Classic Macs in the Intel Age

My 4 Favorite PowerBooks

- 2008.05.28 - Tip Jar

My Turn is Low End Mac's column for reader-submitted articles. It's your turn to share your thoughts on all things Mac (or iPhone, iPod, etc.) and write for the Mac web. Email your submission to Dan Knight .

Last time I talked about my Quadra server.

Now it's time to talk about the portables, or at least some of them - the best ; ) (This article would be way too long if I went over them all, so I chose to talk about my four favorites instead)

These are all PowerBooks (no Mac Portable in my collection - yet!) using 680x0 processors, with the exception of one, which uses a PowerPC chip.

PowerBook 150

I just can't love my PowerBook 150 enough, as you know from my other articles. It has a very big screen compared to the other 'Books, and System 7.1 runs along just fine with this 'Book.

Although it lacks an ADB port, it still has a LocalTalk port, which is all I need to get it on the Internet with my Vintage Mac Network. iCab is a great web browser, and Eudora works well as a mail client.

In conclusion, it's a great value.

PowerBook 165c

PowerBook 165c

The first PowerBook with a color LCD, this 'Book feels a little more modern than the others. It has a 33 MHz 68030 chip and 4 MB of RAM (mine's been upgraded to 8 MB).

It's great for playing those old Mac games in color. My machine runs System 7.1, although it supports Mac OS 7.6 - or even Mac OS 8 if you use Born Again (something I might try when I get some more RAM).

A cheap way to have a notebook Mac that feels younger than it actually is.

PowerBook 100

Grandma of the MacBook Air (the Duo series is its mom)!

These machines are very thin and easily slip into your backpack. The base 2 MB of RAM isn't much, but it works. (System 6.08L is highly recommended with 2 MB.)

Just like the Air, it lacks some ports and needs an external floppy drive. Still, the keyboard is great, and that makes it a great word processor.


Lombard PowerBook G3There's just one more thing . . . Lombard.

Although not really a Vintage Mac, I consider this the missing link between new and old. It has USB, but the SCSI port and Mac OS 8 make it classic.

It has one of the best keyboards in PowerBook history, and the big 14.1" display makes it a nice DVD player.

Once again, it's not really a vintage Mac,* but more of a missing link. Great value if you can't afford a Pismo and think the WallStreet is a little too old.

Although I have some other PowerBooks (160, 1400, 145b), I find these to be my absolute favorites.

I am looking for a good Macintosh Portable, and when I get one, I'll be sure to share my story here.

Oh, and there's one more thing (again!). Remember the guy who gave me the Classic II and the 100s? Well, I've emailed him, and he's going to give me some other Macs too!

Next time, I'll talk about Compact Macs.

* Editor's note: At Low End Mac, we apply the term vintage to Macs designed around the 680x0 family of CPUs. We use the classic label for any Mac that can run the Classic Mac OS without using an emulator. dk

Go to the index of articles by Carl Nygren.

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