I still have a Message Pad 110 at my house. It’s the greenish-grey of the standard retail version of the Apple proto-PDA, and it still rocks. However, were I to have a spare $1350 to purchase this clear, limited production prototype Newton that was originally given out to some folks at Apple’s 1994 developer conference, I would jump at the chance. Seriously, they only made about 400 of these bad boys.
The auction on eBay ends on January 26, so if you’re hankering for this sweet bit of Apple history, now might be the time to jump in.
According to MacNN, the Newton uses an ARM 610 processor that runs at 20MhZ and has 4Mb of ROM, with 640K of RAM. It has a 336X240 resolution on a black and white display, though I’ll still call it greenish. From a distance. The Newton 100 series went on sale in March of 1994, discounted in 1995, and really was ahead of its time, sadly. The handwriting tech in Mac OS X, Inkwell, is based on some of the advances made during the Newton project at Apple.
Details from the auction here:
Very rarely seen early Newton 110. This is a fully functional unit, and comes complete with original box (box is rather worn), instruction booklets, discs and original matching transparent stylus.
This Newton has been used but shows very minimal wear, mainly just a couple of bright spots at the bottom of the screen (see photo) and a few minor marks on the rubber side bits.
If you are an early Apple collector don’t let this one get away!
NOTE: As an amendment to this listing, I have had several emails from serious Apple collectors who have informed me that this may not be a prototype, but rather an extremely limited production model given to developers at an Apple conference. They say this is still a very unusual item and highly collectible (I’ve been watching for another one to pop up on eBay for years with no results). I received conflicting estimates as to how many were actually produced; the lowest I was told was 150, the highest only 1200.
I do not portray myself as an expert on these items (though I used a black one for years!) so do your own research.
I am dropping the Buy It Now price from $1999.00 down to $1350.