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Battle of the Megafloppies Heats Up

SyQuest Technologies says it will soon ship a 135MB removable drive that competes with a similar 100MB drive recently announced by competitor Iomega Corporation. SyQuest is showing the new drive at this week's PC Expo trade show in New York City.

The SyQuest 3.5-inch EZ135 drive is priced comparably to Iomega's Zip drive, with prices starting at under $200 for an internal IDE model. The EZ135 IDE version is scheduled to start shipping next month; external SCSI and parallel port versions will cost about $240 each and will ship in September and October, respectively, says SyQuest product manager Rich Green.

"You get 35 more megabytes of storage with our drive," Green says. Both the SyQuest and Iomega drives use removable cartridges priced under $20 each. SyQuest claims its EZ135 offers faster seek times and data transfer rates than Iomega's Zip drive does, except for the parallel port version, which is limited by the speed of the port itself.

Both the EZ135 and Zip drives are targeted at mainstream PC users who need to back up today's larger hard drives. However, since the two technologies are incompatible, users won't be able to run an EZ135 disk in a Zip drive, and vice versa.

Which technology will win? "The market is big enough for both of us," says Green.