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In the early ’90s, Apple revolutionized the world of portable computing with its Macintosh PowerBook series. Among these trailblazing devices, the Macintosh PowerBook 180 stood out as a powerful and innovative notebook computer.
Launched in 1992, this high-end device showcased Apple’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology. Today, as we celebrate 30 years since its release, let’s take a nostalgic trip back in time to revisit the impact and significance of the Macintosh PowerBook 180.
On October 19, 1992, Apple introduced the Macintosh PowerBook 180 to the world, capturing the imagination of technology enthusiasts. Priced at $3,870, this portable powerhouse boasted impressive specifications that set it apart from its contemporaries.
At its core was a 33 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, accompanied by a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor for enhanced mathematical calculations. The 9.8-inch monochrome LCD display, with its 4-bit (16-shade) active matrix, marked a significant leap forward for portable Macs, providing a more vibrant and immersive viewing experience.
The Macintosh PowerBook 180 wasn’t just about looks; it packed substantial power under the hood. With 4 MB of RAM, expandable to a then-impressive limit, and a hard drive offering either 80 MB or 120 MB of storage capacity, users had ample space for their files and applications. The inclusion of a 1.44 MB floppy drive further enhanced the PowerBook 180’s versatility, allowing for easy data exchange with other machines.
Building on its predecessor’s success, the PowerBook 180 introduced several groundbreaking features that further cemented its status as a leader in the portable computing domain. It marked the return of SCSI Disk Mode, previously seen only in the PowerBook 100, enabling users to use the device as an external hard drive when connected to another Macintosh. Additionally, the PowerBook 180 became the first model in the PowerBook series to support an external monitor, opening up new possibilities for productivity and multi-screen setups.
Despite its relatively short lifespan, with production ending on May 16, 1994, the Macintosh PowerBook 180 left an indelible mark on the evolution of Apple’s notebook computers. It showcased Apple’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of portable technology, setting the stage for future innovations and advancements. The demand for the PowerBook 180 remained high throughout its existence, highlighting its popularity and its ability to capture the imaginations of both professionals and enthusiasts alike.
The Macintosh PowerBook 180 served as a stepping stone for subsequent models in the PowerBook series, laying the foundation for the groundbreaking advancements that followed. Its improved processing power, vibrant display, and support for external monitors set the stage for future MacBooks, ultimately influencing the design and functionality we see in modern Apple laptops.
As we reflect on the Macintosh PowerBook 180, we celebrate its place in history as a technological marvel of its time. Apple’s commitment to innovation manifested through this portable powerhouse, paved the way for the notebook computers we rely on today. The PowerBook 180 remains a testament to Apple’s dedication to pushing boundaries, and its legacy serves as a reminder of the remarkable evolution witnessed in the past three decades.
Macintosh PowerBook 180 Details
|Introduced||October 19, 1992|
|Discontinued||May 16, 1994|
|Model Number||M4400LL/A (80 MB hard drive)|
M4410LL/A (120 MB hard drive)
|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 180 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||33 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||33 MHz|
|Cache||0.5 KB L1|
|Coprocessor||Motorola 68882 FPU|
Storage & Media
|Media||1.44 MB floppy|
|Built-in Memory||4 MB|
|Maximum Memory||14 MB|
|Memory Slots||1 – PowerBook 1xx (70-pin connector)|
|Minimum Speed||85 ns|
|Built-in Display||9.8″ 4-bit monochrome active matrix reflective LCD|
|Resolutions||640 x 400|
|Graphics Memory||128 KB|
|Display Connection||1 – Mini-15|
|Expansion Slots||Internal 20-pin connector for the optional 2400-baud modem card|
|Hard Drive Interface||40-pin SCSI|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
1 – Built-in microphone
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
1 – Built-in speaker
|Display||1 – Mini-15|
Keyboard and trackpad
|Keyboard||Built-in 64-key (U.S.) or 64-key (ISO) 3.0-mm travel keyboard|
|Trackpad||Built-in 25-mm trackball pointing device|
|Original OS||System Software 7.1|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 7.6.1|
|System Battery||2.8-ampere-hour NiCad battery|
|Backup Battery||3 V lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||17 W|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh PowerBook 180: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- PowerBook 180 – Low End Mac
- PowerBook 180 – Wikipedia
- Apple Macintosh Powerbook 180 – 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: June 25, 2023