Let's discuss what is the same as the previous model. The specs are identical, with the addition of DVD read ability.
The drive still uses Just Link technology to prevent buffer under-runs. It stops the burn process when a buffer under run occurs (this usually happens when data is not fed fast enough to the burner), it waits for the buffer to fill up again and continues to burn the cd afterwards. All this to prevent you from burning a coaster. They also brought over the Just Speed option. Here is a quote from our 252b review:
" The Just Speed feature lets the burner burn at the max speed of the burner, without regards to the actual speed of the media. This can all be turned off or on, and its fully supported within Nero."
The previous model had a flaw in that this was never possible. The Just Speed option was not able to turned off, which meant you could only burn at the rated speed of the media. For example, if a 24X rated CDR was used, it will only burn at 24X. So utilization of the full 52X was never possible. This was a problem because often times, people do have large amounts of a specific CDR in a bundle, not allowing the option to burn faster on these different rated discs was a nuisance.
So does the 352b have the same problem? Yes and no. The bad news is that no, you are still not able to turn off Just Speed and burn at whatever speed you choose. However, the max speed on the same media we tested last time (Kodak and Fuji 24X) were allowed to be burned at a higher speed that was determined by Nero. Kodak was now at 32X as opposed to 24X and Fuji was at 48X as opposed to 32X. Even though the option to disable is still not allowed, the increase in default speed is better.
This drive also supports the Mt.Rainier format. Simply put, this was created by Philips to allow incorporation into different OS and hardware manufacturers to allow drag and drop usage with your drive. Much like how a floppy disk operates, the CD-RW can be used as well in the same 'Send-To' fashion normally seen in Windows. Nero supports this format with their InCD program. The benefit of doing this is that the CD-RW you are working with on one machine can be moved to another and be used immediately.
Nero supports Mt. Rainier with their InCD software. Upon installation and reboot, the program is started automatically and sits in your system tray. Before using it, it will ask to format a blank CD-RW disc. Once completed, it will treat this just like a floppy drive.
One downside is that each time you want to eject the disc, it takes about a minute. It needs to close the disc for writing before giving it up to you.