Iomega And Quantum Tackle Backup

Iomega REV 120 GB

We liked Iomega’s approach with the REV drive, which was initially launched in 2004. Iomega also continues to offer different drive and interface options with its current generation devices. We looked at the external USB 2.0 drive that certainly is the most versatile backup solution, but you can also get an internal variant that is based on a SATA/150 interface. UltraATA is no longer available. However, both USB 2.0 and SATA can be used on PCs and on MACs.


The REV 120 GB can read 70 GB REV media, but it cannot handle the first-generation device with 35 GB of capacity. We did like its performance — as long as you don’t install the drivers, the REV is like an optical drive (read only). But even with installed drivers we could not run any of the benchmarking tools that require unpartitioned disk space required to run tests. The data sheet takes about a 12/13 ms average read/write seek time, which is certainly fast enough for a backup device.

Iomega utilizes EPRML recording (Extended Partial Response/Maximum Likelihood), but not state-of-the-art perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR). Iomega claims media transfer rates of up to 35 MB/s, although we measured a maximum of 24 MB/s. However, we measured lower power consumption numbers than those communicated on the Iomega website. Our sample required only 1.0 W idle power and 4.5 W peak power, while Iomega lists 1.9 W idle power and up to 6.35 W peak power. Our Voltcraft VC940 is capable of tracking power requirements over time, but it did not track such a peak. Eventually, power consumption of this device is low enough to be negligible.


While the drive only comes with a one-year warranty, the media is covered by a five-year factory warranty. Iomega specifies 15,000 insertion cycles for the drives and 2,000 insertion cycles for the media. Even if you were to use four different media on every day of the year, robustness should suffice for more than 10 years. We believe that the average life span for such a product is more likely to be anywhere between two and five years maximum. The reliability will largely depend on the drive and the media‘s wear and tear during use.