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PowerBook is the name given to a line of Apple laptop computers that were released between 1991 and 2006. During that time, the PowerBook line went under several revisions, including going through the 68k to PowerPC processor transition. The line was replaced by the MacBook series in 2006.

[edit] Early days

The PowerBook was first released in October 1991 in three different models: the PowerBook 100, the PowerBook 140, and the PowerBook 170. These machines were vastly different from other, similar portable machines at that time. They included a trackball, gray, smaller cases, and position of the keyboard, which allowed room for palmrests. Typical portable computers at that time (including Apple's own Macintosh Portable) tended to have the keyboard positioned toward the user and were generally large, so the PowerBook was a surprise to the portable computer industry.

The PowerBook line was supplemented in 1992 by the PowerBook Duo line. This line was a line of subnotebooks what were thin and light. These models had their own docking station which looked like a desktop computer itself. These models did not sell well as expected.

The first line of PowerBooks were very successful at first, capturing 40% of portable computer sales. However, the original design team left Apple to work at Compaq, meaning updated models were held back. Also, when the time came to update the PowerBooks to the Motorola 68040 processor, there were major setbacks. The 68040, when placed in a PowerBook, overheated, meaning the line was stuck with the aging Motorola 68030 processor. This also meant that the PowerBook line could not compete with newer Intel 80486-based portables that had copied the PowerBook's design and features, and Apple would not regain their lead.

In 1992, the PowerBook line received its first major update. The 100 was replaced by the PowerBook 145, the 140 with the PowerBook 160, and the 170 with the PowerBook 180. This revised line was a state-of-the-art line, as the 180 and 160 were the first PowerBooks to include a grayscale LCD and were well-received by consumers. A year later, the first color PowerBooks were released, the PowerBook 165c was released first and the PowerBook 180c came later. The last true member of the PowerBook 100 series was the PowerBook 150, released in 1994. The PowerBook 190, released in 1995, was only a Motorola 68LC040 version of the PowerBook 5300. It was also the last 68k PowerBook produced. The original PowerBook line spanned almost every 68k processor in a Macintosh; from the 100's 68000 to the 190's 68LC040. (The only 68k processor not to be included in a PowerBook was the 68020).

[edit] PowerBook 500 Series

In 1994, a new line of PowerBooks was released. These were the PowerBook 520, the PowerBook 540, the PowerBook 520c, and the PowerBook 540c. These were the first PowerBooks to be fitted with a Motorola 68LC040.

[edit] The transition to the PowerPC processor

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