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Maxtor: 160GB Hard Drive Fits Consumer Niche

With hard drive capacities far outstripping the need of the average consumer, Maxtor is focusing its product development efforts on a few memory intensive niche applications, primarily digital video editing.

The introduction last month of Maxtor’s 160GB Personal Storage 3000XT, hitting stores this week with a $399 suggested retail price, is indicative of the company’s plan. This external hard drive connects to a computer via a 1394 FireWire port enabling it to work with Apple computers, a favorite with the graphics community, said Paul Streit, Maxtor’s senior product manager.

The 3000XT 160GB’s of capacity is several times what most would need, but its target audience is consumers interested in editing camcorder footage and the professional video market.

The 160GB hard drive can absorb five hours of compressed video, 65GB; 2,000 digital images, 2GB; 5,000 compressed music files, 20GB; and 20 video games, 13GB and still have enough room left over to handle a PCs storage needs.

Other potential customers are people looking to turn their PC into a personal video recorder. Maxtor is working with graphics accelerator card maker ATI on ways to mate high-capacity hard drives with ATI latest generation of cards. These feature TV tuners and all the hardware and software to record TV programming on a PC, Streit said.