's maximum speed. Find out more about how we test optical drives.

The ND-3500A's one-year warranty is standard among double-layer burners. Toll-based tech support for the unit is available only Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. At press time, the ND-3500A wasn't listed in the FAQ information on NEC's support Web site, though we were able to find free documentation downloads for the drive.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

NEC ND-3500A

Part Number: ND3500A Released: Oct 25, 2004

MSRP: $81.57

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct 25, 2004
  • Write Speed 48x (CD) / 16x (DVD±R) / 4x (DVD+R DL)
  • Rewrite Speed 24x (CD) / 4x (DVD±RW)
  • Weight 2.2 lbs
  • Type DVD±RW (+R DL)
  • Read Speed 48x (CD) / 16x (DVD)