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Chapter 2. The Macintosh Family > Early PowerBook Models

Early PowerBook Models

The PowerBook began life as an entirely different machine—the Mac Portable—a large, clunky, and somewhat non-Macintosh machine that couldn't be further from a modern-era PowerBook. But Apple's first portable is an important part of Apple history—it allowed the company to get a product out to market and helped Apple learn from its mistakes. Amazingly, Apple's next portable, the first real PowerBook (the PowerBook 100), was a complete departure from the Mac Luggable. It was light, had a small footprint, and is still considered by some to be the best PowerBook of all time.

The Mac Portable

Apple released the Mac Portable, the first portable Macintosh and the grandparent of them all, on September 20, 1989, at $6,500 (or around $7,300 with a hard drive). At 15.8 pounds, the original Mac Portable wasn't much smaller or lighter than a desktop Mac—but it did run on a battery. Some unique features of the Mac Portable included support for dual floppy drives or one floppy and one 3.5-inch hard drive, a lead-acid battery with a life of 5 to 10 hours, and a cool keyboard with a swappable trackball and numeric keypad. Today Mac Portables are collector's items.


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