3G-equipped MacBook prototype on eBay (photos)

An eBay seller has a prototype version of an Apple MacBook computer with built-in 3G networking capabilities, something not available on any of Apple's current models.

Josh Lowensohn
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3G MacBook for sale

An eBay user is selling what is claimed to be a fully functional 15-inch notebook from 2007 that sports a built-in 3G antenna on the lid. It's the very same spot Apple's displayed a cellular broadband antenna on multiple patents dating back to 2008, despite never having shipped a notebook with such a feature.

Read on to see photos of it.

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Seemingly normal

For all intents and purposes, the computer looks totally normal to Apple's MacBook Pro circa 2007.

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Well, that's different...

And here's what's different: a 3G antenna sticking up from the right side of the notebook's lid, the same spot where it's been depicted on Apple patents.

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Close-up of the antenna

A close-up of the pull-out antenna, which has been marked as a prototype with a permanent marker.

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The SIM slot

Just like a mobile phone, the prototype notebook has a slot for SIM cards to let users connect the machine to a wireless cellular data network.

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SIM from underneath

The SIM slot from inside the machine, with wiring held tight with clear tape.

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Red circuit board

The circuit board from within the machine, which is bright red, typical of Apple's prototype hardware. The seller also notes that parts of it are hand-soldered.

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More red circuit board, as well as an optical drive that's marked as being a sample "for evaluation only."

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No EMC number

While the computer sports a serial number, missing is an EMC number, the unique identifier Apple uses for its computer lines. In this case it's "XXXX."

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Tech specs

The "fully functioning" notebook otherwise has the same specs of Apple's notebooks back then, which according to the seller includes:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz Dual-Core Processor, 4MB L2 Cache
2GB DDR2 RAM (2x 1GB Modules, Expandable to 6GB)
320GB Hard Drive
15.4" Widescreen LCD Display, 1440 x 900 resolution
Slot-load 8x SuperDrive Multiformat DVD-RW Burner
nVidida GeForce 8600m Video with 256MB Dedicated Memory
10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
Dual-Link DVI Video Out
Built-in iSight Webcam
AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wireless
LED Backlit Keyboard with Ambient Light Sensors
ExpressCard/34 Expansion Slot
Built-in Bluetooth 2.1
2x USB 2.0 ports

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Cellular modem in system profiler

The 3G antenna showing up in Apple's system information utility as "Dynastream ANT2USB"

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Cellular modem identified

Despite not working with SIM cards that have been plugged in, the buyer demos that the 3G networking hardware is, in fact, identified.

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