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Iomega unzips 250MB storage drive

December 18, 1998
Web posted at: 12:00 PM EST

by James Niccolai


(IDG) -- Iomega this week released a 250MB version of its popular Zip drive, increasing the capacity of its existing product by two-and-a-half times. The company also rolled out the first in a series of portable 40MB drives for use with digital cameras, handheld computers, and notebooks.

The new 250MB Zip disks aren't compatible with Iomega's existing 100MB Zip drive, which means existing Zip customers who want the extra storage will have to cough up the money for the new 250MB drive, which is expected to retail for $199, Iomega said.

The new drive can read and write to 100MB disks, however, allowing users to share information and files with others who have a 100MB drive, a company spokeswoman said.

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The new Zip drive is available in the United States now; it is expected to ship in Europe in January, and in Asia and other Pacific Rim countries in February, the spokeswoman said.

The Zip 250MB drive comes with one Zip 250MB disk, IomegaWare software, and Norton Zip Rescue software designed to rescue an IBM-type PC when it doesn't start properly.

The package also includes RecordIt, a program for recording and playing music stored on a Zip disk on a PC. The 250MB disks are expected to retail for $19.95, and Iomega is hatching a plan to sell them in six-packs for $16.65 each, the company said.

The Zip 250MB is Iomega's largest removable storage product aimed at consumers, though for professional users the company also offers Jaz drives, which have a larger capacity. A 1GB Jaz drive starts at $279.95, the Iomega spokeswoman said.

Iomega also began limited shipments in the United States of its Clik Mobile drive for digital cameras and accompanying 40MB Clik disks. The product is essentially a portable version of the Zip drive, allowing users to offload images from the flash memory in their digital camera for storage until they get back to their desktop PC.

Priced at $249, the product comes with a Clik Flash Memory Reader, a 40MB disk, an integrated battery, and a parallel port desktop docking station. It weighs less than 7 ounces and the disks measure 2 inches by 2 inches. The Clik drive works with most digital cameras, according to Iomega.

Clik disks will be sold in packs of two, four, and 10, priced at about $9.99 each in the 10-pack, the company said.

Iomega plans to offer two more Clik Mobile drives early next year. The Clik Drive for Mobile Computers, for use with notebooks and handheld computers running Windows CE, will be priced at $199; the Clik Drive Plus, for use with cameras, notebooks, and Windows CE devices, will be priced at $299, Iomega said.

James Niccolai is a San Francisco correspondent for the IDG News Service.

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