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In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Apple has consistently been at the forefront of innovation. One shining example of their commitment to pushing boundaries is the Macintosh PowerBook 3400c, a groundbreaking notebook introduced on February 17, 1997. This sleek marvel not only exemplified cutting-edge hardware but also laid the foundation for the high-end notebooks we know today.
The PowerBook 3400c was not just a portable computer; it was a statement. Boasting a 180 MHz / 200 MHz or 240 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, a 12.1″ color LCD display, 16 MB of RAM, and a 1.3 GB / 2 GB or 3 GB hard drive, it was a technological powerhouse in a compact form factor. This notebook also featured a 1.44 MB floppy drive, a 6x CD-ROM or 12x CD-ROM drive, and supported 16-bit color on its display, with the capability to mirror it on an external monitor.
In addition to the “hot swappable” drive bays and zoomed video support, the PowerBook 3400 series marked a shift by being the first series fast enough to replace desktop systems for most users. It introduced 1 MB IrDA and a revolutionary four-speaker sound system, setting a new standard for high-end notebooks.
With a starting price of $4,500, the PowerBook 3400c was a luxury that only a select few could afford. Despite its hefty price tag, it found favor among professionals who needed both power and portability. Issued in three models with varying processor speeds — 180 MHz, 200 MHz, and 240 MHz — the 3400c series catered to different performance needs.
The meticulous industrial design of the 3400c, inheriting elements from its predecessor, the PowerBook 5300 series, showcased a larger LCD screen and a wider removable drive bay, allowing the use of CD readers. The inclusion of a second speaker for stereo sound and the ability to use CardBus cards opened up possibilities for diverse applications.
The PowerBook 3400c, despite its short-lived existence, left an indelible mark on Apple’s history. Discontinued on March 14, 1998, it remains a testament to Apple’s commitment to innovation and design. Today, 26 years after its introduction, the PowerBook 3400c stands as a classic, retired from active service but revered as a pioneer in portable computing.
Its impact on the tech industry is immeasurable. The PowerBook 3400c paved the way for the laptops and notebooks we use today, setting a high bar for what a portable computer should be. As we celebrate its 26-year anniversary, we salute the PowerBook 3400c — a true classic in the annals of tech history.
Macintosh PowerBook 3400c Details
|Introduced||February 17, 1997|
|Discontinued||December 13, 1997 (180 MHz)|
February 17, 1998 (200 MHz)
March 14, 1998 (240 MHz)
|Dimensions||2.4” H x 11.5” W x 9.5” D|
6.09 cm H x 29.21 cm W x 24.13 cm D
PowerBook 3400c Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||180 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||40 MHz|
|Cache||16 KB L1|
256 KB L2
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 1.44 MB floppy|
1 – 6x CD-ROM or 12x CD-ROM
|Built-in Memory||16 MB|
|Maximum Memory||144 MB|
|Memory Slots||1 – PowerBook 3400|
|Minimum Speed||60 ns|
|Built-in Display||12.1″ active-matrix color SVGA LCD Display|
|Resolutions||800 x 600|
|Graphics Memory||2 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – HDI-15|
|Expansion Slots||2 – Type II or 1 – Type III PC Card|
|Hard Drive Interface||ATA|
|Bays||1 – 5.25-inch bay|
|Ethernet||10BASE-T (Optional in 180 MHz)|
|Modem||33.6k (Optional in 180 MHz)|
|Infrared||1 – 1.152 Mbps|
|SCSI||1 – HDI-30|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
1 – Built-in microphone
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
1 – Built-in speaker
|Display||1 – HDI-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 (Double-tap and drag)|
|Original OS||Mac OS 7.6.1|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|System Battery||32 Wh Lithium-Ion|
|Backup Battery||7.2V 60 mAh NiMH Lithium (922-2692)|
|Maximum Continuous Power||45 W|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh PowerBook 3400c/180: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Macintosh PowerBook 3400c/200: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Macintosh PowerBook 3400c/240: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- PowerBook 3400c – Wikipedia
- Apple Macintosh Powerbook 3400c/200 – The Centre for Computing History
- PowerBook 3400c/240 – IT History Society
- Vintage stuff: Apple Mac PowerBook 3400c – Mansfield Devine
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 23, 2023