At 160Gbytes, the Personal Storage 3000XT, offers enough room for about 13 hours of digital video, 160,000 high-resolution images or 40,000 MP3 music files. The drive costs $399.95 (£277.65) and is targeted at professional as well as home users.
Maxtor said Windows and Macintosh systems would automatically recognise the external drive when it is connected to a FireWire (otherwise known as an IEEE 1394) port. Users can also run applications from the device.
The FireWire specification allows data transfer speeds up to 400Mbps and is standard in most Macintosh computers, while Windows PCs typically need an expansion card to support the specification.
The Personal Storage 3000XT will be available in the US in late January.
Maxtor rival EZQuest has also recently introduced a 120GByte model of its Cobra+ hard drive. Like Maxtor's product, the Cobra+ is an external drive with a FireWire interface.