Iomega plans Zip for notebooks

Iomega is hoping to make a breakthrough into notebook PCs with a slimline version of its internal Zip drive.

The 12.7mm high Zip design will be aimed at mobile PC integral drives and expansion bays, Iomega said. Zip has already announced a 15mm internal drive aimed at expansion bays, saying it will release products in the first quarter of 1997. Zip cartridges hold 100Mb of data, compared to the standard floppy's meagre 1.44Mb. However, Iomega cautioned that the drives won't be available to PC vendors until the second half of 1997.

"This is the next step towards our objective of making the Zip drive the new floppy, and to do that we need to put the drives in as many places as possible," said Rita Pregger, European marketing and communications manager.

The arrival of the notebook-optimised Zip will take Iomega into competition with OR Technology, which is planning to announce a 12.7mm high version of its 120Mb a: drive aimed at notebook PC OEMs next Monday. Availability will be in the second quarter of 1997. Unlike the Zip, the a: drive is backwards compatible with the 1.44Mb floppy.