PowerBook 165 PowerBook 165

Macintosh PowerBook 165 Explained

On August 16th, 1993, Apple introduced a groundbreaking notebook that would shape the future of portable computing—the Macintosh PowerBook 165. Packed with impressive specifications and a sleek design, the PowerBook 165 became a go-to choice for professionals seeking a powerful and portable computing solution. Let’s take a closer look at this iconic device and its enduring impact on the world of laptops.

At the heart of the Macintosh PowerBook 165 was the mighty 33 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, which stood as a symbol of cutting-edge technology during its time. This powerful processor empowered users with enhanced multitasking capabilities and seamless performance, making the PowerBook 165 a true workhorse.

The 9.8″ monochrome LCD display, although modest by today’s standards, was a marvel back then. It provided a clear and crisp viewing experience, allowing professionals to tackle their tasks with precision and clarity. The grayscale passive-matrix display was capable of delivering 4-bit grayscale on the internal screen, while users could enjoy 8-bit color on an external monitor.

Memory and storage options were not compromised either. With 4 MB of RAM, the PowerBook 165 boasted ample memory to handle demanding applications and data-intensive tasks. The device offered flexibility with a hard drive that could be configured with 40 MB, 80 MB, or a whopping 160 MB of storage, ensuring professionals had enough room for their projects and files.

Apple understood the importance of seamless connectivity, and the PowerBook 165 showcased this in its design. Equipped with an internal 1.44 MB floppy drive, users had an efficient means to transfer and store data, allowing for easy collaboration and file sharing.

Furthermore, the PowerBook 165 catered to the needs of professionals by featuring two serial ports—one for printers and another for modems. This unique inclusion provided convenience and versatility, making it the last Apple laptop to offer such extensive connectivity options in the true 100 series PowerBooks.

Despite its short lifespan, the Macintosh PowerBook 165 left an indelible mark on the history of portable computing. This trailblazing device laid the foundation for future laptops, inspiring advancements in power, efficiency, and compact design.

Today, 30 years since its release, the PowerBook 165 holds a special place in Apple’s rich heritage. Collectors and enthusiasts continue to cherish and utilize this iconic computer, appreciating its historical significance and the enduring quality of Apple’s craftsmanship.

The Macintosh PowerBook 165 was more than just a laptop; it was a pioneer in portable computing. With its powerful processor, impressive display, and versatile storage options, it set the stage for the evolution of the laptops we know today. Apple’s commitment to innovation and user experience shines through the PowerBook 165, reminding us of the company’s legacy of pushing boundaries and redefining what’s possible.

As we navigate the world with our sleek and powerful MacBooks and laptops, we owe a debt of gratitude to the Macintosh PowerBook 165 for revolutionizing the landscape of portable computing and paving the way for the devices we rely on today.

Macintosh PowerBook 165
Source: massmadesoul.com – Macintosh PowerBook 165

Macintosh PowerBook 165 Details

IntroducedAugust 16, 1993
DiscontinuedJuly 18, 1994
Model Identifier85
Model NumberM1641LL/A
Original Price$1,970
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 165 Tech Specs


ProcessorMotorola 68030
Processor Speed33 MHz
Number of Cores1
System Bus33 MHz
Cache0.5 KB L1

Storage & Media

Storage40 MB
80 MB
120 MB
Media1.44 MB floppy


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


Built-in Display9.8″ 4-bit monochrome 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 Battery2.9-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: July 8, 2023