The eMate 300 was a personal digital assistant designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer to the education market as a low-cost laptop running the Newton operating system. The eMate was introduced March 7, 1997 for US$799 and was discontinued along with the Apple Newton product line and its operating system on February 27, 1998.
The eMate 300 featured a 480x320 resolution 16-shade grayscale display with a backlight, a stylus pen, a full-sized keyboard, an infrared port, and standard Macintosh serial/LocalTalk ports. Power came from built-in rechargeable batteries, which lasted up to 28 hours on full charge. In order to achieve its low price, the eMate 300 did not have all the features of the contemporary Newton equivalent, the MessagePad 2000. The eMate used a 25 MHz ARM 710a RISC processor and had less memory than the MessagePad 2000 which used a StrongARM 110 RISC processor and was more expandable.
Unlike the MessagePad line, the eMate 300 features an internal memory expansion slot. It is located in the hatch under the battery door, next to the ROM card. Both cards fit into both slots, but the ROM card is larger. The expansion card is on the left. Companies like Newertech produced cards for the eMate. Most cards expanded the data bus from 16 bits to 32 bits, as well as providing additional DRAM (program memory), and flash (storage). When one of these cards is installed, the internal DRAM is disabled, but the internal flash RAM is combined with the flash on the card. For example: If a memory card were to have 4mb of DRAM and 2mb of flash, the Newton would report having 4mb of flash, and 4mb of DRAM, not 5mb of DRAM.
In addition to the expansion slot, the eMate also features a single non-CardBus PCMCIA slot. It can be used for a number of different cards, including modems, ethernet cards, wireless cards, bluetooth cards, and flash memory (linear and ATA/Compact Flash).
The eMate 300 featured a green-colored translucent durable case designed for intense use in classrooms. The eMate 300 featured a dark green-colored keyboard similar to that of PowerBooks of the same era. Purple, clear, red, and orange colored eMate prototypes were produced for show only and were never put into mass production.
The eMate's design eventually influenced the first iBook series, which also featured durable plastic casing with a handle. However, the iBook featured a broader range of features and used the Mac OS, enabling it to run more software. The original iBook series, introduced in 1999, featured 300 MHz PowerPC G3 processors compared to the 25 MHz ARM 710a RISC processor used in the eMate.
- Linzmayer, Owen W. (2004). Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company. No Starch Press. pp. 191–206. ISBN 1-59327-010-0. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- Everymac.com – eMate 300 Specifications
- The Apple Museum – Newton eMate 300
- Applefritter – eMate 300
- IGM – eMate 300 review
- Compare the eMate and iBook
- "Apple Gets An 'A'" at BusinessWeek
- Salon.com's review
- STREETtech.com's review
- Retrospective review at the-gadgeteer.com
- Byte Cellar: Newton eMate 300 As A Serial Terminal