Contrary to popular belief, the first colored translucent computer that Apple made was not, in fact, the iMac.

Rather, it was the eMate 300, a laptop-like Newton device designed for use in the K-12 education market. (I have no idea why the "300" moniker; probably because Apple had a convention to attaching numbers to their Newton models.)

The eMate featured a nearly-full-size keyboard, a 480x320 greyscale display, a 25MHz ARM processor, a serial port, and a single PCMCIA slot. It ran Newton OS 2.1, the last version of that underappreciated operating system.

The unit's industrial design was clearly its most outstanding feature, though. Curvy and nearly organic-looking in its subdued translucent dark green color scheme, it was a far more daring design than any current Apple computer. Because it had no hard drive, it was completely solid-state, and very light. And because its intended user base was gradeschoolers, the eMate was incredibly tough. Drop it on a concrete floor from four feet in the air - go ahead, I dare you.

It was the only Newton to feature an integrated keyboard. I'd miss mine, if only they'd put the 160MHz StrongARM chip in it. Now THAT would've been quite a computer.

User strawberry tells me that the eMate 300 is featured in the 1997 Warner Brothers movie Batman and Robin, being used by Batgirl.

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