Macintosh Portable Turns 20, Gets Undressed In Front of Sexier iPod touch

September 1989: Much excitement surrounds Apple's first battery-powered Mac. But the 4-inch thick, 16-pound beast stretched the definition of "Portable". And though $6500 wasn't unusual at that time, it was underpowered, and couldn't run on AC power while charging.

Apple spared no expense, adding a 10-inch (640 by 480-pixel) active monochrome display—while PC portables were using blurry passive screens. In 1991, a backlight made the screen easier to read, but Apple's other "improvements" included cutting the battery life in half. The Macintosh Portable was killed-off in October that year by the truly portable PowerBook 100.


As you'll see over at Technologizer, the Mac Portable was a fascinating machine. Apple used plastic fasteners (and only two screws) to make it easy to take apart. Also worth a read is their fun look at the Macintosh Portable versus the MacBook Air. [Technologizer]

Macintosh Portable Specifications:
• 10-inch (640 by 480) Monochrome active-matrix LCD
• 16MHz Motorola 68000 CPU
• 1MB RAM (soldered to the motherboard; expandable to 5MB via RAM expansion slot, or 9MB using PDF expansion)
• Expandable ROM slot (up to 4MB)
• 40MB SCSI hard drive
• 3.5-inch (1.44MB) floppy disk drive
• SCSI Disk Mode (so it could be used as a storage drive with a desktop Mac)
• Built-in trackball could be made left- or right-handed
• Monitor output (required soon canceled converter box)
• Ports: 2400 baud RJ-11 modem, external disk drive, SCSI, ADB, LocalTalk (printer), LocalTalk (serial), audio out
• 2.7lbs Lead acid cell battery (8 to 10 hours)
• 16 pounds


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