Share This Article
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, certain products stand the test of time, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. One such gem in Apple’s illustrious history is the PowerBook 2400c, a compact marvel that emerged in May 1997, redefining the concept of portable computing.
When Apple first introduced the PowerBook 2400c, it was initially intended for the discerning Mac market in Japan, later extending its reach to the United States. Weighing in at a mere 4.4 lbs and boasting a 10.4-inch color LCD display, this laptop was a fusion of power and portability. It signaled a departure from its predecessors, particularly the Duo series, with a smaller footprint and a design ethos that prioritized compactness without compromising performance.
Priced at $2,260, the PowerBook 2400c was a technological tour de force. Driven by a 180 MHz or 240 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, it delivered a computing experience that rivaled its larger counterparts. The 800×600 pixel active-matrix screen, though commonplace today, was revolutionary in its era. However, the 2400c did retain a touch of nostalgia, utilizing an external floppy disk drive and lacking an internal CD-ROM option.
Despite its diminutive size, the PowerBook 2400c didn’t compromise on connectivity. The inclusion of ports such as ADB, combined serial printer/modem port, HD-20 floppy port, and HD-30 SCSI port showcased Apple’s commitment to providing a versatile user experience. The absence of an internal removable drive was a unique design choice, harking back to the era when external floppy drives were the norm.
One fascinating aspect of the PowerBook 2400c’s legacy is its adaptability. With the processor located on a detachable daughter card, visionary companies like Interware, Vimage, and Newer Technologies seized the opportunity to offer PowerPC G3 processor cards. These upgrades, ranging from 240 MHz to 400 MHz, transformed the 2400c into a sought-after commodity, demonstrating its enduring appeal among enthusiasts.
Despite being discontinued on December 31, 1998, the PowerBook 2400c continues to captivate the hearts of Apple aficionados. Its unique blend of form and function, coupled with the rare prospect of G3 processor upgrades, ensures its status as a collector’s item. Today, as we reflect on its 26-year journey, it’s evident that the PowerBook 2400c laid the foundation for Apple’s commitment to innovation in the laptop realm.
The echoes of the PowerBook 2400c can still be heard in the corridors of Cupertino. Its compact design philosophy and forward-thinking specifications have undoubtedly influenced Apple’s current lineup of laptops. While the MacBook Air may be the torchbearer for ultraportable computing in the modern era, it owes a debt of gratitude to the pioneering spirit of the PowerBook 2400c.
In the annals of Apple’s history, the PowerBook 2400c remains a timeless classic. Its legacy lives on not just in the physical realm, with collectors cherishing this piece of technological history, but also in the intangible influence it exerted on subsequent generations of Apple laptops. As we celebrate its 26-year anniversary, let’s tip our hats to the compact powerhouse that continues to remind us that innovation knows no bounds.
Macintosh PowerBook 2400c Details
|Introduced||May 8, 1997 (180 MHz)|
April 7, 1998 (240 MHz)
|Discontinued||March 14, 1998 (180 MHz)|
December 31, 1998 (240 MHz)
|Original Price||¥300.000 ($2,260)|
|Dimensions||1.9” H x 10.5” W x 8.4” D|
4.82 cm H x 26.67 cm W x 21.33 cm D
PowerBook 2400c Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||180 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||40 MHz|
|Cache||32 KB L1|
256 KB L2
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 1.44 MB floppy (External)|
|Built-in Memory||16 MB|
|Maximum Memory||80 MB (Apple)|
112 MB (Actual)
|Memory Slots||1 – 144-pin DRAM SO-DIMM|
|Minimum Speed||60 ns|
|Built-in Display||10.4″ active-matrix color TFT Display|
|Resolutions||800 x 600|
|Graphics Card||Chips and Technologies HiQV32|
|Graphics Memory||1 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – Mini-15|
|Expansion Slots||2 – Type I or II or 1 – Type III PC Card|
|Hard Drive Interface||ATA-2|
|Infrared||1 – 4 Mbps|
|SCSI||1 – HDI-30|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
1 – Built-in speaker
|Display||1 – Mini-30|
Keyboard and trackpad
|Keyboard||Built-in Full-size 76-key (U.S.) or 77-key (ISO) incl. 12 function and 4 arrow keys|
|Trackpad||Built-in Solid-state trackpad (Tap, double-tap, and drag)|
|Original OS||Mac OS 7.6 (180 MHz Japan version)|
Mac OS 7.6.1 (180 MHz U.S. version)
Mac OS 8.1 (240 MHz)
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|System Battery||29 Wh Lithium-Ion|
|Backup Battery||3.6 V Lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||45 W|
|Power Adapter||36-Watt AC Adapter (M5937LL/A)|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh PowerBook 2400c/180: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- PowerBook 2400c – Wikipedia
- Macintosh PowerBook 2400c – Preterhuman
- PowerBook 2400c – Low End Mac
- Today in Apple history: 1997’s ‘MacBook Air’ weighed 4.4 pounds – Cult of Mac
- Old Mac of the Month: The Mighty Cat – 512 Pixels
- PowerBook 2400c Service Source (PDF) – Apple Repair Manuals
Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.
Last updated: November 25, 2023