Iomega Intros USB 3.0 External SSDs

Iomega is bringing SSD technology to PC users in the form of a new family of external data storage devices.

Iomega on Friday unveiled three external SSDs featuring USB 3.0 connectivity and a small 1.8-inch form factor.

The new drives, available in 64-GB, 128-GB, and 256-GB capacities, feature MLC Flash technology.

There are two types of SSDs, depending on the technology of the Flash memory on which it is built. Some SSDs feature single-level cell (SLC) memory technology, in which one bit of data occupies one cell of the flash memory, making it optimized for performance and data reliability. Other SSDs feature multilevel cell (MLC) technology, in which four bits of data occupy one cell of the Flash memory for greater capacity.

Iomega declined to state with which Flash memory vendor it partnered on the new drives.

Iomega said that for PCs equipped with the new USB 3.0 interface, its new portable external SSDs offer speeds of up to 10 times that of drives connected via USB 2.0 interfaces. The new drives also perform about twice as fast as a 7,200-rpm SATA hard drive connected via USB 3.0.

Because of that speed and the fact that there are no moving parts or an external power supply, Iomega expects the new SSDs to be used for performance-hungry applications such as high-definition video, digital images, graphics, and music.

Included with the new SSDs is the Iomega Protection Suite of software. That suite includes v.Clone, a utility which creates a clone of a PC which can then be run seamlessly on another PC; a complementary 1-year Trend Micro subscription; Iomega QuikProtect backup software for doing scheduled backups; Roxio Retrospect Express software for backing up data, applications, and settings; and access to the MozyHome online backup service.

The 64-GB version of Iomega's SSD is priced at $229, the 128-GB version at $399, and the 256-GB version at $749.

They are expected to be available starting early next month to Iomega's solution providers via Ingram Micro, as well as through etailers and from Iomega direct.

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