Quantum Hardcard EZ 240. (hard disk drive) (Hardware Review) (Evaluation)
by David English
Need more hard drive space? Got an extra slot in your PC? Don't want to get involved in major PC surgery? If you answered yes to all these questions, you're in luck.
Quantum offers a quick and easy way to add 42MB, 85MB, 127MB, or even 240MB to your PC. All you need is a Hardcard EZ 42, Hardcard EZ 85, Hardcard EZ 127, or Hardcard EZ 240. Each is essentially a hard drive on a PC card, so installation should take ten minutes or less. And Quantum guarantees that any Hardcard EZ will work with your 286, 386, or 486 system, or you'll receive a full refund.
These days, you don't have to pay a performance penalty for the convenience of a hard drive on a card. Average seek time is rated at 19 ms for the EZ 42, 17 ms for the EZ 85 and EZ 127, and 16 ms for the EZ 240. That's in line with the faster internal hard drives. The Hardcard prices are also in line with those of standard hard drives: $269 for the EZ 42, $319 for the EZ 85, $419 for the EZ 127, and $689 for the EZ 240.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to use the EZ 240 with an older ZEOS 386 computer. The manual explains that the Hardcard EZ drives may not work in systems with older SCSI adapter boards (in many cases, you can resolve the problem by changing the SCSI adapter's memory address), some 16-bit VGA adapters (you may have to switch from 16-bit to 8-bit transfers), and NEC's version of DOS 3.3 (Quantum includes a work-around). The ZEOS's early SCSI adapter, it turns out, is incompatible with the EZ 240 (that's where Quantum's money-back guarantee would have come in handy), but the Hardcard worked fine in the two other systems I tried.
The Hardcard EZs from Quantum are fast, inexpensive, easy to install, and guranteed to work. With their field-tested life of 250,000 hours before failure, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better hard drive.