NEC will become the first OEM to ship a notebook with an LS-120 120Mb floppy drive as standard when it ships its Versa 6000 and 6200 series this summer. The drives will ship on selected models, replacing the standard 1.44Mb floppy in the modular VersaBay.
"The LS-120 technology augments the Versa's features with increased capacity and the ability to share large files with others, while decreasing demand on the user's hard drive," said Jim Schwabe, senior VP of NEC computer systems division. "LS-120 drives meet our cost, form factor, capacity, performance, thermal and power targets. In addition, because it is backward compatible with 1.44Mb media, users only need to carry one drive with them on the road."
NEC uses OR Technology's a:drive, a 12.7mm high device. OR has long said that its form factor is a big advantage over Iomega's competing Zip drive which uses cartridges slightly fatter than floppies. Also, OR claims excellent power management: the a:drive only uses 20 milliwatts in standby mode, thus saving battery life.
In a related announcement, OR said Phoenix Technologies and SystemSoft have written BIOSes that will let the a:drive be used as the boot drive under Windows 95, Windows NT and DOS in notebooks.