Move Over, Iomega

SyQuest's SparQ 1.0 gigabyte drive heats up the removable storage battle

If you use a computer, it’s a sure bet that at some point you’re going to need more hard drive space. It’s inevitable, like your PC crashing. The solution–removable storage. Several companies offer removable storage devices, most notably Iomega. However, no one offered a gigabyte of removable storage for under $200–until the SparQ.

The SparQ, which retails for $199.00, is a great solution for families and small businesses. It allows you to transport applications and files between home and work, and to back up your desktop or laptop quickly and easily. You can also create personal hard drives for each member of the family. This means no more children’s games cluttering up your PC and slowing its performance. Frequent fliers will appreciate the lightweight drive, which fits easily into a laptop bag. Its speed is comparable to a hard drive, a feature multimedia game players will appreciate.

While the SparQ is a good product at a good price, overcoming market leader Iomega will be difficult. Computer manufacturers have recently begun shipping units with Iomega’s zip drive built in, strengthening their hold on the market. However, the recent “click of death” phenomenon experienced by some zip users may provide an opening. Iomega claims the problem, which renders the drive and any cartridges inside the drive useless, affects less than 1% of its users.

The SparQ is available in external parallel port and internal EIDE configurations. The cartridges hold 1.0 gigabyte each and cost $99 for a three-pack. The SparQ is easy to set up and install. Just plug the device into your computer’s parallel port and connect your printer’s cable to its adapter. Self-installing drivers and utilities make installation a non-issue. The SparQ is available in retail stores throughout the U.S.

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