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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
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
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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Inside

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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