The imediaEngine-series PowerBook clones were the grandaddy of Mac laptops. Produced by Vertegri Research in 1997, they included the V3, V5, and V7. Unfortunately, the V5 was the only model that actually went into production before Vertegri shut its doors in late 1997. With a 200MHz 604e processor, 32 MB RAM, and 512k L2 backside cache, it was a screamer for its time. The 14.1 inch active-matrix display is huge and will likely be worthwhile for quite some time into the future. The downside to this much power is the lack of an internal battery - it wasn't even offered as an option. As a result, you have to be plugged in to use this machine, much like a desktop computer. Perhaps it should be referred to as the first portable desktop system? There are probably a few less-powerful V3 and more-powerful V7 protype imediaEngines out there, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for one to pop up on the used market anytime soon.
At the time: A+
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