LaCie has announced its much-anticipated FireWire 800 hard drives.

The new range of desktop drives operate at 800Mbps and range in capacity from 200GB to 500GB.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs first introduced FireWire 800 during his keynote speech at January’s Macworld Expo San Francisco, when he unveiled 12- and 17-inch PowerBooks and new Power Macs that supported the next-generation standard.

FireWire 800 offers twice the speed of the original 400Mbps FireWire standard. LaCie is aiming its new products at digital multimedia professionals, such as video editors and music creators, who require high-speed, high capacity disk drives.

LaCie CEO Philippe Spruch said: "With greater speed, bandwidth and distance capabilities, this generation of FireWire is bound to become the interface of choice for digital content creators."

The new models use LaCie's fanless d2 design, and the company claims FireWire 800 drives are twice as quiet as traditional drives.

Already available in the US, the FireWire 800 drives ship in the UK next week. They are Mac OS X compatible, and are compatible with FireWire 400. The products also offer USB 2.0.

Prices are: 200GB, £319; 250GB, £429; 400GB Big Disk, £599; 500GB Big Disk, £799. Prices exclude VAT.