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Iomega 31119 Predator 4x4x6 External USB CD-RW Drive
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- External, ultra-thin, top-loading CD-RW drive for PC and Macintosh
- USB interface using included adapter
- Hot swappable with PC or Macintosh
- Drive speeds of 4x4x6
- Compatible with Windows 98, 98 SE, 2000, or Me, or Mac OS 8.6, 9.0, 9.03, or 9.04
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Featuring an ultra-thin top-loading design, the Iomega Predator 4x4x6 External USB CD-RW Drive offers the convenience of hot-swapping with PCs, Macs, or laptops. The Predator utilizes a fast USB interface with FireWire and PCMCIA coming out in Spring 2001. The drive reads up to 6x, writes at 4x, and rewrites at 4x. Utilizing a 2 MB buffer memory, the Predator has quick disk access times of only 125 milliseconds. It is capable of disc-at-once, fixed and variable packet writing, multi-session, and track-at-once methods.
The Predator is compatible with both PC and Macintosh computers. System requirements for the PC include a Pentium 166 or higher processor, Windows 98, 98 SE, 2000, or Me operating systems, 110 MB hard disk space, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or later or Netscape Navigator 4.5 or later. For the Mac, requirements include a G4, G3 (blue and white G3 only), or iMac computer, OS 8.6, 9.0, 9.03, or 9.04 operating systems, 98 MB hard disk space, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or later or Netscape Navigator 4.5 or later.
The Predator comes with Iomega CD-RW software, quick install disc, a blank CD-R disc, a blank CD-RW disc, USB cable, USB adapter, audio cable, and an AC adapter. It comes with an abundance of software titles including: (for the PC) Adaptec DirectCD 3.0, Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4.0, Adobe ActiveShare, Iomega Quik Sync 2 30-day trial version, MusicMatch Jukebox Plus; (for the Mac) Adaptec Toast 4.1.1, and MGI PhotoSuite.
Iomega provides a one-year parts and labor warranty on the Predator 4x4x6 External USB CD-RW Drive.
Top customer reviews
If you must buy a USB CD-RW drive and you have an older computer predating USB 2.0, then this drive is a good choice -- its included software is very good, the drive itself is solid, and setup is simple.
I bought my Predator because my computer at the time did not support devices requiring serial or SCSI ports, nor would it support additional internal drives. So USB was my only option.
There are some issues to be aware of:
1. The included Adaptec software was the best entry-level CD-burning software in 2001. At the time, Iomega did not skimp on the included software. The packaged software and drivers that I received were slightly dated even then, and not very Windows 2000-friendly, but the latest updates (including W2K support) were available online.
2. Something called "buffer underruns" are a risk for all old USB CD-RW drives because the slow USB had difficulty keeping pace with the high speed that CD-RW drives require to burn CDs smoothly. Because CD-writing requires reliable speed out of your computer (even if you're not in a hurry), I would not recommend using this drive with a slow computer, fragmented hard drive, or limited RAM.
3. While I was able to burn CDs at 4x, the slowness of the old USB again means that you may have the best luck holding back your drive speed to 2x so it doesn't get too far ahead of your computer. If you decide eventually to ditch USB and use FireWire instead, then you can ramp up the Predator to full speed with confidence.
4. I don't know why, but Verbatim CD-RW disks worked better with this drive than either the included Iomega disks or the new Imation disks that I bought. None of the disks became coasters, but for some reason the Iomega and Imation CDs would frequently suffer buffer underruns if I saved much data at one time. Maybe it was a coincidence. Anyhow, the remedy was to save less data on these CDs and to reformat them (eating up a lot of time) each time an underrun occurred.
5. This drive comes with an included FireWire adapter -- much more reliable than the old USB technology, if your computer supports FireWire connections.
The Predator fulfills basic needs for people limited to first-generation USB while also providing the power, speed and reliability in the coming era of FireWire peripherals.
But you would be wiser to buy a more current drive that supports USB 2.0 as well as slower connections.
Well, I hate to say it but my old CD burner blows this thing away. This Iomega is quite unreliable. I haven't been able to burn a CD yet (after 10 tries and plenty of coasters around the house). I wouldn't say I'm an expert in CD burners but I'm definitely not new to the scene. So, I'm pretty confident it wasn't my lack of knowledge that was causing me grief.
The buffer underrun problems on this thing are horrendous. I've tried burning at 4X from CD-ROM, 4X from Hard Disk, 2X from CD-ROM, and 2X from Hard Disk - all failed. I tried downloading and using other burning software such as CloneCD..no luck. I tried different types of CD-R's but still wouldn't work. I've researched on the web, their tech support site and spoke to a live tech support person. I did everything that was recommended - defragmenting the hard drive, closing all apps, closing the virus software..tried it all but kept on creating coasters.
80% of my errors were buffer underruns while the other 20% were other miscellaneous errors. My machine is pretty reliable too...256 Megs of RAM, 11 Gig Hard drive (with 2 Gigs free), etc.
Plus, most of the time I put in a blank CD, it would tell me that I need a blank CD in there! I'd open the case, take out the CD and put it in again, and it would still give me that error. Very tempermental. That issue may be due to my specific burner, who knows.
In summary, I'd pass on this one if I were you. Sure, you're getting it at an inexpensive price, it looks slick and it's very compact. But, remember the purpose of your purchasing this - to burn CD's!
I'd recommend spending a little more money and getting a Plextor or a comparable brand that has the BURN-Proof technology. BURN-proof is a new feature in more advanced burners that prevents the dreaded buffer underrun problems. A little pricier but you'll appreciate it in the end.
Furthermore after some considerable time spent in experimentation its pretty clear that USB is never really going to support a safe burn of any type beyond 2x. You just get caught up in a world of underruns.
The USB connector in the rear of the device is flimsy. I'd say this one is only worth it for the cross-platform compatibility (it does work as promised) and it's portable size.
I did get this thing to settle down and it burns just fine (though the 2x max. usable speed brings my rating down to 2 stars). I've been a CDR user for many years and I'd have to say if I was to rethink this purchase I'd go with a Firewire based connection.
Well this thing bit the dust a month ago. Something in that flimsy rear connector gave out. I swear I was gentle on this thing. I move my computer equipment around my desk (just a hardware rearrangement) and when I plugged this back in it refused to work. Iomega tech support was weak. Essentially the rear connector broke. After all kinds of twists and turns I got it to work intermittently. I quit. ...
Most recent customer reviews
I bought one used on ebay to take to a job site and do backups on a laptop.Read more