Maxtor has announced the new Maxtor Personal Storage 3000LE, the first 40GB external hard drive say the company to feature a high-speed USB 2.0 interface, which delivers a performance up to 40 times faster than current generation USB 1.1 hard drives. According to Maxtor, with a capacity of 40GB, the 3000LE can store up to 10,000 four-minute MP3 tunes; 40,000 high-resolution, JPEG-compressed photos; 40 hours of digital video or 1,000 video games. The 3000LE’s USB 2.0 interface includes backward compatibility with USB 1.1 or any combination of files. "USB 2.0 makes data transfers easier when upgrading from older PCs, and also protects a consumer’s investment when purchasing new computers with the new USB port," said Jason Ziller, Intel technology initiatives manager and USB Implementers Forum chairman. "From the user's perspective, USB 2.0 has the same benefits and ease of use as USB 1.1 but with considerably higher bandwidth which greatly benefits the performance of devices such as Maxtor’s personal storage solution." To upgrade older PCs to USB 2.0 performance, Maxtor will be offering a USB 2.0 PCI adaptor card featuring four external and one internal high speed ports. The Maxtor Personal Storage 3000LE drive is priced at $199.95 and is available from Maxtordirect.com. UK pricing has yet to be announced.