Macintosh PowerBook Duo 280

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Macintosh PowerBook Duo 280
CPU: 33 MHz Motorola MC68LC040
RAM Type:Duo RAM
Maximum RAM: 40 MiB
Supported OS: System 7.1 - Mac OS 8.1
Introduced:May 16 1994
Discontinued:January 27 1996
Full Specifications

The final two machines in the 680x0 series of Duo laptops, the Duo 280 and Duo 280c may not have revolutionised the portable computer scene, but they did bring a much needed power injection to the series.


Ever since the series was first released in October 1992, the Duo line had relied heavily on the Motorola 68030, running at 33 MHz, with only the Duo 210 bucking the trend by running the 68030 at a slightly more pedestrian 25 MHz. Progress and improvement had been somewhat limited, with the only real changes being in screen technology – the Duo 250 switched from a mono passive matrix screen to a mono active matrix screen, whilst the Duo 270c used a colour active matrix panel – and battery performance; the second wave of Duos used the much improved Type II batteries.

Having soldiered on for so long with the same processor running at the same speed, the Duo line was starting to look very dated in terms of performance, and the new Duo 280 machines had much to do if they were to draw buyers to them.

Using the new Motorola 68LC040 – a low power 68040 that lacked an integrated floating point unit (FPU) – the Duo 280s were immediately more powerful, even if they were running at the same 33 MHz as the earlier machines. Elsewhere, the memory ceiling was raised from 24 MiB to 40 MiB, and the two machines sported the latest Type III Nickel Hydride batteries which, once again, improved battery life. Buyers looking for more were to be disappointed, however, as processor, battery, and memory ceiling aside, the 280 machines brought nothing new to the mix.

With the 280 effectively a tweaked Duo 250 (both used the same 9.8" mono display) and the 280c effectively a tweaked Duo 270c (both used the same 8.4" colour panel – indeed, screen aside, the 280 and 280c were actually identical), the Duo line appeared to have run out of steam and marked the end of the series when it came to 680x0 processors – a PowerPC enabled model, the PowerBook Duo 2300c, would be the only other Duo machine released.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 33 MHz Motorola MC68LC040
    • ROM: 1 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 33 MHz
    • Data Path: 32-bit
    • RAM Type: Duo (70 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 4 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 4 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 1
    • Maximum RAM: 40 MiB
    • Cache: ½ Kib (L1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • Serial: 1
    • Built-in Speaker: 8-bit mono 22 KHz
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 240 MiB
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
  • Video
    • Built-in Display: 9" 6-bit 640×400 active matrix (280) / 8.4" 16-bit 640×480 colour active matrix (280c)
    • Max Resolution: 640×400 (6-bit) (280) / 640×480 (8-bit), 640×400 (16-bit) (280c)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Codename: Yeager
    • Gestalt ID: 102 (280) / 103 (280c)
    • Power: One Type III Nickel Hydride
    • Case Style: Duo
    • Dimensions: 10.9" x 8.5" x 1.4" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 4.2 lbs. (280) / 4.8 lbs. (280c)
    • Mac OS Support: System 7.1 - Mac OS 8.1
    • Introduced: May 16 1994
    • Introduced: January 27 1996
    • MSRP: 2600

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