Third Generation: Iomega ZIP-750 MB

Falling Into Bad Ways: Data Compression With A Difference

Iomega claims that the data on a Zip disk are especially well-protected not least because of its mechanical ruggedness. We couldn't resist following the manufacturer's suggestion of driving over the disk with a car and then reading the data.

On this score, Iomega is true to its word. The data on the disk could be read error-free after this curious method of data compression.

Summary: Practical, Sturdy, Fast And Smart - But Pricey!

In terms of space at least, the new ZIP drive has finally caught up with CD-R/ RW drives. Besides the drive's excellent form factor, the disks' mechanical ruggedness and the option of password-protecting data recommend its use as a secure mobile storage solution.

No performance differences were found between the drive's USB and FireWire variants. (We were unable to test the internal IDE ZIP 750, so we can't speak about the possible performance difference with that unit.) The maximum transfer rate of 50x (equals 7.3 MB/s) claimed on the packaging was not reached. That said, the maximum speeds of 42x for reading and 26x for writing that we did get are not bad.

Nevertheless, the price tag of $180 MSRP US for just the drive is a little inflated. And with another $40 US for a three-pack of the relevant media, perhaps even the archiving tools included in the package do not justify the cost.

However, if you are already committed to the ZIP format from either a past personal purchase or by way of implementing it in your corporate environment, although still somewhat expensive at the moment, the ZIP 750 does deliver. In corporate environments where portability is not an issue, we suggest that you save money and look at the internal IDE 750 model as a possible cost-saving solution. For corporate users, it is clear that the pricing of the ZIP 750 will continue to fall, and those that have standardized on the ZIP 250 models should start thinking about moving to the ZIP 750 models, as the cost is about the same.