750MB External Slim Zip750 Drive - USB 2.0 / 1.1 review: 750MB External Slim Zip750 Drive - USB 2.0 / 1.1

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good 750MB Zip disks offer larger capacity than recordable CDs; easy setup; good file-management software.

The Bad Limited portability; mixed performance; can't necessarily read older 100MB media.

The Bottom Line Iomega's newest 750MB Zip drive is a good fit for students, families, and stationary SOHO users. But if you need greater portability and cutting-edge performance, check out the latest hard drives and recordable CD and DVD drives.

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Once a mainstay of portable file management, the Zip format and its associated hardware began to fall by the wayside when CD-RW drives gained popularity. However, Zip is still kicking. The new $180 Iomega Zip 750MB external USB 2.0 drive offers better ease of use and greater storage capacity than a typical CD-RW drive. Unfortunately, the drive delivered mixed results on our tests, and disks can run $15 each when bought individually. Still, students, families, and SOHO users should consider Zip for its strong protection and file-management capabilities. Once a mainstay of portable file management, the Zip format and its associated hardware began to fall by the wayside when CD-RW drives gained popularity. However, Zip is still kicking. The new $180 Iomega Zip 750MB external USB 2.0 drive offers better ease of use and greater storage capacity than a typical CD-RW drive. Unfortunately, the drive delivered mixed results on our tests, and disks can run $15 each when bought individually. Still, students, families, and SOHO users should consider Zip for its strong protection and file-management capabilities.

Size matters
The Iomega drive measures 6.5 inches long by 4 inches wide, so you can't carry it in your pants or shirt pocket like some of today's portable hard drives. And unlike previous Zip drives, this version needs its own power supply, which hampers its portability somewhat. Still, the drive boasts a slim profile and comes with a small rubber stand that lets you rest the drive on its side--a handy feature for users with overcrowded desktops.

The drive sets up in minutes with the help of the brief but illustrated Quick Install Guide. After you load the IomegaWare software, simply plug the drive into the USB port on your computer using the included cable, and you're good to go--assuming you already have a USB 2.0-ready motherboard or adapter. If you don't, you can run the drive from a USB 1.1 bus, but you won't get optimal performance. The drive works with Windows 98 (USB 1.1), 98 SE, Me, 2000, and XP (USB 1.1 and USB 2.0), as well as Mac OS 8.6 to 9.x (USB 1.1) and OS 10.1 or later (USB 1.1 and USB 2.0). If you need help, the included CD contains an in-depth user manual, which explains system requirements, the use of your drive, and basic troubleshooting.

Useful software bundle
The Iomega comes with an impressive software bundle, which worked like a charm in our hands-on tests. With Automatic Backup, you can choose to back up any file or folder to Zip disks or any other destination and schedule backups as you please. By default, the software saves five revisions of every file, but you can change the number to suit your needs. The Sync software (PC only) works similarly to PDA software and syncs file changes from your hard drive to your Zip disk, as well as among multiple PCs, provided you have a Zip drive for each, of course; this is a particularly nice feature if you move files back and forth between work and home. You also get a copy of MusicMatch Jukebox Basic, which lets you play, rip, and burn MP3s and CDs.

If you do decide to take the drive on the road, Iomega's Active Disk technology lets you launch and run software applications directly from your Zip disk, without installing them on a host PC. This helps keep your hard drive free from clutter and puts the software you need right at your fingertips no matter where you go. You can download a variety of Active Disk software titles from the Iomega Web site, including several shareware programs such as StuffIt and Trillian.

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Where to Buy See all prices

750MB External Slim Zip750 Drive - USB 2.0 / 1.1

Part Number: 32324
MSRP: $179.99 Low Price: $100.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Weight 0.4 lbs
  • Type None