Zip Drive

The Zip Drive is a disk storage system capable of holding digital information.

Introduced in late 1994, zip drives launched with storage capacities of 100 MB, but later versions increased to 250 MB and then 750 MB.

The zip drive has all of the 3½” floppy’s convenience, but holds much more data, with performance that is much quicker than a standard floppy drive.  However, zip disk housings are much thicker than those of floppy disks. The original zip drive had a maximum data transfer rate of about 1 megabyte/second and a seek time of 28 milliseconds on average, compared to a standard 1.44 MB floppy’s typical 500 kbit/s (62.5 kB/s) transfer rate and several-hundred millisecond average seek time.

The zip drive became a popular tool of the super-floppy type products in the late 1990s portable storage market. However, it was never accepted enough to replace the 3.5-inch floppy disk nor could compete with the storage size existing on rewritable CDs and later rewritable DVDs.  In the end, USB flash drives proved to be the superior storage device among users due to the availability of USB ports on personal computers and larger storage size available.