LAS VEGAS — Maxtor is bringing to market what the company says is the largest capacity internal hard drive available.

At one quarter of a terabyte of capacity, the new Maxtor drive will be available in the mass merchant channel in a retail upgrade kit that will contain installation software,

an install guide, ATA/133 cable and mounting screws.

This year, Maxtor undertook several focus groups with consumers.

What they found was that consumers were challenged with embedding hard drives. The kit was one way to resolve those challenges, said Jean-Dominique Savelli, vice-president of marketing for Maxtor’s consumer electronics business, based in Milpitas, Calif.

“”We want to make sure you have all the elements so when you get started you will be able to reach completion,”” Savelli said.

The new drive is not just about disk capacity, Savelli said. It also has a fast interface based on Ultra Fast ATA/133. According to Savelli, this will be able to deliver 133 MB per second of throughput and is 33 per cent faster than prior models.

Savelli cited digital video as the key reason for this offering at this time. Even with compression video is consuming a great deal of storage, he said.

“”There is more an more demand on storage and more requirements for storage now with video,”” Savelli said. Currently a 120 GB hard drive can house nine hours of uncompressed digital video recordings. “”Nine hours is a beginning, but for a professional in this area it is not that much,”” he said.

Also digital photos are starting to consume storage at a rapid rate, Savelli added.

The move to five mega pixel digital cameras means that one photo will consume 15 MBs of storage. “”That is a lot of capacity,”” he said. Maxtor also released the Maxtor Ultra Series retail HDD kits with a 7200RPM drives with 8MB of cache. These drives are designed for gaming and digital video editing. The series comprises three model from 80GB to 200GB.

The company also announced its MaXLine external ATA drives again designed for digital media storage and network storage. The MaXLine drives comes in three models and can reach capacities of up to 320 GB for corporate archiving and media recording.

MaXLine drives can be operated around the clock and they also feature OneTouch backup where a user can store all of the days e-mails and other files by pressing the button on the front of the unit.

Maxtor will be promoting these products with point of purchase displays at retail outlets along with chatroom marketing. Maxtor is currently describing the benefits of its external and internal drives on Mac-based or graphic arts related chatrooms.

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