Which is the cheapest tape system of all? Not LTO? Surely not LTO? Well, actually, yes, according to Tandberg that is. A press release fom Tandberg said its half-height 220LTO drive was the most affordable tape drive in the market. 'Really,' I said? 'Really,' Tandberg said.

And here are the figures to prove it. They apply to entry-level supertape; Travan and DDS are not applicable here.

LTO-1 half height

Street drive price - €785
Street media price - €22.60
Drive with 5 media - €898

Sony AIT-3

Street drive price - €1,443
Street media price - €46.60
Drive with 5 media - €1,676

HP LTO-1 HH

Street drive price - €1,236
Street media price - €23,70
Drive with 5 media - €1,354

Exabyte VXA-3

Street drive price - €1,061
Street media price - €65.60
Drive with 5 media - €1,389

Quantum DLT-V4

Street drive price - €720
Street media price - €39.70
Drive with 5 media - €919

So mirror, mirror, which is the most affordable tape drive of all? The Tandberg 220LTO just as Tandberg said. Quantum's DLT V4 comes pretty close. Indeed, the drive itself is cheaper. But Tansberg's claim stands because the media price is less.

All the prices come from www.bechtle.de as per January 2000.