The PowerBook 5300 series was the first generation of PowerBook laptops manufactured by Apple Computer to use the PowerPC processor. Released in August 1995, these PowerBooks were notable for being the first to feature hot-swappable expansion modules for a variety of different units such as ZIP drives; PC card slots as standard; and an infrared communication port. In common with most preceding Macintosh portables, SCSI, Serial, and ADB ports were available as standard. An internal expansion slot was also available for installing a variety of modules including Ethernet and video cards to drive a second monitor in mirroring or dual-screen modes.
Although a significant advance over preceding portable Macs, the PowerBook 5300 suffered from a number of design decisions and manufacturing problems that have led to it being cited as among the worst Apple products of all time. Amongst other issues, it was one of the first laptops to suffer negative publicity from battery fires, and featured a hot-swappable drive bay with insufficient space for an internal CD-ROM drive.