Apple MessagePad 2100 Apple MessagePad 2100

Newton MessagePad 2100 Datasheet

In 1997, Apple revolutionized the tech world with the launch of the MessagePad 2100, a cutting-edge personal digital assistant (PDA) that marked a significant leap forward in mobile technology. Priced at $1,000, this device quickly garnered a devoted following and became a symbol of innovation in its time.

The MessagePad 2100 inherited the sleek form factor of its predecessor, the MessagePad 2000, but with a substantial upgrade. Boasting a 162 MHz StrongARM 110 processor and 4 MB of dynamic RAM—four times more than its forerunner—it promised enhanced performance and efficiency. Storage wasn’t a concern either, thanks to the built-in 4 MB flash memory, expandable through two PCMCIA slots.

The device featured a state-of-the-art 480 x 320 LCD display supporting 16 shades of gray, complete with electroluminescent backlighting. Its design was not just functional but also aesthetically pleasing, capturing the attention of tech enthusiasts and professionals alike.

What sets the MessagePad 2100 apart is its association with “Newton, Inc.,” an Apple spin-off that was short-lived. Serving as the only Newton released by this subsidiary, the device showcased Apple’s commitment to pushing boundaries. It was part of the first series of handheld systems attempting to recognize natural handwriting, incorporating a basic form of artificial intelligence to connect relevant information—a concept ahead of its time.

It’s important to note that Newtons, including the MessagePad 2100, did not operate on MacOS but rather on NewtonOS, a proprietary operating system developed by Apple. This distinction adds to the uniqueness of the MessagePad series in Apple’s history.

The 2100 was not only a technological marvel but also the only MessagePad model branded under “Newton Technology” by Newton, Inc. Despite the promising start, this subsidiary was short-lived and eventually re-absorbed by Apple, leading to the shutdown of the MessagePad series.

Regrettably, the MessagePad 2100’s journey was short-lived, as it was discontinued on February 27, 1998. However, its impact on the evolution of mobile technology is undeniable. As we celebrate its 26-year anniversary today, the MessagePad 2100 stands as a fascinating relic from a time when Apple was already pushing the boundaries of what personal digital assistants could achieve.

The Apple MessagePad 2100 remains a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation and experimentation. Although its era was relatively brief, the influence of this pioneering PDA is still felt today. As we reflect on its 26-year legacy, it’s a reminder that even in the late ’90s, Apple was laying the groundwork for the remarkable technological advancements we enjoy in the present day.

Newton MessagePad 2100
Source: preterhuman.net – Newton MessagePad 2100

Newton MessagePad 2100 Details

IntroducedNovember 7, 1997
DiscontinuedFebruary 27, 1998
Model NumberUnknown
Order NumberH0244Z/A
Original Price$1,000
ColorsDark Grey
Weight1.4 Ibs.
635 Grams
Dimensions8.3” H x 4.7” W x 1.1” D
21.08 cm H x 11.93 cm W x 2.79 cm

MessagePad 2100 Tech Specs


ProcessorStrongARM SA-110 RISC
Processor Speed162 MHz
Number of Cores1




Input MethodTelescoping Pen
Resolution480 x 320


Expansion Slots2 – Type II PC Card slots (3 V and 5 V cards)


Serial1 – Serial
1 – Newton InterConnect
Infrared1 – dual-mode at up to 115 Kbits/s (IrDA mode) and 38.4 Kbits/s (ASK mode) within 3.28 ft. (1 m)
Audio In1 – Built-in microphone
Audio Out1 – Built-in speaker


Original OSNewton OS 2.1 (EN, GE)
Maximum OSUnknown


Battery4 AA or optional NiCd re-chargeable battery or external power supply
Battery Life12-24 hours

Further Reading and References

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: December 16, 2023