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Iomega REV 70GB ATAPI review

If you're serious about backup, then Iomega is it

In essence the REV is a hard drive, but it has a removable cartridge

Our Verdict

A thoroughly niche backup solution


  • Convenient


  • Speed


There are times when you'll need a professional backup storage solution, such as archiving company accounts and data, but what should you choose if you're looking for reliable, convenient and affordable backup? You could always consider the latest update to the REV, which now supports 70GB cartridges.

In essence the REV is a hard drive, with a subtle difference: instead of the heads and platters being in a sealed, self-contained unit, the removable cartridges hold the platters, while heads are in the main unit.

This should in theory mean that the cartridges are more reliable than normal hard drives, as there is no chance of the heads colliding with the platter surface. Modern hard drives do park the heads intelligently though, so this isn't as convincing a reason as it could be.

The cartridges don't feel too rugged either, and despite claims of being able to roll a car over them, we didn't have too many problems breaking a cartridge. These do come with a five-year warranty, although if it's your life's work that fails after six years, you're probably not going to be too impressed with such coverage.

Reliability is essential for any serious backup medium, but speed is important too. This is one area where the REV underperformed, copying across a not-unreasonable 6GB of data in a surprisingly lengthy hour and twenty four minutes.

You can expect to write out this amount of data in almost a tenth of that time when burning to a dual layer DVD, not to mention writing to a hard drive or RAID system.

REV doesn't represent a radical shift for data storage. Technically it's reasonable enough, although nothing too startling, but it's the pricing of the unit and subsequent cartridges (£53) that really let it down - it just can't compete with more versatile hard drives or far more affordable DVDs.

This sort of storage is being marginalised as time goes by, and despite the hype, the Rev does nothing to reverse this trend.