Macintosh PowerBook 180

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Macintosh PowerBook 180
CPU: 33 MHz Motorola MC68030
RAM Type:Pseudostatic RAM
Maximum RAM: 14 MiB
Introduced:October 19 1992
Discontinued:May 1 1994
MSRP:$4110 (180), $4160 (180c) (US)
Full Specifications

Released in 1992 alongside the PowerBook 160, the PowerBook 180 was not only the direct replacement for the ageing PowerBook 170, but was the flagship machine in the PowerBook 1XX series.


When the PowerBook series had first been released, buyers had been presented with three options: The 'ecomony' PowerBook 100, the mid-range PowerBook 140, or the high-end PowerBook 170. The economy machines had been already received a make-over in the shape of the PowerBook 145, now it was the turn of the mid-range machines and the high-end machines. While the new PowerBook 160 was aimed squarely at the mid-range market, the high-end market fond itself with the very best, the PowerBook 180.

The PowerBook 1XX series had been very much a winning formula and Apple were more than happy to stick with that formula. In the 180, the company not only made sure that the all important 68030/68882 processor combination was firmly in place but ramped both chips up to a blistering 33Mhz. Instantly a speed boost but elsewhere the 180 allowed users to expand memory up to 14Mb (rather than the 8Mb imposed by every other PowerBook 1XX machine), sported a 4 bit (16 shades of gray) active matrix display running at 640x480 resolution, re-introduced SCSI Disk Mode (not seen since the PowerBook 100), and had an external video connection.

If the 180 had stopped there then users would have had plenty to shout about but Apple had one more trick up its sleeve: Colour. Released 8 months after the original 180, the 180c did everything that it's predecessor did had the added bonus of a colour screen. Even here though, the 180 series proved why it was the 'high-end' machine as, unlike the 165c's passive matrix display, the 180c used an active-matrix display that looked truly stunning (and didn't suffer from the problems of the cheaper passive matrix panel). All of this should have costs buyers big time but falling prices meant that, although sporting colour, the 180c only cost $50 more than the grayscale version.

A real powerhouse of a machine, the 180 (in either grayscale or colour version) was everything that even the most demanding of users could ask for. It was fast, it looked great and it really did justify its relatively high price tag.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 33 MHz Motorola MC68030
    • ROM: 1 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 25 MHz
    • Data Path: 32bit
    • RAM Type: Pseudostatic RAM (85 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 4 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 4 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 1
    • Maximum RAM: 14 MiB
    • Cache: ½ KiB (level 1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • Audio In: Mini-jack
    • Audio Out: 8 bit stereo 22KHz (mini-jack)
    • Built-in Speaker: Mono
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 80 MiB - 120 MiB
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    • Floppy Drive: One 3.5" Superdrive
  • Video
    • Built-in Display: 9.8" 4-bit 640x480 active matrix (180) / 8.4" 8-bit 640x480 colour active matrix (180c)
    • Max Resolution: 640x480 (4 bit) (180) / 640x480 (8 bit) (180c)
    • Standard VRAM: 512 KiB
    • VRAM Onboard: 512 KiB
    • VRAM Slots: 0
    • Maximum VRAM: 512 KiB
  • Miscellaneous
    • Codename: Converse, Dartanian (180) / Hokusai (180c)
    • Gestalt ID: 33 (180) / 71 (180c)
    • Power: NiCad, 2.5 Ah
    • Case Style: PowerBook 140
    • Dimensions: 11.25" x 9.3" x 2.25" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 6.8 lb (180) / 7.1 lb (180c)
    • Introduced: October 19 1992
    • Introduced: May 1 1994
    • MSRP: $4110 (180), $4160 (180c) (US)

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