Apple Computer introduced the first laptop computer in 1989 for $7,300 with an internal hard drive. The Mac Portable weighed more than a desktop computer, but it was portable and had a 10-hour battery. Since then, Apple continually has improved its laptop computers, making them smaller, lighter and faster than anyone else does. These days, Macbooks and Macbook Pros will do virtually everything a desktop computer will do at nearly the same speeds.
When Apple introduced the Mac Portable, everyone had been wanting portable computing, probably since the first computer was introduced. It was clunky, heavy and had a tiny screen, but it was a start. Following the Mac Portable, Apple began introducing smaller, lighter models with innovations with each model. The next model, for example, was the Mac 100 which weighed only a third what the original did and cost significantly less, too. By the time the 500c was introduced in 1994, Apple had made great strides. The 500c was the first laptop to have a trackpad rather than a trackball. It was the first with a PC card slot and stereo speakers. It also had a color display.
By the 1998 introduction of the Powerbook G3, code named Wallstreet, Apple had gone from clunky square designs to sleek, flowing designs. Instead of gray or beige, the Wallstreet was black and had a brilliant color screen. Apple also refined the modular design, allowing users to switch out batteries, hard drives, floppy disc drives and other media drives.
Apple, since at least 1999, has produced two lines of portables, one for professional use and one for general lower-end owner use. The first was the classic Clamshell G3 iBook. The iBook line, by then with a faster G4 processor, lasted until 2005. At the same time, Apple produced the Powerbooks, from the short-run G3 Kanga in 1997 to the G4 Powerbook 17-inch aluminum model in 2005.
In 2006, Apple introduced two new lines, the Macbook for average consumers, and the Macbook Pro for high-end users. Recently, the company upgraded the line for speed, RAM capacity and styling.
The reason the best laptop computers are Macs is simple: They're user-friendly. They come loaded with software and are usable, as the company says, right out of the box. They have built-in wireless cards for Internet access and built-in Bluetooth for wireless peripheral connections for mice, keyboards, printers and hard drives. They come with all the standard software most people can use immediately, including basic word processing, Internet browsers, photo organization, website design and music.
- Photo Credit Shawn M. Tomlinson