New Iomega drive bets on eSATA tech

Iomega on Wednesday placed a second bet on a new technology called eSATA for connecting external hard drives to computers.

The storage system maker announced a $240 320GB external hard drive, joining a 250GB drive the company introduced in June. Both drives also can link with USB 2.0, which transfers data three times more slowly.

Iomega drive

SATA (Serial AT Attachment) technology connects hard drives inside computers; eSATA (external SATA) uses a connector on the outside of the computer chassis so drives can be connected externally. Iomega and rivals such as Seagate started selling eSATA drives this year.

But while USB is universal and IEEE 1394 "Firewire" connectors are common, PCs today don't come with built-in eSATA ports. Iomega supplies a separate PCI add-in card that computer users must install before using the drive, though the drive also has a USB connector.

The add-in card has several eSATA ports, letting customers plug in several drives. The drive comes with an eSATA cable, a USB cable and EMC's Retrospect Express backup software.

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