The Performa 5440 is rare in the United States. This Performa model was sold only in Asia and Europe. The closest model to the 5440 sold in the United States is the Power Macintosh 5400/180, which was sold only to the North American education market. My Performa 5440 comes from Japan. Apple introduced the Performa 5440 on November 12, 1996. This is the same month and year stamped as the manufacture date on the back of my Performa 5440. We are unsure of the original cost of the Performa 5440 in Yen (Japan's dollar equivalent), but the Power Macintosh 5400/180 originally cost about $1500 in the United States. I obtained this Performa 5440 in 2006 for $75.

Apple never released a black 5000-series Macintosh in the United States, which is a shame because the look is stunning. Such a Mac would have caused a stir in America. The only black Mac released in the United States was the ill-conceived Macintosh TV, a 500-series Mac. The primary reason to color the Mac TV black was to differentiate it from other 500-series Macs because it had a built-in TV tuner and shipped with a remote control for watching a video signal -- cable TV or VCR (DVD was not available at the time). This thinking may have influenced Apple to release the black 5000-series Macs in Europe and Asia. These Macs are primarily AV (Audio Video) Macs with expanded audio and video ports. Perhaps Apple thought consumers would be more comfortable using a black Mac as a primary television because at the time most TVs were colored black.

Performa 5440 - what's in box

Apple gave the Performa 5440 a full compliment of AV ports. The 5440 has a video input card that has an S-Video port and a set of three other AV ports (audio left and right input and composite video input). It has a TV tuner card with an FM Tuner port and TV Tuner port. Other standard ports include an ADB port, a serial printer port, a DB-25 SCSI port, a microphone jack, a speaker jack, and a headphone jack (located on the front bezel). My 5440 does not a have serial modem port, but it does have an Ethernet card that has an RJ-45 Ethernet port. The 5440 has a built-in microphone located top-center over the monitor. Keeping with the compartmentalized design of the all-in-one Macs of its day, the 5440's motherboard is easily removed. The port cover is removable and the motherboard actually plugs into the chassis.

Performa 5440 ports

The 5440 has four available expansion slots including one PCI slot, one video-in (TV) slot, one monitor-out slot, and one communication slot. My 5440 does not have a PCI card installed. A PCI card adapter is necessary to install a typical PCI expansion card because the cramped 5000-series chassis makes it necessary to angle the card perpendicular to the motherboard. My 5440 also does not have a monitor-out card installed in the video slot that would be used for connecting an external monitor. As stated earlier, it does have an Ethernet card installed in the communication slot and a TV tuner card installed in the video-in slot. The 5440 has a level 2 cache slot that can be used to upgrade the computer with an accelerator card.

The Performa 5440 has two built-in speakers on the front of the computer. Volume can be adjusted by using two volume buttons residing on the front bezel. The 5440 shipped with a remote control that can be used to control the TV turner or an audio CD. The infrared receiver for the remote is located on the front bezel just to the right of the volume control buttons. The Performa 5440 also shipped with a black version of the Apple Desktop Bus Mouse II and a black Japanese variant of the Apple Keyboard II. Unfortunately, the keyboard is missing a few keys. The 5440 uses "soft power" and is powered up by pressing the power button on the keyboard. The power button on the back of the computer has to be set to on or "1" in order to use the power button on the keyboard.

Performa 5440 remote control

The Performa 5440 has a 180 MHz PowerPC 603e processor with integrated FPU. The 5440 has 8 MB built-in RAM and can support up to 136 MB 168-pin 70 ns RAM. It has two RAM expansion slots. My 5440 has 82 MB RAM. The Performa 5440 shipped with a 1.6 GB internal IDE hard drive. It also shipped with a standard 8x CD ROM drive and 1.4 MB floppy disk drive.

The 5440 has a built-in 15-inch monitor that displays 16-bit color (thousands of colors) at a native resolution of 640 x 480. It is also capable of the following resolutions: 800 x 600 (16-bit), 832 x 624 (8-bit), and 1024 x 768 (8-bit). It uses 1 MB of system RAM for the video function and this is not expandable. Monitor brightness can be adjusted using two buttons residing on the front bezel. Vertical and horizontal alignment can be adjusted on the back of the computer. You can adjust the angle of the screen to avoid glare and reflections by using the computer's tilt-and-swivel base. The 5440 can be turned to either side or tilted slightly back or forward. 5000-series Macs like the 5440 could be described as a monitor with a built-in computer. This denotes the extent to which the monitor is integrated into the chassis. The 5000-series integrated design is a direct predecessor of the iMac, which would ultimately replace and expand the concept beginning in 1998.

The Performa 5440 originally shipped with Mac OS 7.5.3 and according to Apple's official specs it supports up to Mac OS 8. However, many sources suggest that the 5440 can support up to Mac OS 9. My 5440 is using J2-7.5.3. This operating system is the Japanese variant of 7.5.3. I cannot read or understand Japanese (few Americans can), so I find it difficult to use. Also, I cannot read the name of the hard drive (hopefully it doesn't say anything obscene). This Mac will probably be upgraded to at least System 8 (the American version), but for demonstration purposes, I have not yet upgraded it.

"About This Macintosh" showing Mac OS and RAM

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Click to view screen capture 2

Click to view screen capture 3

Click to view screen capture 4

The Performa 5440 is a stunning example of Apple design that Apple should have made available to U.S. consumers. The black color wears well giving this aging computer a very young appearance. We expect this computer to give many more years of service in Vectronic's collection.

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