Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230

Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 Explained

On October 19th, 1992, Apple unveiled the Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230, a remarkable addition to their PowerBook series of computers. Though it has been three decades since its introduction, the Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 remains a significant piece of Apple’s history, showcasing the company’s drive for innovation in the realm of portable computing.

The Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 boasted impressive specifications for its time. It housed a 33 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, a 9.1-inch monochrome LCD display, 4 MB of RAM, and a hard drive with a capacity of either 80 MB or 120 MB. What truly set it apart was its ability to transform into a desktop computer by simply connecting it to the dedicated Duo Dock. This innovative feature made it an attractive choice for users seeking versatility and convenience.

When the PowerBook Duo 230 was released, it carried a hefty price tag of $2,610, positioning it as a high-end option in the portable computing market. Apple aimed to offer a powerful and flexible machine that catered to the needs of professionals and tech enthusiasts alike. However, as technology advanced, newer and more capable models replaced the Duo 230, leading to its discontinuation on July 27th, 1994.

Despite its eventual discontinuation, the Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 has left an indelible mark on Apple’s history. It stands as a testament to the company’s relentless pursuit of innovation and its commitment to pushing the boundaries of portable computing. The Duo 230 represented a pivotal moment in Apple’s trajectory, setting the stage for the revolutionary advancements that followed.

Notably, the PowerBook Duo 230, alongside the PowerBook Duo 210, introduced the concept of a dockable Mac. By eliminating the internal floppy drive, along with other weight-saving measures, Apple managed to achieve an impressive weight of just 4.2 pounds. However, this design decision also resulted in the inability to use a floppy drive, SCSI device, external display, or network without the addition of a DuoDock.

The Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 featured a 4-bit passive-matrix screen, reminiscent of its predecessor, the PowerBook 160, which weighed around 6.8 pounds. While the display lacked the color and vibrancy we are accustomed to today, it provided users with a functional and portable computing experience.

As the Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 commemorates 31 years since its release, it serves as a powerful reminder of Apple’s trailblazing efforts in the realm of portable computing. Despite being discontinued, its impact on the industry and the legacy it forged within Apple’s history cannot be overstated. The Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 stands as a testament to the company’s unwavering dedication to innovation, serving as a foundation for the transformative technological advancements that have shaped our modern world.

PowerBook Duo 230
Source: – PowerBook Duo 230

Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 Details

IntroducedOctober 19, 1992
DiscontinuedJuly 27, 1994
Model Identifier32
Model NumberM4195LL/A (80 MB hard drive)
M4196LL/A (120 MB hard drive)
Original Price$2,610
Weight4.2 Ibs.
1.905 KG
Dimensions1.4” H x 10.9” W x 8.5” D
3.55 cm H x 27.68 cm W x 21.59 cm D

PowerBook Duo 230 Tech Specs


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

Storage & Media

Storage80 MB
120 MB


Built-in Memory4 MB
Maximum Memory24 MB
Memory Slots1 – Duo
Minimum Speed70 ns
Interleaving SupportNo


Built-in Display9″ monochrome passive-matrix reflective LCD
Resolutions640 x 400


Graphics CardNone
Graphics MemoryNone
Display ConnectionNone


Expansion SlotsModem
Dock (152-pin PDS)
Hard Drive InterfaceSCSI


ModemInternal modem/fax card
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 BatteryPowerBook Duo Type I (NiMH)
Backup BatteryUnknown
Maximum Continuous Power25 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