Happy Birthday, Mac Luggable!
image via PC Museum
UPDATE: Take a look at this 20th Anniversary Teardown Harry McCracken did over at Technologizer.com - very interesting/amusing...
The first portable Mac is now entering its third decade.
The "luggable," is it was called way back when, was released on September 20, 1989 and weighed in at a hefty 16 pounds, due to its sealed lead-acid batteries (think golf cart) and early active-matrix LCD screen. But it was the first Macintosh that could actually be operated without wall power, and had a number of features innovative for its time, including an external video port and full stereo output. I can remember using one attached to a projector and thinking it was the coolest thing since Pringles in a can.
Based on the 16-MHz Mac SE, the Portable came with 1MB on the motherboard and was upgradable to 9MB using the SRAM and PDS slots. The screen wouldn't get a backlight feature until 1991, meaning you had to use the thing in a room with good lighting or out in direct sunlight, and if the battery died the computer wouldn't boot. At all.
Despite making PC World's list of the Worst 25 Tech Products of All Time
, the Mac Portable was the first baby step on the road that would lead to the PowerBook and the MacBook: Apple sent the design of the Portable to Sony, which miniaturized it in 1991 and turned it into the PowerBook 100.