Iomega 2Gb Ditto blasts away Travan

Iomega is attempting to kill the infant Travan tape drive standard, saying the technology is too costly for today's market requirements.

The launch yesterday of Iomega's internal 2Gb Ditto drive for a list price of just £125 + VAT including one cartridge is intended to set a new standard that dramatically undercuts Travan. Cartridges will cost just £15 each, working out at under a penny per megabyte. External drives list for £175 + VAT. The 2Gb drive will read all previous capacities, maintaining the investment in older media.

Although the Travan standard is widely credited with reviving a slow tape market by promoting bigger capacities at lower cost, Iomega says that the technology, particularly the read head required for Travan, is too expensive to implement. Crucially, Iomega has recruited a second source of drives and media in Japanese giant Sony, which will sell both under its own brand, and the pair will push for standardisation by the QIC regulatory body.

Iomega sales can be contacted by telephone on 0800 973194.

PCDN Comment: This is a real body blow to the Travan standard. Flushed with recent successes with its Zip, Ditto and Jaz families, Iomega is in a very strong position and Sony is always a powerful partner. Even without the stamp of approval from QIC, the ability to read older media will make the new Ditto a compelling product.

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