2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests
3. CD Error Correction Tests
4. DVD Error Correction Tests
5. Protected Disc Tests
6. DAE Tests
7. Protected AudioCDs
8. CD Recording Tests
9. Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements
10. Writing Quality Tests - Clover System Tests
11. DVD Recording Tests
12. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 1
13. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 2
14. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3
15. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 4
16. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5
17. Writing Quality Tests - Almedio AEC-1000
18. DVD+R DL - Page 1
19. DVD+R DL - Page 2
20. BookType Setting
NEC, the well known optical storage manufacturer among other things, has released it's latest model, the ND-3540A DL burner, similar to the 3530A with the only difference that it supports up to 8X burning speed for +R DL media, which is the fastest currently available. Apart from that, it is still the same good performing drive, something we have come to expect from NEC, offering 16/16X for DVD±R media and 8X/6X for DVD±RW media. DVD-R DL support is still there at the current max supported speed which remains the same, that of the 4X.
The reading capabilities of the 3540A are quite extensive, being a relatively fast reader with any inserted CD media (apart from the 90/99 mins audio discs, which is a drawback) as well as DVD media, putting the drive in good standing against other latest releases like the BenQ 1640. Defective media did not present a challenge for the drive's error correction mechanism, even though the CD error correction was no different from the previous models. The 3540A will cover the CD reading needs of an average user. DVD error correction is a strong feature of the drive, managing to read flawlessly all our test media.
In the protected media arena, both audio and data discs, the 3540A did quite well. It managed to rip all three protected test audio discs, and produce a 100% error free backup of the advanced protected audio media. While with the data protected media, the drive gave its best. A "certified" PSX and Securom ripper, it will only have troubles backing up Safedisc protected games, managing to backup only up to SafeDisc 2.60.
CD-R burning was achieved at 48X writing speeds and during the tests, we also had 32X burning speed media as well. Quality with these media was good, although the CDX utility reported 2/4 burns as "pass" quality with the other two getting a "fail". Burned DVD media were of really good writing quality following on the footsteps of previous NEC models in this area. Some bad burns were reported such as the Verbatim DVD-R 16X media, while some media were burned at a lower than designated speed. DVD±RW burning quality was good, with the 8X +RW media reporting some good results, but could certainly be improved through a firmware release.
DL writing quality was very also good with all inserted DL media for both +R and -R formats. At 8X, 6X, 4X and 2.4X, the drive performed very well, with the media reporting low PI and perfect smooth scans. The drive supports the Booktype feature, and one can easily change the booktype of a specific media prior to burning. Note that this feature is supported only for +R DL media at the moment by the NEC drive.
The drive costs only about US$75.00 and its price makes it a very attractive buy, considering the writing quality that you get at this price!
- The Good
- DVD-R DL support at 4x, and DVD+R DL support at 8x
- Very good DVD error correction capabilities
- Can burn DVD+RW media at 8X, and DVD-RW media at 6X
- Supports audio protected discs
- SL/DL writing quality
- The Bad
- Average CD error correction
- Cannot recognize 99min Audio CD's
- Cannot create working backups with SafeDisc protected games over v2.60
- Cannot overburn DVD recordable media
- Booktype supported only for +R DL media
- Like To be fixed
- Booktype support for SL media
- RW writing quality