Iomega Moving All New Portable Storage Drives to USB 3.0

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-08-24

EMC Iomega announced Aug. 24 that it is moving all its desktop storage devices to USB 3.0 from 2.0 but not charging anything extra for it.

The new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface-which moves data at a top speed of 5 Gbits/s-is now being installed on all Iomega USB 2.0 portable hard drives, beginning with the 500GB and 1TB eGo devices, Iomega President Jonathan Huberman told eWEEK.

The new items will hit real and virtual shelves in October.

"At least in our space, the adoption of USB 3.0 has been relatively weak," Huberman said. "There are two things driving this: No. 1, the vendors of PCs and laptops haven't been driving 3.0 that aggressively, but that is changing. In Q4, we'll be seeing a lot more 3.0 laptops and desktops.

"Plus, in our space [desktop storage], today you have to pay a significant premium to add [USB] 3.0. Given how price-conscious people are in this segment, that has limited its appeal. So we're taking that objection away."

In the first quarter of 2011, Iomega plans to move its Prestige compact portable drives to USB 3.0 on all models. Shortly thereafter, Iomega will move the rest of its portable external hard drive models to 3.0 interfaces.

Typically, small and midsize businesses and consumer desktop storage devices cost about $20 to $30 more at retail to add the USB 3.0 option. That can increase the cost of a drive from 10 percent to 20 percent.

eGO units with USB 3.0 connectivity currently go for $140 [1TB] and $220 [2TB], according to the Iomega product site.

Iomega storage devices also feature 256-bit hardware encryption, vClone software, Quick Protect backup, a free one-year subscription to Trend Micro antivirus software, and Mozy or Retrospect backup software.

Iomega's 2.5-inch portable hard drives are host-powered and use no external power supply beyond the power provided through the USB bus on a PC, laptop or netbook, Huberman said.

Iomega competes directly with Western Digital and Seagate and a large number of other attached-storage vendors for SMBs and consumers.

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