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9/96 Reviews HW: SyQuest EZFlyer 230

Listing of September 1996 Reviews

High Flyer Offers EZ Data Storage

By James E. Powell

SyQuest learned a lesson with its EZ135 portable drive. It compared favorably with Iomega's popular Zip drive, but SyQuest introduced a SCSI version before it had a parallel port model. This time, the company is covering both bases as it strives to be a contender with its EZFlyer 230.

The EZFlyer 230 holds a 230MB cartridge in its sleek, slim case. It can also read and write EZ135 cartridges. The drive's eject button triggers a smooth mechanism, and it has a convenient, side-mounted power switch. I tested the external parallel port version; two external SCSI models (one with a SCSI II connection and one with SCSI 25-pin connectors) should also be available by the time you read this.

The EZFlyer 230 performed very well, with an average access time of 13.5 milliseconds. It also has a burst data-transfer rate of up to 4MB per second (2.4MBps sustained rate) for the SCSI version, and 1.25MBps for the parallel version (the maximum rate the port can handle). Installation was a snap, thanks to the precise instructions in the setup program.

The drive comes with several utilities for formatting cartridges and, best of all, a good backup program for moving files from your hard drive to the EZFlyer. It's no substitute for a full system backup, but it's great when you need to archive a folder or two worth of old files.

A pull-down flap in the front of the drive helps keep out dust, and a topside window lets you see the cartridge's label. Two lights on the front of the unit indicate power on/off and activity mode (full-power or standby). The parallel pass-through worked even when the unit was not powered on; pass-through is not supported under Windows NT.

The package includes the drive, one cable, software and a cartridge. Cartridges are $29.95, about 13 cents per megabyte. This compares favorably with 14.8 cents per megabyte for an EZ135 cartridge and 20 cents for a Zip cartridge.

The EZFlyer is light enough to be portable, rugged enough for constant use and quiet even in close quarters.

--Info File--
SyQuest EZFlyer 230
Pros: Ergonomics; performance
Cons: None
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x, NT
SyQuest Technology
800-245-2278, 510-226-4000
WinMag Box Score: 4.5

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