Picture this scenario: Your boss wants a big project you are working on to be ready first thing tomorrow morning. Your wife wants you back early tonight or you are dead meat. What can you do? Your only choice is to pull an all-nighter and take the project home. You save the 100 megabyte file to floppy disks - 70 to be exact. You get home only to find some of the disks are corrupted. An alternative to jumping out of the window would be to invest in an Iomega Zip 250 USB drive. It is the latest addition to the company's Zip product line, and works on both PCs and Macs. Why consider the Zip 250? It equals the capacity of 170 floppy drives. You can transfer up to 250MB of data on to one Zip disk (or 100MB since it is backward compatible with older Zip drives) at a 900KB/sec data transfer rate. Moreover, Zip 100MB disks are not that expensive and typically go for about HK$60; expect 250MB disks to drop in price as well. The old external parallel Zip 100MB drive was a cumbersome beast to lug around, especially when you add the cable and big power supply to your travels. The newly designed, super-thin Zip 250 drive is less than an inch thick and weighs an easily portable 258g, in a snazzy blue chassis. When your desk is pressed for space, you can use the included stand and position the drive on its side. Most notebooks and desktops nowadays have at least one USB port, so you can take advantage of the Zip 250's USB plug-and-play connectivity. For mobile users whose laptops do not have a USB port, the drive provides a host-powered PC card interface, which means you do not need to carry an external power supply around. With the USB port, the Zip 250 not only works with Windows 95/98 and NT 4.0 PCs, but also on Macintosh systems. Connecting the Zip 250 is easy: simply plug the bundled USB cable to the PC and the power supply to the wall socket, and wait for Windows to ask for software installation. I tested the Zip 250 by transferring 250MB worth of MP3 files to and from the drive via the 6GB hard drive in my Dell Dimension 500MHz Pentium III desktop. It took just under six minutes to transfer the files from the PC's hard disk to the Zip 250; about one minute faster the other way around. This is speedy when you consider that transferring 100MB of files on the older parallel Zip 100 drives takes about 10 minutes. Windows is bound to crash unexpectedly any time, which makes the IomegaWare 2.1 software and various other tools that the CD comes with indispensable. If you install all the programs, you will end up using 25MB of disk space. Fortunately you can choose what to install. I especially liked the optional QuikSync instant backup utility, which lets you set how often you want the program to automatically back your hard disk folders to the Zip 250 without any significant disruption while you are working. It saves any changes made to your folder's files and lets you back up files directly from a Zip disk. The IomegaWare software also features RecordIt, a neat feature that lets you record and play back voice and audio on a computer from a Zip disk or hard drive. I could not find any big faults with the Zip 250, other than the minor occasional disruptions (such as the cursor not moving smoothly while using the mouse) that QuikSync will cause while saving. The Zip 250 is worth considering if you frequently need to transfer big files. It is fast, convenient and easy to use. PROS AND CONS Product: Iomega Zip 250 USB drive Price: $1,400 (includes one 250MB Zip disk); $1,640 (Zip 250MB, USB/PC card drive with cable); $1,390 (10-pack 250MB Zip disks) Pros: Easy to use, stylish, portable, speedy file transfers, useful software Cons: IomegaWare 2.1 takes up 25MB of disk space, which is a lot.