Memorex DVD+/-RWN16 D2 external DVD Burner Review



Review: Memorex DVD+/-RWN16 D2
Reviewer: Wesley Novack
Provided by: Memorex
Firmware: 2.AD
Manufactured: 2005

Memorex was kind enough to provide us with a review sample of their external DVD writer, the Memorex 16×16 Dual Format External Double-Layer DVD Recorder. This drive supports 16x writing on both DVD+R and DVD-R media, 4x writing on DVD+R9 Double Layer media, and 48x on CD-R media. The external unit offers connectivity options for both USB 2.0 and Firewire (IEEE1394) interfaces, providing maximum flexibility for the end-user to connect to their system. The unit we received and tested with is based on NEC ND-3500A hardware, but Memorex is also using LiteOn SHOW-1673S hardware in these external units. This Memorex external enclosure uses the Cypress AT2+ chipset for the USB 2.0 interface and an Initio chipset for the Firewire IEEE1394 interface.

Memorex has the following description for this product on their website: 

The 16x Dual Format, Double-Layer DVD Recorder ushers DVD Recording into a new era. The dual format capability takes the guesswork out of choosing the right discs, while the double-layer feature allows for the creation of DVD+R9 discs with as much as 8.5 GB of data. A comprehensive and powerful software suite from Nero makes recording CDs and DVDs easy and fun.

Company information:

We found the following information on the Memorex website. 

Memorex history and information:

We found the following information on the Memorex website:

Memorex Products, Inc.

Since Memorex burst onto the recording scene more than 30 years ago with “Is it live or is it Memorex?” a lot has changed. But with each generation, Memorex continues to remain one of the most widely recognized and respected names in the consumer electronics industry. By bringing to market the high performance products consumers demand, today Memorex is a dominant brand in CD and DVD media, optical drives, flash drives and computer accessories. Memorex is the number one retail provider of digital media, currently shipping more than 750 million CD and DVD discs each year to stores nationwide ‘“ enough to carpet the entire state of New York!! For 2003, Memorex retained its position as the number one provider of digital media, outperforming all other brands of optical media. For the fourth consecutive year in the CD category and second consecutive year in DVDs, Memorex led its competitors in all digital media in both volume and sales. Catering to 21 of the top 25 U.S. retailers, Memorex products are available in more than 23,000 retail locations nationwide. Worldwide, Memorex sells nearly a billion optical discs annually in its major international markets, which include Europe and Canada.

From the recordable audio cassette that propelled the Memorex brand into market dominance in the early 1970s, to the industry’s first inkjet printable CDs, to the high-speed and double-layer DVD discs of today, no other company has achieved as much success in the digital media marketplace as Memorex, truly symbolizing the meaning of its name ‘“ ‘memory excellence”.

To complement the
enormous demand for media, Memorex has entered into new markets over the years ‘“
and succeeded. With high-speed performance, stylish looks and competitive
prices, Memorex CD and DVD drives have been recognized as the industry’s best.
Memorex drives have been named Editor’s Choice by PC Magazine, Editor’s Pick and
Best Buy by PC World, and have consistently been ranked among the top brands of
DVD burners by countless other consumer and technology publications. For
consumers looking to take important files, music, or digital photos on the go,
the Memorex family of TravelDrives
TM offers sleek and stylish high performance storage in a device small enough to fit on a keychain. Currently available with 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1GB and 2GB of capacity and featuring the slimmest profile among portable flash drives, Memorex TravelDrives are ideal for securely transferring digital files between home, school, the office, or even between Mac and PC.

Memorex also offers a
complete line of media accessories, including CD and DVD labeling tools, storage
cases and computer cleaning products. The Memorex brand continues to endure,
serving as the ultimate benchmark for separating the ‘wanna-be” from the real
thing. Is it live or is it Memorex? You decide.

Memorex Milestones

How It All Began

1961 Memorex is formed, delivering data backup tapes for the emerging computer industry.
1971 Memorex launches recordable audio cassettes and one of the most memorable campaigns in television history, the image of Ella Fitzgerald’s recorded voice shattering a wine glass and the phrase, ‘Is it live or is it Memorex?”
1979 The video library is born with the introduction of recordable VHS tape.

Recent History

1996 Recordable CD-Rs open up a world of new possibilities where photos, music, data ‘“ anything digital ‘“ can be saved to a portable, reliable low-cost disc for the next 70 years.
1998 Memorex launches its branded optical drives (CD Recorders).
2000 Memorex emerges the market share leader in retail sales of optical media.
2001 Memorex delivers the Recordable Pocket CD-R, a disc only three inches in diameter, but boasting 185 MB of storage space.
2001 Memorex Recordable DVDs deliver consumers enough storage space to hold an entire set of encyclopedias in one hand.
2002 Memorex expands its branded optical drive line-up by launching internal and external DVD Recorders.
2002 Memorex introduces its first USB flash drive, the ThumbDrive. The ultimate in portable storage, ThumbDrives are able to hold up to 512MB of data, music, or other digital files, with USB 1.1 compatibility.
2003 Memorex expands its USB flash drive product line-up by introducing an all new, uniquely designed High Speed USB 2.0 TravelDrive. The USB flash drive market grows by 1,500 percent from 2002 to 2003.
2003 Memorex introduces an award-winning dual format DVD recorder, expanding the product line to 10 active models, more than any other tier one retail branded optical drive marketer.
2003 Memorex remains number one in sales of digital CD and DVD media and emerges as a leader in the DVD drive marketplace, garnering PC Magazine Editor’s Choice, PC Magazine Best Of 2003, PC World Editor’s Pick and PC World Best Buy honors.
2003 Memorex is the first to bring to market DVD 120 discs ‘“ the VHS tape replacement ‘“ expressly for home video DVD recording.
2004 Memorex leads the charge to deliver standardized dual-layer DVD media and drives to market.
2004 Memorex expands its TravelDrive family to include the industry’s largest storage capacities ‘“1GB and 2GB ‘“ making portable storage virtually limitless.

Company Info
Company History



Forty years ago, a group of engineers joined together to produce a backup medium for the computer industry. The name of their new venture? You guessed it – Memorex.

1961 was a big year. While NASA launched the first manned space capsule, we launched Memorex. Our earliest products were Data Backup Tapes for the emerging computer industry. But within a few short years, our engineers had developed a line of Recordable Tapes for consumers. Our business and product line continued to grow. And by 1971, Memorex introduced Recordable Audio Cassettes. The rest, as they say, is history.

Our entrance into the Audio Cassette market was kicked off by a landmark advertising campaign. The image of Ella Fitzgerald’s recorded voice shattering a wine glass was seen and remembered by millions. And the accompanying theme line, “Is it live or is it Memorex?,” was quickly adopted by mainstream America. 30 years later, the phrase continues to pop up in countless interviews, talk shows and conversations ‘” still serving as the ultimate benchmark for separating the “wanna-be” from the “real thing.”


Audio Tape
In 1971, Memorex launched Recordable Audio Cassettes with one of the most memorable campaigns in television history, and led the industry in sales for the next 20 years.

Video Tape
In 1979, we followed our success in Audio Tape with the launch of Recordable VHS tape. Soon, bookshelves across America displayed a new kind of library ‘” the video library.

Recordable CD-R
In 1996, Recordable CD-Rs opened up a world of new possibilities. Photos, music, data ‘” anything digital, now had a portable, low-cost home for the next 100 years.

Flash Media
In 2000, as media formats grew smaller, capacities continued to expand. The Memorex CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards are smaller than a matchbook, yet holds hundreds of digital photos.

Pocket CD-R
This year we introduced our Recordable Pocket CD-R. Pocket CD-R goes where no CD-R has ever gone before at 3 inches. It is another “small” breakthrough in media.

A lot can happen in 40 years. This year’s introduction of our Recordable DVD lets you hold an entire set of encyclopedias in one hand. Where will it end? Check back with us in another 40 years.

Drive specifications:

Here are the brief product specifications:

Special Features

* Built-in Flash-ROM for online upgradability
* Built-in buffer underrun protection
* Stylish silver and black design
* Space-saving stand for propping drive on its side


* 16x DVD+/-R
* 4x DVD+R9(Double-Layer)
* 4x DVD+RW
* 4x DVD-RW
* 16x DVD-ROM
* 48x CD-R
* 24x CD-RW
* 48x CD-ROM


* Memorex-customized Nero Software Suite includes: Nero Express 6.3
* Nero InCD
* Nero Vision Express 2
* Nero InCD Nero BackITup
* Nero Showtime
* Nero Recode 2
* Nero Cover-Designer
* Nero Tool Kit
* Photoshow Deluxe

Whats inside the box?

Here we take a look at the Memorex External retail package and the contents included in the bundle.

Backside of the retail box.

Left side of the retail box.

Right side of the retail box.

Top of the retail box.

Front of the retail box.

The box has a nice multi-colored design that highlights the product features.

Retail box contents. 

Let us look over the contents of the retail package.

The box contains;

  • Memorex 16×16 external drive
  • Vertical drive stand
  • IEEE 1394 (Firewire) cable
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • Power adaptor
  • Power cable
  • Nero OEM Suite CD-ROM
  • Quick Setup Map
  • Quick Install guide and software manual
  • One Memorex 16x DVD+R disc   
  • Memorex LabelMaker Expert advertisement

The bundle contains everything that you would need to get the drive installed and burning discs in no time. The included Nero burning suite is one of our preferred CD/DVD writing suites and we give Memorex two thumbs up for including this software. The Quick Setup map and the Quick Install guide/software manual contain excellent documentation with screenshots that will walk the end-user through a variety of tasks. Good job on the documentation Memorex! We also appreciate that the included Memorex 16x DVD+R disc, since many retail bundles fail to include any media nowadays. 


Here is an image of the drive faceplate/bezel. As with all Memorex drives, this unit sports a unique and stylish multi-colored silver and black bezel. On the drive tray from left to right, we have a DVD+R DL logo, a DVD Alliance (DVD+R/RW) logo, the Memorex logo, a DVD Forum (DVD-R/RW) logo and the Compact Disc Ultra Speed ReWriteable logo. On the bottom half of the bezel there is a DOUBLE LAYER graphic, the drive LED, the emergency eject hole, a 16x graphic and the eject button. There is no headphone jack or volume knob, but these items probably won’t be missed unless you are one of the few people that likes to plug their headphones directly into the front of the drive.  The drive uses a blue LED for reading or writing operations. We normally prefer different colors for reading and writing, but the stylish blue LED is also appealing. On the very right hand side, there is another blue LED located on the enclosure.  This LED stays lit while the drive is powered on and mirrors reading and writing activity of the 1st LED.

This is the top of the external unit, with a Memorex M logo. Just like the drive inside, the external case is designed with both silver and black colors, which adds extra style points.

This is the bottom of the external unit. The sticker claims that the product was manufactured in China in 2005. Rubber feet prevent the drive from slipping around on a table surface. 

Here is the rear of the drive. On the top half we have a testing hole, a vent and a sticker that contains serial number information. On the bottom half starting on the left we have a USB 1.1/2.0 connection test indicator, a USB 2.0 port, two IEEE1394 (Firewire) ports, power port and a power switch. Big kudos to Memorex for including the USB 1.1/2.0 indicator light, which lights up red on a USB 1.1 connection and lights up green on a USB 2.0 connection.

On the next page we will take a look at the test machine testing software, drive features and the included software…