by September 17, 2001 0 comments

Iomega’s Peerless Drive System is a portable storage solution for people like graphics designers and video-editing professionals who carry large amounts of data with them. You can also use it to add additional storage space on your network, or to backup your servers.

Iomega Peerless Drive System
Price: Rs 26,990 for 10 GB; Rs 29,990 for 20 GB.
Features: Backup your entire hard drive; transfer and synchronize files between your PC and the portable drive
Pros: Sleek design, portable
Cons: Drive can be pulled out from bay only if powered on
Contact: Ingram Micro. Tel: 011-6833726, 6834688, 6323323. D13/5, Okhla Phase II, New Delhi.  

It comes in an attractive gray-black color scheme and comprises an interface module, a peerless portable base, and a removable disk to store your data. The interface module can be either USB or FireWire. Currently, the drive ships with the USB interface in India. A FireWire interface will cost Rs 4,700 extra. The peerless base fits onto the interface module. It has an LCD panel showing the transfer rates in MB/sec or kB/sec and a blinking button in the center that turns into a striking blue when the drive is in use. The removable disks are available in 10 GB and 20 GB capacities. We reviewed the 10 GB disk with the USB interface module. However, we found it strange that the disk had to be powered on to pull it out.

The drive comes bundled with useful software including MGI Videowave for video-editing, MGI PhotoSuit and applications like Iomega Quick Sync 2 and Iomega Backup software. Quick Sync 2 synchronizes files between the portable drive and your hard disk. It automatically creates a copy of the file on the portable disk when you save a file on your hard disk drive or the network drive. The Iomega Backup software is useful for scheduling regular backups of the files on your hard disk, on to the portable drive.

The drive works both on a PC and a Mac, as it has drivers for Windows 9x/ 2000/Me and Mac OS 8.6 or higher. We tested the drive on a Windows 98 PC and a Celeron/400 MHz processor. The Iomega Ware software has to be installed before you plug in the portable drive. After this, the drive is automatically detected and assigned a drive letter. For security, you can also password-protect or write-protect your drive.

We ran WinBench 99 to check out the transfer rate, seek time, and the CPU utilization. It gave a transfer rate of 1 MB/sec, and its LCD panel also displayed the same. This is a limitation of the USB interface. With FireWire, the transfer rates can go up to 15 MB/sec, as per the drive’s specifications. The drive’s access time came to 25.4 ms, which was high, probably due to the USB interface. The drive doesn’t load up the system CPU though, taking only about 5 percent of its power. 

Overall, barring its steep price, the drive is a good option for professionals who are frequently on the move, or working with applications where portability and storage of large data is important.

Neelima Vaid at PCQ Labs

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