For small businesses that have depended on the ease of use of Iomega’s 35GB REV removable hard disk drive but are outgrowing that solution, the new REV Loader 280 offers larger capacity at an affordable price.
The Loader 280 can mount as many as eight REV media in a compact minitower less than 7 inches tall and 6 inches wide, fitting equally well atop or below an office desk. By contrast the rack-mountable REV Autoloader 1000, a previous model, can host 10 drives.
The Loader 280 connects to any recent Windows server or Windows XP Pro machine via USB 2.0, a less expensive connection than the SCSI ports of the 1000, and it incorporates the same technology as the popular desktop REV, which is based on 2.5-inch small-form-factor disk drives. As opposed to laptop drives that enclose all components in a single shell, the REV houses only platters and motor in the removable cartridge, with heads and circuitry remaining in the read/write station.
The USB 2.0 connectivity should not hamper performance. But it’s somewhat disappointing at a time when $100 printers come with an Ethernet card, and entry-level servers sport Gigabit Ethernet connections. Iomega doesn’t dismiss the possibility of adding LAN connectivity if enough customers demand it, but that’s not in the plans for now. It would simplify sharing the 280 across multiple servers.
Another potential drawback is the absence of a bar-code reader, which would be useful for customers managing a large number of REV disks. A bar-code reader is an option on the 1000.
The Iomega REV Loader 280 offers effective low-end backup at a low price. It may not have a place in the most demanding SMBs, but it should satisfy the backup requirements of many budget-conscious small offices.
Iomega REV Loader 280
Cost: Loader: Approximately $1,000 with one drive; $50 for each additional REV drive
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