Apple Macintosh Portable
"Do not trust a computer that
you cannot lift."
Steve Jobs, 1984
Jef Raskin took this saying to heart as he designed
what would become the Macintosh, an all in one
computer, which could be easily moved. The final
product weighed a little more than 16 pounds. In April of 1986, the Apple board decided to create
a battery-powered BookMac. After Jobs left later
in the year, the project continued, until the
Macintosh Portable was released. The Macintosh Portable was Apple's first attempt
at a true portable computer.
There are two versions,
the original, and the later, backlit model. The
Portable was the first Mac to ship with a preformatted
hard drive (and the only portable Mac with a 3.5"
hard drive) and a preinstalled operating system.
Along with the Mac IIci, it was one of the first
Macs to user surface mount technology. The Portable
was upgraded with a backlit screen; more, less-expensive
RAM (2-4 MB standard); and a lower price in February
1991. The Active Matrix screen didn't have the
blurry display of conventional displays. In fact,
the display was crispy clear, and looked beautiful
when used in daylight. The Portable did have problems
with dark rooms though, until a 1991 upgrade added
The Portable featured a clamshell design with
the same easy-access style of case that other
Mac's of that time had. Pressing two places on
the rear of the computer allowed the rear half
of the case top to come off, revealing (from left
to right) the battery compartment, expansion slots,
and 40MB hard drive. There was only one problem
with the Portable, which unfortunately led to
its demise; it just wasn't portable. Weighing
in at 12 lbs., few people had the patience to
lug it around anywhere, despite all of its great
The Portable came with a Lead-acid gel/cell battery,
similar to those found in car batteries, that
could run a anywhere from 6 -12 hours! This is
unheard of even today, as you it is hard to get
even 2 hours of usage from today's PowerBook batteries.
The Portable also included a 40 MB SCSI HD manufactured
by Conner. The HD could spin down and sleep, but
sacrificed price for performance, costing twice
as much as a desktop HD of the same size. It supported
to internal hard drives, and an external one.
Related Links : wikipedia.org - lowendmac.com