A paean to the late, lamented eMate 300

Benj Edwards for Macworld:

Fifteen years ago, Apple released its first and only touchscreen laptop (so far), the often forgotten eMate 300. This translucent clamshell portable, which ran Apple’s Newton PDA operating system, represented a bold experiment in educational computing and a drastic departure from Apple’s traditional hardware design.

I picked one of these up on eBay some years ago and still plug in from time to time to remind myself what a cool little machine it was (and is).

The first time I saw the eMate 300 was at Apple’s tent outside Boston’s World Trade Center expo hall, during a Macworld Expo. Apple had pitched a tent in a parking lot across the street from the venue for its show presence (the venue inside was far too small to accommodate everyone), and the Apple presenters were dropping the eMate onto the asphalt pavement of the parking lot to demonstrate its reliability and suitability for the rough conditions Apple expected it to receive in the hands of schoolkids.

It’s a shame the eMate didn’t have a bigger impact in its day. But in those days, Apple was a hot mess and truly a “beleaguered” company.