One of the first reviews I wrote for Hardware Zone was the Backpack CD-rewriter. Back then, it was one of the very first portable CD-rewriters for the PC. During the days when old legacy systems were still around in abundance, the portable writer works through an external parallel port for data transfer. Did you say parallel port? Yup, a parallel port. Though it sounds incredibly amazing, the thing still managed to deliver writing speeds at 4x and could read at 6x. Even USB 1.1 drives which appeared much later than this parallel port version could only match its speed.
But in today's world of computing, USB 1.1 is fast becoming an outdated standard with more and more devices and peripherals made for its newer and faster USB 2.0. Motherboards are pouring in with USB 2.0 support as a default, and peripherals are not lacking either. Some time back, we saw Iomega releasing its Panther into the streets with writing speeds at 16x. Today, Iomega is back once again with the Predator, with writing speeds at 24x. Called the Predator 2, the new drive is backward compatible with older USB 1.1 ports, so you don't have to worry about using your drive on systems without the USB 2.0 port. However, since USB 1.1 has a narrow bandwidth, you should note that your writing speed will be limited to only 4x.
The Iomega Predator 2 - slim, sleek and hypnotic.
You'll find the volume control and a mini stereo jack on the right side of the drive. Interesting, there's no icon near the volume knob to indicate which direction to increase volume.
The new Predator 2 retains much of the Predator's design. For those who cannot live without that hypnotising pinwheel in the center, yes, the Predator 2 will retain that in the design. The volume control is now located on the right flank of the drive and it's where you'll find a mini-stereo jack for your headphones as well. In the rear, you'll find a proprietary connector for the USB 2.0 cable and a DIN connector to power up the drive. Since the drive do not use a standard USB 2.0 plug, you'll have to guard your cable with your life, as God knows how you're ever going to get it working without it. Of course you can get a replacement from Iomega, but that might cost you. Besides this slight inconvenience, we suspect that Iomega might have future use for the proprietary connector, perhaps a cable for FireWire. You never know.