Iomega's 70GB Rev drive outperforms DAT

High-capacity removable media that can be rotated and secured off-site

The handiest and most affordable desktop backup device is currently an external hard drive. But to back up critical workstations and servers, you need high-capacity removable media that you can rotate and secure off-site. Iomega's next-generation Rev drive fills that need.

I tested a shipping USB 2.0 US$600 Rev 70GB Backup Drive (internal IDE and SATA versions are available as well) that successfully challenges the supremacy of old-fashioned tape drives and media (like DAT 72) still popular in the business backup market. The new Rev can handle 70GB of uncompressed data--twice as much content as its predecessor could--while retaining read/write compatibility with the older 35GB cartridges.

The Rev's cartridges use technology based on sturdy, reliable 2.5-inch hard drives, with the platter and motor in the cartridge and the head and electronics in the drive. One cartridge comes with the drive; a four-pack of cartridges costs US$250 more. The drive also includes EMC's backup software, Retrospect Express.

In our PC World Test Center tests, the Rev wrote 3.06GB of files and folders (a good indicator of backup performance) in 203 seconds. That's slower than the average of 152 seconds for external desktop USB 2.0 drives we've tested that don't use RAID to span multiple disks, but it's significantly faster than tape.

The Rev drive's strong performance boosts its appeal as a safe alternative to tape.

Iomega Rev 70GB Backup Drive

Higher capacity and speedier performance make the new Rev a fast, viable alternative to tape for business backups.

Price when reviewed: US$600

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