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Apple's Rare eMate 300 Turns Up on eBay Priced at $8500

This week, Apple celebrated the 35th birthday of the Apple II, its very first machine, and it's safe to say the company has come a long, long way since then. This week, another Apple relic has cropped up on eBay to remind us just how far Cupertino has come, particularly in the last 15 years. Back in 1997, well before the names iPhone and Siri meant anything to anyone, Apple launched the eMate 300 personal assistant. The product was discontinued after less than a year on the market, so unless you're a dyed-in-the-wool Apple fan, chances are you don't have one.

However, thanks to the wonders of eBay and one man's junk being another man's treasure, an eMate 300 is now on sale on the auctioning site. Carrying a buy-it-now price of $8,499.99, the laptop hasn't generated a significant amount of buzz just yet, but we're sure someone will want this little piece of Apple history.

 

The eMate 300 packed a backlit 480x320 16-shade grayscale display complete with stylus, a full-sized keyboard, a 25MHz ARM 710a RISC processor and integrated rechargeable batteries, which lasted a whopping 28 hours on one charge. The model on sale is a pre-production prototype with a clear case. The seller, Maple Ridge Auction, says fewer than six of these prototypes were produced. The entire thing ran on Apple's Newton operating system.

While the eMate 300 might seem a bit of a dud, especially when you consider the fact that it was killed off before Apple managed to get all of the promised colors out the door, it can take credit for one thing: It eventually led to Apple's iBook laptop, which featured a similar durable plastic case as well as a handle.

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  • hotchrisbfries
    Amazing how much has changed in 15 years. Going from 25 MHz machines with 16 colors to multi-core CPUs running at 3-4 Ghz pushing 2 million pixels 60 times a second.
    Reply
  • Lord Captivus
    Those are "buy and hide" things. You wont even try to use it, what if it brakes!?
    But the eternal question remains:Can it run...?
    Reply
  • southernshark
    hotchrisbfriesAmazing how much has changed in 15 years. Going from 25 MHz machines with 16 colors to multi-core CPUs running at 3-4 Ghz pushing 2 million pixels 60 times a second.

    Well in fairness, we have gone from 25mhz ARM processors to about 1.5ghz ARM dual core or 1.3 ghz quad core processors. You can't compare this with a desktop... if you did, you would see a 100-120mhz computer against a quad core 4ghz....

    ok not much of a difference, but still a little.
    Reply
  • j3ff86
    hotchrisbfriesAmazing how much has changed in 15 years. Going from 25 MHz machines with 16 colors to multi-core CPUs running at 3-4 Ghz pushing 2 million pixels 60 times a second.This isn't a good representation of laptops in 1997. In 1997 my family had a Compaq laptop with a 12" 1024x768 32-bit color (or maybe 16-bit, can't remember) screen and a Pentium ~200mhz cpu.
    Reply
  • Northwestern
    southernsharkWell in fairness, we have gone from 25mhz ARM processors to about 1.5ghz ARM dual core or 1.3 ghz quad core processors. You can't compare this with a desktop... if you did, you would see a 100-120mhz computer against a quad core 4ghz.... ok not much of a difference, but still a little.If you want to level the playing field then we can go from 25mhz to over 2Ghz dual core in mobile technology. Give it two more years and we'll be carrying what would be deemed a supercomputer in 1980 that sits in the palm of our hands.
    Reply
  • Chainzsaw
    Looks like an old prototype of a classmate pc.
    Reply
  • mightymaxio
    Was going to say in 1997 i had a Pentium 2 300mhz machine, I always thought laptops from that era had more juice in em than 25mhz. Maybe that system is similar to a net book instead of a comparable laptop.
    Reply
  • dimar
    Looks more like a huge PDA than a laptop.
    Reply
  • Hellbound
    "The model on sale is a pre-production prototype"

    How long till Apple forces them to close the auction, and claim ownership since its a "pre-production prototype"??..
    Reply
  • Mathos
    It'd actually be a cross between a netbook and tablet pc. But, back then RISC processors were much slower clockspeed wise, but, they could perform pretty close to any x86 processor at the time for specific tasks. For example look at the xbox compared to the PS2, xbox had a 900mhz celeron, and the ps2 had a 294Mhz MIPS III/IV based RISC processor.
    Reply