The 1400 series were the replacement for the much maligned 5300's. Besides being a lot more rugged with much improved hinges and case plastics this would be the first PowerBook with a built in CD rom.
The CD rom was sleep swapable with a floppy drive module and aftermarket devices such as a second hard drive or Zip drive.
I used a 1400cs for several years and it served me well. It was finally retired and replaced with a PowerBook Pismo a couple of years ago. I still have that PowerBook along with a couple of other versions
including a Newer G3/250 cpu upgrade in my collection.
One downside, this powerbook did not have built in modem or ethernet but Global Village sold the PowerPort Platinum PCMCIA card that had ethernet and modem on a single card. Many used 1400's on eBay have
these cards included in the package so they aren't that hard to come by yet. Also of note, the PCMCIA slots do not accept new cardbus cards, which means non of the USB or Firewire cards I have seen will work
on this laptop.
The box it shipped in was quite substantial.
The PowerBook was embedded in foam on one side while all the accessories were packaged beside it.
By now I think you are getting the idea that this unit was certainly over packaged though everything did arrive safely. Above is the battery (left) and CD rom module (right).
The releases for the battery and CD/Floppy are located on the bottom of the unit.
Here's my 'stripped' 1400c, note the lack of trim at the hinges. The trim pieces don't appear to add any structural integrity to the hinges so can be left off if you like this look. To access most of
the internal components of this laptop all you need to do is slide that plastic grill to the left and it pops off.
Once you remove the grill just pull up on the keyboard at the top and flip it forward. Be careful of the ribbon cable that attaches the keyboard to the bottom!
The hard drive sits in a caddy held in place by two screws. To remove just pull up on the tab and carefully remove the ribbon cable on the left side of the caddy. There is some question as to whether
some large drives will work properly in this PowerBook. I have used a 20gb for many years but it was purchased from OWC specifically for this laptop at the time.
Remove the screws and under this heat sink are the cpu and memory modules.
The cpu is on the left with the factory supplied 8 or 16mb ram module in the middle. Two the left are stackable ram slots. You can actually put two ram modules on top of eachother here. But....
I've found these laptops to be real finicky when it comes to mixing and matching memory. For example the one with the G3 upgrade will not run with two 24mb modules installed. Those same modules run fine in
a non upgraded 1400c but only with the 8mb module and not the 16mb one! The G3 1400c runs fine with a single 32mb chip.
Also if you experience GLOD (green light of death) pull your memory modules as I have
found that a bad module will cause this problem. The theoretical maximum is 64mb but I have yet to actually hit that maximum with the combination of 24mb and 16mb modules I own.
This is the only PowerBook I've come across with this combination of memory slots. The factory slot is different from the main slot so you can't mix and match your memory! Also if I remember correctly the Newer
G3 cpu upgrade didn't run properly on the 1400c/166 motherboard but ran fine on the 1400c/133 board. Go figure.
The rear panel has ports for an external monitor (though only 640x480 at 256 colours) which plugs into the motherboard there is also a very hard to find internal ethernet adaptor. Audio in/out,
SCSI, printer/appletalk and ADB ports are also located on the rear.
Some careful shopping on eBay might net you a cheap 1400 but beware of the the various models. The 1400cs has a colour passive matrix screen with either a 117mhz or 133mhz cpu, the 1400c has an active matrix screen (better)
with a 166mhz cpu. The 166mhz cpu also came on a 1400cs with the passive matrix screen. At todays prices you are much better off finding a 1400c with the better screen.
Comments? Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.