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Maxtor touts 300GB hard drive

The hard-drive maker says it has begun shipping the new 300GB device as part of a $399 kit for upgrading desktop PCs.

Maxtor is offering a 300GB replacement hard drive for consumers whose desktops are stuffed with data.

The Milpitas, Calif., hard-drive maker on Monday said it had begun shipping the new 300GB device as part of a $399 Hard Drive Retail Kit for upgrading desktop PCs. Retail is an important market for drive manufacturers, who gain a significant amount of business from consumers and small businesses upgrading their desktop PCs with bigger drives.

Maxtor hopes to lure the crowd by offering 50GB more storage capacity than is available in its earlier upgrade kits and in 250GB drives from several competitors.

The extra space means the new drive could hold 300,000 high-resolution photos, making it useful for people storing or editing large numbers of photos, as well as those working with video, music or data files, the company said.

"The 300GB (kit) offers essential storage needed for extensive multimedia and digital applications," Anna Jen, Maxtor's senior director of retail product marketing, said in a statement.

While the new Maxtor drive offers more storage capacity than other drives, it's not fastest at accessing data. The new drive spins at 5,400 revolutions per minute, below the 7,200rpm level of competing devices, which could hurt its performance in comparison tests.

However, Maxtor offers other drives at retail with a higher rotational speed and large amounts of memory to act as a buffer for data, meaning that with the 300GB upgrade kit the company is most likely emphasizing size and price over all-out speed.