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Macintosh PowerBook 520c

From Higher Intellect Vintage Wiki

The PowerBook 520c is the color version of the Macintosh PowerBook 520. It was introduced in May 1994 and discontinued September 1995.

Featuring an advanced 50/25-megahertz Motorola 68LC040 processor, the PowerBook 520c lets mobile users experience the true power of desktop computing—all in a system that weighs just over 6 pounds. It provides 16-bit, CD-quality stereo sound, and its fullpage-width, back-lit, dual-scan color display offers high contrast and 256 colors. And for moving large amounts of data, the PowerBook 520c comes with built-in support for high-speed Ethernet networking.

The PowerBook 520c also includes a number of technology and design innovations. It features the built-in Apple trackpad, which combines ease of use and reliability with extremely precise cursor control in a durable design with no moving parts.

The new PowerBook Intelligent Batteries can provide as much as 3 5 hours of use each and be recharged in less than 2 hours

Designed for easy expansion, the PowerBook 520c can be upgraded to PowerPC chip technology and offers the optional PCMCIA Expansion Module. And to help make you more productive right away, the PowerBook 520c comes with the PowerBook Mobility Bundle, integrated software that lets you access network resources remotely, synchronize files, optimize battery powder, work with Windows and DOS files, and more.

With its advanced features and expandability— and its low price tag—the PowerBook 520c is the perfect answer for mobile users who want an affordable color system now— and who want to take advantage of PowerPC technology in the future.

General Information[edit]


The PowerBook 520c uses the Motorola 68LC040 processor clocked at 25MHz. The 68LC040 does not include a math co-processor.



  • Provides Macintosh Quadra performance in an all-in-ore notebook computer
  • Delivers cost-effective, convenient, and fast networking capabilities through its built-in Ethernet support fatso supports LocalTalk networking)
  • Provides a 9.5-inch (diagonal), backlit, dual-scan, passive-matrix LCD with 256 colors for easy viewing, which can be upgraded to an active-matrix color display with optional upgrade kit
  • Comes with System 7 which provides multitasking, fits sharing, and TrueType fonts
  • Runs thousands of Macintosh applications


  • Includes an integrated Apple trackpad pointing device, which gives you precise cursor control with just the touch of a finger
  • Provides 16-bit, CD-quality stereo sound output and built-in speakers
  • Uses "intelligent" battery technology, which combined with the PowerBook Control Strip software provides extremely accurate measurements of battery consumption and remaining life


  • Is upgradable to PowerPC chip technology
  • Includes slots for an infernal modem and additional RAM (up to 35MB)
  • Offers a PDS slot with an optional PCMCIA expansion module, which allows the instant expansion of flash memory, hard disk space, network interfaces, wireless communications, and more
  • Comes with the PowerBook Mobility Bundle, a combination of communications, power-management, information-management, and compatibility software designed to enhance mobile computing

Technical Specifications[edit]


  • 50/25-MHz Motorola 68LC04D with integral memory management unit (MMU)
    • (The two speeds refer to the internal processor and the bus interface, respectively)


  • 4MB of RAM, expandable to 36MB using too PowerBook 8MB Expansion Kit or larger-capacity, third-party memory expansion card (70 ns, low power, self-refreshing)


  • Built-in Apple SuperOrive 1.4MB floppy disk drive, which uses high-density floppy disks and reads, writes, and formats Macintosh, Windows, MS-DOS, OS/2, and ProDOS disks
  • Internal 160MB hard disk drive


  • 9.5-in. (diagonal), backlit, dual-scan, passive-matrix LCD
  • Resolution: 640 by 480 pixels with 256 colors
  • Energy conservation: Sleeps on close
  • User-configurable energy-conservation software via the control panel


  • Nickel-metal-hydride PowerBook Intelligent Batteries each provide up to four hours of use before recharge (has bays for two; ships with one)
  • EverWatch battery-saver technology
  • Batteries recharge in two hours while computer is shut down or in sleep mode; four hours while running
  • PowerBook Control Strip allows user to monitor lime remaining, charge lime, and battery usage
  • Backup rechargeable lithium battery maintains RAM in sleep mode while main batteries are removed for up to three minutes


  • One Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) port
  • One Serial/LocalTalk (RS-422) port
  • One high-speed Ethernet port
  • One SCSI port tor connecting as many as six external devices (HDI-30)
  • One power adapter port
  • One 90-pin processor-direct slot (PDS) for connecting PDS devices or optional PowerBook PCMCIA Adapter (optional PowerBook PCMCIA Expansion Module allows use of two Type II or one Type IN PCMCIA-type card)
  • One slot for optional internal modem
  • Stereo sound input/output
  • One RAM slot


  • Slot for security cable


  • Serial/LocalTalk port for AppleTalk
  • High-speed Ethernet network interface with Apple AUI connector

Built-in stereo sound

  • CD-quality, 16-bit stereo sound capable of driving headphones or other stereo equipment
  • Two built-in stereo speakers
  • Digital-ta-analog and analog-to-digital conversion sampled at 11.035, 22.050, or 44.100 kHz

Video output

  • Video-out port compatible with most Apple monitors, VGA monitors, and SVGA monitors; cable with standard DB-15 connector provided
  • Selectable video modes: dual mode allows separate images on the built-in display and external video monitor; mirror mode displays the same image on built-in and external displays

Keyboard and Apple trackpad

  • Solid-state trackpad provides precise cursor control in response to the movement of the user's fingertip over its surface; sensing of movement and acceleration is easily adjustable through a control panel
  • Built-in, standard-size keyboard with 76 (U.S.) or 77 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys
  • Two-level tilt adjustment
  • Power on key located on the keyboard

Disability access

  • Easy Access and ability lo substitute visual cue for beep included with system software. These built-in solutions and third-party options provide alternative input and output solutions for people with disabilities.

Electrical requirements

  • Line voltage: 100 to 240 volt AC
  • Frequency: 50 lo 60 Hz

ADB power requirements

  • Maximum current draw for all ADB devices: 200 mA

Environmental requirements

  • Operating temperature; 50° to 104° F (10° to 40° C)
  • Storage temperature: -13° to 140° F (-25° to 60° C)
  • Relative humidity: 20% to 80% noncondensing
  • Operating altitude: 1 to 10,000 ft. (0 to 3,048 m)
  • Maximum storage altitude: 15,000 ft. (4,722 m)

Size and weight

  • Height: 2.3 in. (5.7 cm)
  • Width: 11.5 In. (29.2 cm)
  • Depth: 9,7 in. (24.5 cm)
  • Weight: 6.4 lb. (2.9 kg)


  • The PowerBook 500 series introduced the trackpad as opposed to the trackball for mouse control.
  • The PowerBook 500 series supports hot swap expansion bays for PCMCIA slots, extra battery, etc.
  • The lid hatch is fragile and can be broken somewhat easily.


External Resources[edit]

See Also[edit]

The Macintosh PowerBook Series from Apple Computer
Macintosh PowerBook 100 -- Macintosh PowerBook 140 -- Macintosh PowerBook 145 -- Macintosh PowerBook 150 -- Macintosh PowerBook 160 -- Macintosh PowerBook 165 -- Macintosh PowerBook 165c -- Macintosh PowerBook 170 -- Macintosh PowerBook 180 -- Macintosh PowerBook 180c -- Macintosh PowerBook 190 -- Macintosh PowerBook 190cs -- Macintosh PowerBook 520 -- Macintosh PowerBook 520c -- Macintosh PowerBook 540 -- Macintosh PowerBook 540c -- Macintosh PowerBook 550c -- Macintosh PowerBook 5300 -- Macintosh PowerBook 1400 -- Macintosh PowerBook 2400c -- Macintosh PowerBook 3400c -- Macintosh PowerBook G3