The Macintosh PowerBook 3400c (often called just "3400") was a laptop computer in the PowerBook line manufactured by Apple Inc. from February to November 1997. It was, briefly, the fastest laptop in the world [1]. Using the PowerPC 603e processor running at speeds of up to 240 MHz, this PowerBook was the first to feature a PCI architecture, EDO memory, and a 64-bit wide internal bus. Although quickly overtaken by computers such as the PowerBook G3 series (the first model of which, the "Kanga", was heavily based on the 3400), it did offer users a portable computer comparable in speed and versatility to Apple's own desktop range.

The PowerBook 3400c series was issued in three different models, distinguished primarily by their processor speed. The base model ran at 180 MHz, and the two higher end models ran at 200 Mhz and 240 Mhz. Thus, the different models were referred to as the 3400c/180, 3400c/200, and 3400c/240. The 3400c/180 model was usually sold with only a built-in modem and a floppy drive; all 3400c/200 and 3400c/240 machines came with a built-in modem/Ethernet combination port and hot-swappable 1.4 MB floppy disk and CD drives.

All models featured the same active matrix colour screen (the first time this had happened within a single, multi-model PowerBook range) and came with a standard installation of 16 MB of RAM. Like all Apple laptops since the PowerBook 500 series, they featured a built-in trackpad as the pointing device.

Industrial Design and CardBus compatibility

In terms of industrial design the PowerBook 3400c owed a lot to the earlier PowerBook 5300 series. There were some key changes made though, including the larger LCD screen; a wider removeable drive bay allowing the use of CD readers; and a curved display housing that allowed for the inclusion of a second set of loudspeakers.

Like the PowerBook 5300 series, the 3400s came with a pair of PC card slots, but whereas those on the 5300s were strictly 16-bit device compatible, those on the 3400s were, in theory at least, compatible with 32-bit CardBus cards being based around the 32-bit Texas Instruments PCI1130 PC card controller. In reality, the PC card slots were designed to physically accept only 16-bit cards, though many users have managed to get a variety of CardBus cards to work with them [2]. Using CardBus cards allows 3400 Series PowerBooks to be used with, for example, USB devices like printers and FireWire devices such as iPods.


3400/180 3400/200 3400/240
Apple Part # M3553 M3553 M3553
Processor 603ev 603ev 603ev
CPU Speed 180 MHz 200 MHz 240 MHz
Built-in RAM (MB) 16 16 16
Maximum RAM (MB) 144 144 144
Hard drive (GB) 1.3 2 3
Removeable drives Floppy drive (CD optional) Floppy + CD Floppy + CD
Display 12.1" Color, Active Matrix 12.1" Color, Active Matrix 12.1" Color, Active Matrix
Resolution/Color 800x600x32K 800x600x32K 800x600x32K
Networking Modem, Infrared, Ethernet (optional) Modem, Infrared, Ethernet Modem, Infrared, Ethernet

Sources and References

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. (view authors)
  1. PowerBook 3400c -- A Potentially Great 'Book With Unfortunate Timing
  2. Rob Frohne: Cardbus for your Powerbook 3400c or Kanga G3!, Dan Palka: Adventures with the PowerBook 3400c/240 - FireWire

External links

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