Iomega Predator 24X/10X/40X External USB 2.0

The Good Excellent CD-R mastering and audio-extraction performance; stylish; inexpensive for a fast, external drive.

The Bad Problematic packet-writing performance; flimsy pop top; uses a proprietary drive-to-USB cable.

The Bottom Line The Predator is by far the fastest USB 2.0 drive we've tested at mastering CD-Rs, but it slowed to a snail's pace while packet-writing. The price is enticing, but don't buy until you have Iomega's word that the software issues have been fixed.

Editors' Rating
6.0 Overall

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Iomega Predator 24X/10X/40X External USB 2.0
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Setup
8
Features
8
8
Performance
7
8
Support
7
6

Review

Iomega Predator 24X/10X/40X External USB 2.0

At first glance, Iomega's Predator USB 2.0 drive looks like it's ready to devour the competition. It has futuristic good looks, it's bargain-priced for an external drive with 24X/10X/40X ratings, and it masters discs in near-record time. But alas, software problems rendered the drive toothless when packet-writing.At first glance, Iomega's Predator USB 2.0 drive looks like it's ready to devour the competition. It has futuristic good looks, it's bargain-priced for an external drive with 24X/10X/40X ratings, and it masters discs in near-record time. But alas, software problems rendered the drive toothless when packet-writing.

Installing the $229 Predator is easy enough; plug in the power brick, run the USB cable to the computer, and you're good to go--assuming you already have a USB 2.0 adapter. If you don't, factor that into the installation difficulty. You can, of course, run the drive off of a USB 1.1 bus, but then the best speeds you'll see are 4X/4X/6X. Installing the Predator's software bundle is simple but annoying. You're required to enter personal information as a first step, though thankfully, you're not required to submit it. The software includes HotBurn for CD mastering and packet-writing, MusicMatch Jukebox for playing or extracting audio, and Adobe ActiveShare for organizing and sharing images over the Internet.

Groovy looks
At approximately 5.8 by 7.75 by 1.8 inches, the Predator is a bit smaller than most full-sized, external CD-RW drives, but it's still a little too large to travel with. It's styled in dark gray and blue curves with a psychedelic spinner visible through the clear window in the light-silver pop top. Overall, the Predator's construction seems sturdy enough, but we have doubts about the rather flimsy lid; its hinges might not survive in less-than-friendly environments. The drive also features a headphone jack and a volume control on the right side of the unit; the AC power jack (the Predator can't run off of USB bus power) and the proprietary USB-cable connection are located on the back.

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