Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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The Mac Portable turns 30

Fast Company’s Harry McCracken takes us back to the “luggable” laptop days, and to the forgotten portable Mac that laid the groundwork for the wildly successful PowerBook line:

On September 20, 1989, Apple product chief Jean-Louis Gassée stood on a stage in Universal City, California, and unveiled a new computer, the Macintosh Portable. It was Apple’s first battery-powered Mac, and the goal, Gassée declared, was to build a portable Mac that was every bit as powerful and usable as the familiar desktop models: “No subset of applications, no Mac Jr., no compromise.”…

What the Mac Portable wasn’t was all that . . . portable. In the evocative parlance of the time, it was a luggable, weighing in at 13.75 pounds without a hard drive and 15.75 pounds with one. The starting price—again, without a hard disk—was $5,800, or more than twice the $2,495 that the Mac had debuted at a half-decade earlier.

As an IDG man through and through, Harry quotes Macworld and even shows a cover. I wasn’t yet a reader of Mac magazines in 1989, but by the time I got to MacUser in 1993, that magazine’s Mac Portable cover was infamous.

—Linked by Jason Snell

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