The PowerBook G4/1.33 17-inch was among the first aluminum PowerBook laptops. The PowerBook G4/1.33 17-inch featured a 1.33 GHz PowerPC 7447 (G4) processor, 512 MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM, an 80 GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive (4200 RPM), a slot-loading 2X DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive, a FireWire 800 port, built-in Bluetooth 1.1 and AirPort Extreme (802.11g), and an ambient light sensor keyboard. The 17-inch widescreen TFT display was at 1440×900 resolution, a quite large display for a laptop.
The previous PowerBook G4/1.0 17-inch laptop had a slightly slower processor, a smaller hard drive, and a lower resolution graphics card. This PowerBook G4/1.33 17-inch upgraded the USB ports to the USB 2.0 standard.
This and all 17-inch PowerBook laptops at the time were near-perfect portable solutions for graphic artists and filmmakers. The high performance of these laptops allowed them to run the most recent versions of Adobe Photoshop and Apple Final Cut Pro, allowing creatives to flexibility to work anywhere with the same power available on desktop computers at the time with a very large display.
The iBook G3/900 (Early 2003) was similar to the Late 2002 models before them and mostly consisted of increased RAM, processor improvements, and larger hard drives. The case of the Early 2003 models was the identical shape as the Late 2002 models. However, the Late 2002 models had a translucent white case while the Early 2003 case was opaque white.
The iBook G3/900 (Early 2003) featured a 900 MHz PowerPC 750fx (G3) processor, 128 MB of RAM, a 40.0 GB Ultra ATA hard drive, a tray-loading 8X/24X/10X/24X DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive, and an optional AirPort (802.11b) wireless card. The display was a 12.1-inch TFT XGA active matrix display at 1024×768.
The design of these white iBook laptops greatly increased the mobility of the iBook line, compared to the much bulkier “clamshell” design of the original iBook laptops.
The eMate 300 was designed specifically for the education market and was used extensively in the schools where I was a Director of Technology in the late 1990s to early 2000s.
At the time, students primarily used desktop computers in a computer lab setting, while laptops were used by some school administrators and few teachers. We used the lower-cost eMate 300 for students who had difficulty handwriting, and most students and teachers preferred typing on this device over an AlphaSmart keyboard device that was also available at the time.
The eMate 300 ran the NewtonOS, a different operating system than the Macintosh computers of the time. The eMate 300 featured a 25 MHz ARM 710a processor, 8 MB of ROM, 3 MB of RAM (1MB of DRAM+2 MB of Flash Memory for user storage), a PCMCIA slot, IrDA-beaming capabilities, and a proprietary Newton InterConnect port.
The design was quite unique with a translucent aquamarine and black “clamshell” portable case with a 480×320 16-shade grayscale backlit LCD display. The eMate 300 included a stylus and a built-in keyboard (and did not support a mouse).
The eMate was the only Newton model to resemble a traditional laptop rather than a handheld device. Although the device was called the eMate “300,” no other models were manufactured.
eMate 300 design elements were clearly used in later Apple designs: the translucent plastic would show up a year later in the original Bondi blue iMac and later in the original iBook designs; the retro-futuristic curves and overall shape was also echoed in the iMac and iBook; and the NewtonOS is often considered a precursor to the iPhoneOS that would later become iOS.
My collection features several eMate 300 devices, many of them including original packaging.
The Macintosh PowerBook 1400cs/133 featured a 133 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 16 MB of RAM, a 1.3 GB hard drive and an 8X CD-ROM drive. The color dual-scan display measured 11.3 inches. The PowerBook 1400cs was similar to the PowerBook 1400c, but the “s” in “cs” indicated a higher quality active-matrix display.
The PowerBook 1400 series was the first PowerBook to use an internal CD-ROM drive and stackable memory modules. This PowerBook also included a clear cover on the outer case and shipped with preprinted “BookCovers” to customize the look of each PowerBook.
The Macintosh PowerBook 3400c/200 included a 200 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 16 MB of RAM, a 2.0 GB hard drive, and either a 6X or 12X CD-ROM drive. The laptop came in a black case (like the 5300 series that preceded it) and included a 12.1-inch color active matrix display that supported 16-bit color.
Also like the PowerBook 5300 series, the PowerBook 3400c had two “hot swappable” drive bays that allowed the user to insert a battery and/or different types of drives (i.e., CD-ROM, floppy disk, Zip drive) without powering down or putting the computer in sleep mode to swap them.
The entire series of PowerBook 3400 laptops was among the first full-featured laptop models that could replace a desktop without compromising features.
The PowerBook 3400 series had several notable features that built upon and improved the design of the 5300 series. The PowerBook 3400 included a larger LCD screen, a curved housing that allowed for the inclusion of a second set of high-quality speakers (for a total of four speakers), and a 1 MB IrDA system that allowed fast wireless computer-to-computer data transfers.
The first generation of G3 PowerBook laptops used the same case design as the PowerBook 3400c.
The Apple Macintosh PowerBook 180 featured a 33 MHz 68030 processor, 4 MB of RAM, either an 80 MB or 120 MB hard drive, and an internal 1.44 MB floppy drive. The screen was a 9.8-inch grayscale active-matrix display.
The PowerBook 180 supported 4-bit grayscale on the the built-in display, and it allowed 8-bit color when plugged into an external monitor.
Because the laptop supported an external color screen, included a fast processor for the time, and supported a 120 MB hard drive, this PowerBook was the first Macintosh laptop that could replace a desktop with no compromises. In fact, the PowerBook 180 was equivalent in performance to the Macintosh LC III+, also available at the time.
The PowerBook 165c was the third in a series of PowerBook 160 laptops (160, 165, and 165c). The laptop featured a 33 MHz 68030 processor, 4 MB of RAM, either an 80 MB or 160 MB hard drive, and an internal 1.44 MB floppy drive.
The screen was an 8.9-inch color passive-matrix display. The “c” in the PowerBook 165c name referred to the color screen that supported 8-bit color on both the internal display and on an external monitor. The laptop could support a dual or mirrored display, the first PowerBook to offer this capability.
The PowerBook 165c was among the first, but not the first color Macintosh laptop. The PowerBook Duo 210 and 230 were the first color Macintosh laptops that were released four months before the PowerBook 165c.
The PowerBook 140 was released along with the PowerBook 100, 140, and 170—three new Macintosh laptop models that were mobile in addition to being portable. The lineup replaced the Macintosh Portable, a very bulky device that weighed in at 16 pounds and was 4 inches thick.
The PowerBook 140 featured a 16 MHz 68030 processor, 2 MB or 4 MB of RAM, a 20 MB or a 40 MB hard drive, and an internal 1.44 MB floppy drive. The screen measured 9.8 inches in a monochrome passive-matrix display.
Unlike Macintosh computers at the time that were controlled by a mouse, the built-in input device on the PowerBook 100-family laptops was a trackball with an upper and lower button. Each button had the same function and two were provided for the benefit of ergonomics for the user to select which to use.
The introductory price for this laptop was $3,199.
The iBook G3/366 Special Edition (SE) shares the same Apple model number as the original “clamshell” iBook, but has a few upgraded internal specifications. The iBook SE increased the processor power to 366 MHz and shipped with 64 MB of RAM and a 6.0 GB hard drive.
The SE was also offered in a more conservative case color that Apple referred to as “graphite and ice.”
The iBook G3/366 is similar to the original iBook G3/300 in design, but adds two new colors, a single FireWire port, and several internal upgrades.
The iBook G3/366 featured a 366 MHz G3 processor, 64 MB RAM, a 10.0 GB hard drive, a 24X tray-loading CD-ROM drive, and a 12.1-inch display at 800×600. This example is in indigo, a color Apple selected likely due to the popularity of the indigo iMac at the time. It also introduced a new hybrid A/V port that allowed composite audio/video out capabilities using a proprietary cable.
I remember when this laptop was released and it quickly became my “go to” device for portable video creation in iMovie for its faster processor and FireWire capabilities. It was among the first consumer-level laptops that began to feel like it had similar capabilities to the desktops at the time.