today introduced a new USB-based SuperDisk drive for PCs and Macs called the Que! SuperDisk 240. Don’t confuse the SuperDisk 240 with Apple’s similarly named DVD-R “SuperDrive.” The SuperDisk 240 is a Panasonic-built removable media drive that uses 3.5-inch cartridges that can store up to 240MB each. It’s downwardly compatible with the original LS-120 SuperDisk cartridges, and can also use 1.44MB 3.5 inch floppy disks.
Best of all for businesses and schools where floppies are still used or stored in great quantity, the SuperDisk 240 is capable of reformatting conventional 3.5 inch 1.44MB floppies to store up to 32MB of data — 22 times the floppy’s original storage capacity.
QPS Vice President Pierre Abboud told MacCentral that SuperDisk 240 users can expect considerably better performance than what the older LS-120 — the original SuperDisk — was capable of. Abboud also said the media cost for SuperDisk cartridges will be competitive with Iomega’s Zip disks.
“The drive is a bus-powered, USB-based plug and play device,” Abboud told MacCentral. “Because it can use floppy media, it has a very low cost for data storage, as well. QPS expects the SuperDisk 240 to have a wide range of market appeal.”
Abboud explained that the SuperDisk 240’s backward compatibility with floppy disks and LS-120 media makes it a popular removable storage alternative for the perpetually cash-strapped educational market, where legacy media like floppies are still heavily leveraged. Abboud also said that some digital camera makers have leveraged the LS-120 and SuperDisk 240.
QPS also plans to release a SuperDisk 240 module for its Que D2 Dual Drive, a FireWire-based external storage solution that combines a hard drive with a removable media drive. QPS announced the development of the SuperDisk 240 module for the D2 back in January. Abboud said that the D2 SuperDisk 240 module would be released sometime after the USB-based Que! SuperDisk 240 ships. Performance of the FireWire-based SuperDisk may be a bit better than its USB-based counterpart.
Expected to be released in May, the Que! SuperDisk 240 drive will carry a suggested retail price of US$179. The drive should be available through retailers, catalog stores, e-tailers and others.