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On July 18, 1994, a groundbreaking piece of technology made its debut and forever changed the landscape of portable computing. The Apple Macintosh PowerBook 150, a part of the esteemed Macintosh PowerBook series, hit the market, boasting impressive specifications and an iconic Apple aesthetic that would leave a lasting impression on the tech world. Now, 29 years later, we take a trip down memory lane to explore the legacy of this remarkable device.
When it first hit the shelves, the PowerBook 150 was nothing short of a marvel. With a 33 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, a 9.5-inch monochrome LCD display, and 4 MB or 8 MB of RAM, it was a powerhouse that rivaled its competitors. The device also featured a 120 MB or 250 MB hard drive and a 1.44 MB floppy drive, making it one of the most potent notebooks available at the time.
However, despite its initial success, the PowerBook 150’s reign was relatively short-lived, as Apple discontinued it on October 14, 1995, less than two years after its introduction. Nevertheless, this laptop remains an essential piece of history, reflecting just how far technology has come over the past 29 years.
For Apple enthusiasts and collectors alike, the PowerBook 150 is now a prized possession. Its compact design, impressive specifications, and classic Apple aesthetics continue to evoke nostalgia for the early days of portable computing. Holding this vintage piece of technology in your hands is like taking a trip back in time to an era when laptops were novel and revolutionary.
Digging into the technical details of the PowerBook 150 reveals even more fascinating insights. It was introduced on July 13, 1994, and released five days later, on July 18. As the last member of the PowerBook 100 series to use the original case design, it was considered the most affordable model at the time, priced between $1,450 and $1,600, making it accessible to a broader audience.
Compared to its predecessor, the PowerBook 145B, the 150 boasted an 8 MHz speed boost. However, to keep costs down, it sacrificed certain features, including an ADB port and external monitor support. Despite these compromises, the device was still highly regarded for its remarkable display resolution of 640×480, an improvement from the earlier 640×400 resolution seen in previous PowerBooks.
Internally, the PowerBook 150 was based on the PowerBook Duo 230, sharing similarities with the PowerBook 190, which used the PowerBook 5300’s case design. This new logic board design allowed the 100 series PowerBook to utilize more than 14 MB of RAM for the first time. Another significant improvement was the inclusion of a lithium-ion backup battery, preserving RAM contents during battery replacements.
Notably, the PowerBook 150 marked the transition from costly SCSI drives to more economical and larger IDE drives, a move that contributed to its relatively affordable price. However, this cost-saving measure came at the expense of using a lower-quality LCD display, and the exclusion of an ADB port made it impossible to use a mouse or external keyboard.
Despite its compromises, the PowerBook 150 was embraced for its expandability, accommodating memory modules used in the PowerBook Duos, enabling it to support up to an impressive 40 MB of RAM. This, coupled with its use of an IDE hard drive, set it apart from previous PowerBook models and added to its appeal.
As we celebrate the 29-year anniversary of the Apple Macintosh PowerBook 150, we pay tribute to its significance in shaping the portable computing industry. A collector’s dream and a testament to Apple’s relentless pursuit of innovation, this vintage device will forever hold a special place in the hearts of technology enthusiasts worldwide. Though the PowerBook 150’s journey was relatively short, its impact remains enduring and serves as a reminder of the rapid progress that technology has made over the years.
Macintosh PowerBook 150 Details
|Introduced||July 18, 1994|
|Discontinued||October 14, 1995|
|Dimensions||2.25″ H x 11.25” W x 9.3” D|
5.71 cm H x 28.57 cm W x 23.62 cm D
PowerBook 150 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||33 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||33 MHz|
|Cache||0.5 KB L1|
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 1.44 MB floppy|
|Built-in Memory||4 MB|
|Maximum Memory||40 MB|
|Memory Slots||1 – Duo (Adapter required for Duo modules)|
|Minimum Speed||70 ns|
|Built-in Display||9.5″ monochrome FSTN passive-matrix LCD|
|Resolutions||640 x 480|
|Expansion Slots||Internal 20-pin connector for the optional 2400-baud modem card|
|Hard Drive Interface||IDE|
|Audio Out||1 – Built-in speaker|
Keyboard and trackpad
|Keyboard||Built-in 64-key (U.S.) or 64-key (ISO) 3.0-mm travel keyboard|
|Trackpad||Built-in trackball pointing device|
|Original OS||System Software 7.1.1|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 7.6.1|
|Maximum Continuous Power||17 W|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh PowerBook 150: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- PowerBook 150 – Wikipedia
- PowerBook 150 – Low End Mac
- Apple Macintosh Powerbook 150 – OldCrap
Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.
Last updated: August 3, 2023