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Want to buy a Newton, wat do?


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Hey all, I'm a total newb when it comes to the Newton. I've always wanted one ever since I saw the demo for the MessagePad on my Macintosh Performa 631CD. I'm now in a position where I can get one. My question for you Newtonians is this: how much should I pay for one, what model would be a good one (I'm thinking either eMate or one of the later MessagePad), and what maintenance would be needed for it when I get it? Thanks! :quadra:

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Get a 2000 or 2100 for sure. I've got an MP100 and an eMate, but they're not nearly as usable as the MP2000 or 2100 I've got. The eMate DOES run Newton OS 2 which is nice, but the thing is bigger than it looks and has the slower CPU. I think a fair price for a 2k or 2100 is around $60 these days. Look for one that has the stylus and a good door or case. They're nice add ons that can get expensive if you try and buy them separately later on.

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Another vote for the 2000/2100; the only Newtons that are actually good to use, even today. Lesser model Newtons are cool to look at and play around with for a while, but come up short in many ways (in particular software - there isn't much stuff for Newton OS 1.x). If you get a 2x00 model, make sure it has a serial dongle which are a rip-off if purchased separately.

 

The eMate is cool but clunky, although a nice budget option as there are plenty around for sale.

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EMates, in my view, do have distinct advantages: a physical keyboard and built-in localtalk are not to be sniffed at. The form factor also makes them better — much, much better — for actual use as note-taking devices (with 24+ hrs of battery life) in classroom contexts. They are generally better for running NewtonWorks than the others (e.g, the screen is more readable because slightly bigger, an eMate will sit on your lap, it has a very usable keyboard, etc.). And they are fast enough for any of the uses for which they were intended. Quite honestly for most of the things you would do with one, you would not find an eMate to be especially "slow."

 

But the 2000/2001 otherwise rule the roost in the Newton flock for speedy handwriting recognition, for use as an organizer, for modern connectivity hacks like Bluetooth, etc.

 

If you plan to try to push the machine into using current technologies like Bluetooth, get a 2100, not a 2000 — but don't expect it to be faster at doing any of that than an eMate is going to be when doing the things it was meant to do back in 1996-97.

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