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"Which SyQuest Should I Buy?" FAQ
Part II of IV -- Entry-Level & IGB Removables

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"Which SyQuest Should I Buy?" FAQ
Part II of IV -- Entry-Level & IGB Removables

For technical support, please contact SyQuest (not me).

SyQuest Buying FAQ: Part I of IV -- Initial Buying Questions
SyQuest Buying FAQ: Part II of IV -- Entry-Level & IGB Removables
SyQuest Buying FAQ: Part III of IV -- Troubleshooting
SyQuest Buying FAQ: Part IV of IV -- Contacting SyQuest

As a great defender of SQ technology with many drives (over fifty 44s and fifty 200s) and over a thousand cartridges, I see the same questions asked repeatedly. I do not work for SyQuest Technology. This document is an independent publication.

(Before you write to me, please realize that I am a Macintosh SCSI systems person and have little PC experience.)

2009 UPDATE:
If you need help converting your data from a SyQuest or Iomega cartridge, please visit http://mullermedia.com/

Iomega's Zip and SyQuest's EZ
In Summer 1995, Iomega, makers of Bernoulli drives, released the Zip Drive. This drive uses 100MB disks the approximate size of 3.5" diskettes. These drives were originally priced at $199 with the cartridges selling for less than $20 each. The attraction to these drives is size and convenience. These cartridges use a hybrid floppy/winchester technology, as opposed to the dual floppy centrifugal-force Bernoulli.

SyQuest released their own version of a small low-priced removable--the EZ135. They were the same prices as the Zip drives, but capacity was 35% higher at 135MB. The EZ product line uses Winchester hard disk technology, like their original drives. That means faster access time. The EZ cartridge is based on the 3.5" platter used for their older mid-range 105 & 270 drives. This cartridge uses only one side of the platter, BUT, this does not mean that the cartridges are interchangeable with the 105 and 270.

Please realize that neither of these drives can use their older "big brother" technology cartridges. The ZIP ships in external SCSI and Parallel versions. The EZ135 ships in external SCSI, parallel and internal IDE versions.

The price of the EZ135 drive dropped in June 96 to $119 US, and a new product, the EZFlyer 230, was released. This drive reads and writes 135 cartridges, as well as its own 230 MB cartridges. The release price on the EZFlyer was $299 US, with cartridges at $29 US.

These new smaller size removables are being considered for eventual replacement or additions to floppy drives, as floppy technology has not kept up with the CPU and OS technology. They are not expected to replace their other models of larger capacity, removable technology.

These product lines are considered entry-level removable storage products for the consumer market.

Be sure to read my in-depth feature comparison article about SyQuest's EZ135 and Iomega's Zip. All the specs plus pros and cons are listed in this article. Zip versus EZ135, a comparison review

1GB Removables
In Winter/Spring 1996, Iomega released the Jaz drive. It is a 1GB removable--utilizing all Winchester hard disk platter technology--a first for Iomega. This means faster access speeds. Drives sell for less than $500 with 1GB cartridges at around $100 each. It is not compatible with existing Bernoulli, Zip or SyQuest cartridge technology.

ProMAX Technology (http://www.scsidisk.com) , was the first vendor selling drive arrays made from Iomega Jaz drives (Fall 1995). These are ideal for use in high-volume/high-end video and prepress shops. ProMAX has had excellent test results in access speeds for high-end applications. This is good news for those shops in the constant search of more (and mass) storage!

SyQuest plans to release a 1.3GB 3.5" removable drive (the SyJet 1.3GB drive). All new technology from the ground up. It is marketed against Iomega's 1GB removable Jaz drive. SyQuest plans to introduce this product sometime in late 1996.

SyQuest & Iomega--Compatibility Within Brands
Will the new Syquest EZ drives be compatible with the older mid-range 3.5" drives and the new SyJet?

No, the new cartridge technologies, like the Iomega stuff, is not crossover-compatible. Basically, with the Iomega stuff and the SyQuest stuff, the market is divided into three technologies and markets... You cannot cross-over to the next market level with the same media (and you certainly cannot cross-over between Iomega and SyQuest).

Target Market: Entry (consumer, hobbiest)
Iomega Zip
SyQuest EZ (135, 230)

Target Market: Mid-Range (desktop publishing/prepress)
Iomega Bernoulli
SyQuest (44, 88, 200 & 105, 270)
This level of product is being eventually phased out in favor of the faster, newer, better technology of the other two lines.

Target Market: Hi-End (prepress, video)
Iomega Jaz
SyQuest SyJet

The expectation is to naturally migrate to the higher level as capacity is needed. Will future versions of these cartridges within the same target markets (within their own brands) be compatible? Most certainly. No vendor is dumb enough to cut off the existing customer base (again)! (Example, the EZ135 and EZFlyer 230.)

The mid-range market product are certainly being phased out. While many complain about this, I do not. I am happy that this product line has had such a long vital life (in a computer world where products are obsolete in months)! I like that SyQuest gave us the 200MB drive so that we could continue to use our huge installed base of 44s and 88s, yet get the larger capacity of 200MB as our reward.

Don't condemn them for abadoning the mid-range line, thank them for helping us to continue to use our older technology while they developed newer and better technology for us to migrate to.

How many of you have been in the computer business for longer than 5 years and still use your original computer (in the original configuration) as your primary machine? Upgrades are part of the business.

Related original articles on this site...

SyQuest Buying FAQ: Part I of IV -- Initial Buying Questions
SyQuest Buying FAQ: Part II of IV -- Entry-Level & IGB Removables
SyQuest Buying FAQ: Part III of IV -- Troubleshooting
SyQuest Buying FAQ: Part IV of IV -- Contacting SyQuest

SyQuest 5.25" Drive Error Tables
Iomega's Zip versus SyQuest's EZ135 Comparison Article (28k html)
SCSI Manager 4.3 & Mounting Removables (17k html)

© Copyright 1996-2001 by Kass Johns, all rights reserved world wide.
The opinions and recommendations stated here are solely those of the author and are not the responsibility of anyone else. This is an independent publication not affiliated or otherwise associated with, sponsored by, or sanctioned by any vendor. We state here that we have used trademark names in this publication for editorial purposes only, with no intent to infringe on those trademarks. Permission is granted to copy this document for personal use only for *non-commercial* purposes, in electronic or printed form, provided that this copyright notice is not removed. This work may not be used on another Web site or online service, sold for profit, included within commercial works, or altered or changed in any way without the express written permission of the author.



© Copyright 1996-2001 v.7.5.00
Kass Johns
Technical Writer & Consultant to the Publishing & Telecommunications Industries
Colorado Springs, CO • www.kassj.com • 719/635-1306 (vc)
kass at kassj dot com

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