SAN FRANCISCO (04/04/2000) - If you own an external Iomega Corp. removable-media Jaz drive, you know that moving your drive among computers isn't easy. You're limited to using PCs equipped with a SCSI port or Iomega's $49.95 SCSI-to-parallel interface, which requires special software drivers.
But this week Iomega rolled out a much easier connection, a SCSI-to-USB adapter. Available immediately, it sells for $79.95 and works with all 1GB and 2GB external Jaz drives.
The adapter is compatible with all USB-enabled PCs running Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0. (It is not yet compatible with Windows 2000.) It also works with USB-equipped Macintoshes running Mac OS 8.5.1 or later.
Windows 98 and Mac OS users can hot-plug their Jaz drives into a USB port without having to power down or reboot their computers. (Windows NT users must reboot their PCs for USB recognition.)Slower PerformanceOn the downside, Iomega's SCSI-to-USB adapter delivers slower performance than a full SCSI Jaz connection. The 2GB version of the drive is rated at SCSI transfer speeds of up to 8MB/second, but USB delivers a maximum transfer rate of 1.5MB/second. The company's SCSI-to-parallel port adapter can actually be faster, depending upon the PC. It delivers speeds of up to 3MB/second when used with an ECP/EPP parallel port. Iomega also offers a PC Card SCSI interface for the Jaz, for use with notebook computers. It delivers full SCSI speeds and sells for $124.95.
Iomega also announced this week that it will be developing a FireWire (IEEE-1394) adapter for the Jaz drive, which is expected to ship midyear.
Pricing hasn't been announced.
The Iomega 2GB Jaz drive retails for $349.95 in both external and internal versions. Additional cartridges are $99.95 in packs of three. The company says that it has sold more than 2.5 million of the drives.