Apple Powerbook 5300cs/100mHz Laptop

Apple Powerbook 5300csThe PowerBook 5300cs/100 was a member of the first series of PowerBook laptops manufactured by Apple Computer to use the PowerPC processor. The entire family was released all at once with the lineup incorporating the Powerbook 5300ce/117mHz (as the fastest model), the Powerbook 5300c/100 and the Powerbook 5300/100 (greyscale).

Introduced in August 1995 alongside the Powerbook 190c, these PowerBooks were notable for being the first to feature hot-swappable expansion modules for a variety of different units such as ZIP drives; PC card slots as standard; and an infrared communication port. In common with most preceding Macintosh portables, SCSI, Serial, and ADB ports were available as standard. An internal expansion slot was also available for installing a variety of modules including Ethernet and video cards to drive a second monitor in mirroring or dual-screen modes.


The Apple Macintosh PowerBook 5300cs/100 features a 100 MHz RISC based PowerPC 603e processor.

Memory:Powerbook 5300 memory location

The Powerbook 5300cs/100 is supplied with either 8MB or 16MB of soldered RAM. It’s motherboard includes a single memory slot that accepts a single 70 ns DRAM card specific to the PowerBook 5300 series. The powerbook supports up to 64 MB including the motherboard RAM. The memory card slot for the Powerbook 5300 is located to the location shown in the image above. In order to access the slot, remove the battery and floppy drive module followed by the keyboard.


The Powerbook is supplied as standard with either a 500MB or 750MB IDE hard drive. The ATA/IDE interface allows for users to upgrade the storage device with industry standard hard drives, something previously unheard of. A single 1.44MB floppy drive was incorporated in the Powerbook.

Note: Two variants of the 5300c/100 were produced. The first had a 500MB drive and 8MB RAM and the second had a 750MB drive and 16MB RAM.

Video & Graphics:

Enclosed in a black portable case, the Powerbook was fitted with a 10.4″ color dual-scan display. It offers a resolution of 800×600 and is fitted with 512K of VRAM with the option to upgrade to 1MB with the addition of a video card. The built-in display of the PowerBook 5300cs/100 supports 8-bit color (256 color depth), and also can support up-to 16-bit color on an external monitor with the addition of a video card.


The included serial port will accomodate either a serial printer or modem. The Powerbook incorporates an IrDA port. A Mini-15 port is available with the optional video card upgrade. An ADB port and HDI-30 SCSI port are included for peripherals and the powerbook included  Sound input  via either the built in microphone or a stereo line-in port. Stereo sound output is supported via the 3.5mm output jack.

Powerbook 5300 ports

PC Card Slots:

The PC Card Slots accepted three types of cards. These included: Type 1 Cards (3mm thick), Type II cards (5mm thick) and Type III cards (10.5mm thick). However, while Types I and II would fit in the top slot, Type III cards fit only the lower slot and take up both slots when fitted.

Known Issues:

The PowerBook 5300 series was originally plagued by battery problems, but after “reworking” by Apple, the 5300 series generally performs well. However, issues extended beyond battery life to include a key issue with the power jack, which was found to work loose over time from the mainboard that it was soldered directly to. Users resolved this issue by re-working the solder and glueing the power jack directly to the PCB, extending the life-expectancy of this laptop.

The screen hinges were also known to fail under use, which hampered Apple with repairs. Apple had a lot of quality control issues with the 5300 series and issued a warranty extension for problems relating to the faulty screen hinge or the motherboard, which extended the warranty by up to 4 years.

Introduction Date: August 28, 1995 Discontinued Date: August 5, 1996
Processor Speed: 100 MHz Processor Type: PowerPC 603e
Processor Upgrade: Soldered FPU: Integrated
System Bus Speed: 33.3 MHz Cache Bus Speed: N/A
ROM/Firmware Type: Macintosh ROM ROM/Firmware Size: 4 MB
L1 Cache: 32k L2 Cache: N/A
RAM Type: DRAM Card Min. RAM Speed: 70 ns
Standard RAM: 8 MB, 16 MB Maximum RAM: 64 MB
Motherboard RAM: 8 MB, 16 MB RAM Slots: 1
Video Card: Dedicated VRAM Type: Onboard
Standard VRAM: 512k Maximum VRAM: 1 MB*
Built-in Display: 10.4″ Color Native Resolution: 640×480
Standard Hard Drive: 500 MB, 750 MB Int. HD Interface: IDE
Standard Optical: None Standard Disk: 1.44 MB* (Manual)
Standard Modem: 28.8k (Optional) Standard Ethernet: None
Expansion Slots: 2 Type II PC Card Expansion Bays: None
Case Type: Notebook Form Factor: PowerBook 5300
Apple Order No: M3824LL/A* Apple Subfamily: PowerBook 5300
Apple Model No: M2785 Gestalt ID: 128
Battery Type: NiMH Battery Life: 2.5-4.0 Hours
Original Mac OS: 7.5.2 Supported Mac OS: 7.5.2-9.1
Dimensions: 2.0 x 11.5 x 8.5 Avg. Weight: 6.2 lbs (2.8 kg)