JAZ DRIVE PROVIDES NEAR HARD-DISK SPEED FOR LESS.
Iomega Corp. finally has begun shipping the Jaz Drive, its innovative removable-hard-disk system.
Except for packaging considerations, the Jaz seems to have been worth the wait. This drive features shirt-pocket-size cartridges that can hold 1GB of data, but so far it's available only in internal configurations.
Micron Electronics was one of the first PC companies to include the Jaz Drive in its high-end systems. Expect other vendors to follow in the near future. By the time this review appears in print, Iomega hopes to be shipping the external version of the drive, which was designed to be an add-on peripheral.
Identical except for packaging, the internal and external drives move data across a Fast SCSI-2 interface. The Jaz cartridge itself is a hybrid design that uses two platters of a special magnetic media stored in a hard-plastic container. At a bit less than 4 inches square and less than half an inch thick, the cartridge is marginally bigger but much thicker than a standard floppy disk.
We tested the Jaz Drive with the $99 1GB cartridge on a Pentium/75 PC test-bed. Installation of the Jaz Drive was fairly easy and took about 10 minutes. The Jaz internal drive that we tested does not require a terminator, because the Iomega SCSI card comes with a special ribbon cable that includes a terminator at the end.
Software installation consisted of running a program from a floppy disk and then using an included cartridge that contains a variety of utility programs.