Iomega's New Zip Drive Holds 250MB
I evaluated shipping versions of the Zip USB and the Zip 250 SCSI drives by installing each on a Gateway GX 450-XL desktop PC. Using the $150 Zip USB was as simple as plugging it into the PC's Universal Serial Bus port. Windows 98 automatically recognized the drive, the bundled utility software installed in minutes, and I was up and running. The Zip USB, with its hip, iMac-like translucent blue case, is a stunning performer, taking just over 2 minutes each way to copy about 80MB of files from the hard drive to the disk and back. By comparison, a standard 100MB parallel-port Zip took more than 9 minutes each way.
The $199 Zip 250 SCSI is targeted primarily for Macs, but it's also PC-compatible. It took some futzing to install the optional $50 Zip Zoom SCSI card adapter and drivers; the parallel-port version (available by the time you read this) will be easier to install but slower to use because of the parallel port's limitations. The Zip 250 reads 100MB disks as quickly as 250MB media, but because of its redesigned heads, it took more than 10 minutes to write 80MB to the older 100MB disk.
If you are using Windows 98 and you need a megafloppy drive primarily to transfer large amounts of data from your desktop PC to a notebook, the Zip USB is an excellent choice for its ease of installation and its instant connectivity. For higher capacity and fast performance on a desktop PC, stick with the Zip 250 SCSI drive. But remember: With either device you will still need access to a floppy drive to read regular 1.44MB floppies.