On September 20th, 1989, Apple released the Macintosh Portable, the first true mobile Mac and a much-maligned machine. It didn’t sell well and is very rare today–not due to any particular design failure, but because the original price was a whopping $6,500-$7,300 ($11,288 to $12,677 in 2009 dollars). It wasn’t the only Mac to cost that much, but others in that price range offered top-of-the-line performance. The Portable was both too expensive and too underpowered to catch on. Its large size didn’t help, either.
Apple vastly improved upon the design two years later with the PowerBook 100, the first true Mac notebook. For now, though, it’s time to honor the design achievements of Apple’s first battery-powered computer. I’ve found there’s no better way to do that than take it apart on my trusty workbench.