Iomega is fighting back, and attempting to recapture market share with the release of the HDD external hard-drive storage system – the next generation from the Jaz drive.

The product offers theoretical data transfers up to 60MB/s (depending on whether USB 1.1, USB 2.0 or FireWire connections are used – USB 1.1 yields 1.5MB/s).

Shipping in June, the drive is available in 20GB, 40GB, 80GB, and 120GB capacities (larger capacities weigh 0.9Kg, while the lower-end weighs 0.23Kg). The drives offer a seek time of 12ms – fast enough to handle multiple video-streams, the company claims.

The drive can be used to boot-up a Mac, and is equipped with interchangeable FireWire and USB connections. The range is built to travel – all drives are shock-proofed and vibration-protected, and can withstand drops of up to 1.2 metres.

“Iomega is delivering the power that professionals need for whole-system back-ups, easy system-recovery, and convenient data-storage and protection,” said Ulrike Tegtmeier, vice president and managing director of Iomega International.

Durability Iomega has always put design into its products – the case maintains this tradition, and adds a rugged, fully sealed anti-dust shell, with built in shock-absorbency. Mac OS 8.6-9.x and OS X are supported. The solution also ships with Iomega’s own QuikSync software that automates back-up, and can be set to store critical data as it changes.

The company hopes to get the product into small businesses and enterprises – particularly in the graphics, Web-design, and desktop publishing fields. Home users also figure in the company’s product plan.

Configurations include the HDD 20GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive with a suggested retail price of £189; the HDD 40GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive, at a suggested retail price of £309; and the HDD 40GB FireWire Portable Hard Drive, costing £329.

The 80GB unit costs £279, and 120GB unit is £379. The FireWire configuration of the 120GB drive will be available at a suggested retail price of £399. All prices include VAT.