November 7, 1997: Apple releases the Newton MessagePad 2100, the final and finest iteration of the corporate’s early line of handheld gadgets.
Amongst its enhancements over earlier generations, the MessagePad 2100 packs expanded reminiscence, enhanced pace and upgraded communications software program. Nonetheless, the Newton’s destiny is sealed. Steve Jobs, freshly returned to Apple, will scrap the product line inside months.
The unhappy dying of the Newton
As I wrote when marking the 1993 launch of the original MessagePad, I believe this product line stays probably the most underrated in Apple’s historical past. Apple’s first try at a real standalone cell machine (in contrast to, say, the Macintosh Portable or the PowerBook, which have been shrunk-down Macs), the MessagePad gave customers a PDA full with stylus and superior handwriting recognition.
Sadly, it suffered from dangerous early phrase of mouth. The machine got here at a time when Apple discovered itself mired within the monetary doldrums. Plus, the MessagePad lacked the mandatory functions to make it a “should have” gadget. Most crucially, this pre-internet cell machine merely arrived too early. The MessagePad would have benefited enormously from web connectivity.
MessagePad 2100 specs
With that mentioned, the MessagePad 2100 was the most effective MessagePad ever launched. It boasted a 162-MHz StrongARM 110 processor, 8MB of Masks ROM and 8MB of RAM (4MB of DRAM and 4MB of flash RAM).
Whereas primitive by right this moment’s requirements, its 16-level grayscale, backlit LCD show — providing a 480-by-320 decision with 100 dpi — was superb for its time.
The Newton’s use of synthetic intelligence additionally significantly improved by the point the MessagePad 2100 got here round. It did issues like present contextual consciousness of what an individual was writing. The machine’s oft-criticized handwriting-recognition function additionally labored higher than ever by this level.
As one final word of trivia, the MessagePad 2100 turned the one Newton released by Newton Inc., a by-product firm from Apple. (Jobs shortly jettisoned it after he returned, too.)
Did you personal a Newton MessagePad 2100? Go away your feedback beneath.