Macintosh PowerBook 160 Macintosh PowerBook 160

Macintosh PowerBook 160 Datasheet

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, it’s essential to reflect on the devices that paved the way for our modern gadgets. One such piece of history is the Macintosh PowerBook 160, a groundbreaking notebook computer from Apple.

Released on October 19th, 1992, the PowerBook 160 captivated users with its impressive features and became an integral part of Apple’s Macintosh lineup. Let’s journey back in time and explore the impact and significance of this iconic laptop.

Priced at $2,480, the Macintosh PowerBook 160 delivered a powerful computing experience. Sporting a 25 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, 4 MB of RAM, and an option for various hard drive sizes (ranging from 40 MB to 120 MB), the PowerBook 160 offered substantial processing power for its time. Its compact 9.8″ monochrome LCD display provided a crisp viewing experience, making it a portable workhorse for professionals on the go.

The PowerBook 160 was not merely a precursor to modern laptops; it introduced several groundbreaking features. One of the key highlights was the inclusion of grayscale video capabilities. With a 4-bit (16 shade) internal grayscale video and support for 8-bit (256-color) video on an external monitor with impressive resolutions of up to 832 x 624, the PowerBook 160 pushed the boundaries of visual representation in portable computing.

Additionally, the Macintosh PowerBook 160 reintroduced SCSI Disk Mode, a feature previously seen only in the PowerBook 100. This innovation allowed users to connect their PowerBook 160 to other devices, effectively turning it into an external hard drive. This versatility opened up new possibilities for file sharing and data transfer, enhancing the overall functionality of the device.

Despite its significant contributions to the world of computing, the Macintosh PowerBook 160 had a relatively short lifespan. Apple discontinued the model on August 16th, 1993, marking the end of an era. However, even after 31 years, the PowerBook 160 remains a remarkable piece of Apple’s history, symbolizing the company’s commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries.

In today’s era of sleek ultrabooks and cutting-edge technology, it’s fascinating to revisit the Macintosh PowerBook 160 and recognize how far we’ve come. This classic laptop serves as a reminder of the advancements in both hardware and software that have revolutionized the way we use computers.

As we celebrate 31 years since release of the PowerBook 160, it’s worth acknowledging the profound impact it had on the laptop industry. Its influence on subsequent iterations of the PowerBook series, such as the PowerBook 180, which introduced support for external monitors and expanded memory options, cannot be overstated.

The Macintosh PowerBook 160 was more than a laptop; it was a symbol of Apple’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology. With its powerful specifications and innovative features, it became a favorite among professionals who sought portable computing power. Although discontinued long ago, the PowerBook 160 will forever hold a special place in the annals of Apple’s history. As we continue to embrace the latest advancements, it’s important to recognize and appreciate the contributions of these pioneering devices that shaped our digital landscape.

PowerBook 160
Source: oldcrap.org – PowerBook 160

Macintosh PowerBook 160 Details

IntroducedOctober 19, 1992
DiscontinuedAugust 16, 1993
Model Identifier34
Model NumberM4500LL/A (40 MB hard drive)
M4510LL/A (80 MB hard drive)
M4520LL/A (120 MB hard drive)
Original Price$2,480
Weight6.8 Ibs.
3.084 KG
Dimensions2.25” H x 11.25” W x 9.3” D
5.71 cm H x 28.57 cm W x 23.62 cm D

PowerBook 160 Tech Specs


ProcessorMotorola 68030
Processor Speed25 MHz
Number of Cores1
System Bus25 MHz
Cache0.5 KB L1

Storage & Media

Storage40 MB
80 MB
120 MB
Media1.44 MB floppy


Built-in Memory4 MB of PSRAM
Maximum Memory14 MB
Memory Slots1 – PowerBook 1xx (70-pin connector)
Minimum Speed85 ns
Interleaving SupportNo


Built-in Display9.8″ diagonal passive matrix reflective LCD
Resolutions640 x 400


Graphics CardNone
Graphics Memory128 KB
Display Connection1 – Mini-15


Expansion SlotsInternal 20-pin connector for the optional 2400-baud modem card
Hard Drive Interface40-pin SCSI


Floppy PortNone
Audio In1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack
1 – Built-in microphone
Audio Out1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack
1 – Built-in speaker
Display1 – Mini-15

Keyboard and trackpad

KeyboardBuilt-in 64-key (U.S.) or 64-key (ISO) 3.0-mm travel keyboard
TrackpadBuilt-in 25-mm trackball pointing device


Original OSSystem Software 7.1
Maximum OSMac OS 7.6.1
FirmwareMacintosh ROM


System Battery2.5-ampere-hour NiCad battery
Backup Battery3 V lithium
Maximum Continuous Power17 W
Line VoltageUnknown
Power AdapterUnknown

Further Reading and References

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: June 25, 2023