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The PowerBook is a line of Macintosh laptop computers that was designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from 1991 to 2006. During its lifetime, the PowerBook went through several major revisions and redesigns, often being the first to incorporate features that would later become standard in competing laptops.[1] The PowerBook line was targeted at the professional market, and received numerous awards, especially in the second half of its life, such as the 2001 Industrial Design Excellence Awards "Gold" status, and Engadget's 2005 "Laptop of the Year". In 1999, the line was supplemented by the low-end iBook range. The PowerBook and iBook lines were discontinued and replaced by the MacBook Pro and MacBook families respectively by 2006.



In September 1989, Apple Inc. released the Macintosh Portable, the first Macintosh computer to be easily portable. However, its price ($6500), size, and weight made simple portability near impossible. Because of this, the necessity for a true portable Macintosh notebook arose.

Early models

PowerBook 100 series

In October 1991 Apple released the first three PowerBooks: the low-end PowerBook 100, the more powerful PowerBook 140, and the high end PowerBook 170, the only one with an active matrix display. These machines caused a stir in the industry with their compact dark grey cases, built-in trackball, and the clever positioning of the keyboard which left room for palmrests on either side of the pointing device. Portable PC computers at the time were still oriented toward DOS, and tended to have the keyboard forward towards the user, with empty space behind it, so this was a surprising innovation and set the standard layout all future notebook computers would follow.

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