Macintosh PowerBook 520


At A Glance

The PowerBook 520, part of the 500 series of notebooks which was the first to use a trackpad, was launched in 1994 with a retail price of $2,200. It sported a 25Mhz 68LC040 processor and 4Mb of RAM, expandable to 36 using a special 100ns pseudostatic RAM card. The 500 series were also the first notebooks by Apple to include stereo speakers, and to automatically sleep when the lid was closed. Read the original specifications of the Macintosh PowerBook 520 at the Apple support site., or download the original manuals.

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Original Specifications


  • Processor:
    • 68LC040; 50/25 MHz clock frequency
  • Memory:
    • 4 MB low power DRAM; with one expansion slot, expandable to 36 MB
    • 2 MB ROM
  • Disk drives:
    • SCSI compatible 2.5″ hard drive
    • Built-in 1.44 MB floppy disk drive, reads and writes Macintosh 800K and 1.4 MB floppy disks, as well as Windows, DOS, and OS/2 720K and 1.44 MB floppy disks
  • Video display:
    • 9.5″ diagonal, 640 x 480 dual scan passive matrix (FSTN), 16 grays
  • Battery:
    • Rechargeable nickel-metal-hydride batteries provide up to 4 hours of operation each, depending on battery-saving features used and machine configuration
    • Built-in processor communicates directly with the computer’s power management system
  • Backup battery:
    • 30 mAh rechargeable lithium battery for calendar/clock maintenance, also backs up the contents of RAM for up to 3 minutes while you change batteries when your PowerBook is in sleep mode
  • Sound:
    • 16-bit stereo sound in and out supporting 44.1 kHz (“CD quality” sound), 22 kHz, and 11 kHz sample rates
    • Stereo speakers housed in the PowerBook’s display
  • Interfaces:
    • Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) port for keyboard, mouse or other input devices using a low speed, synchronous serial bus
    • Serial port for printers, modems, LocalTalk network, or other serial devices (RS-422)
    • SCSI port (HDI-30 connector) for hard disk drives, CD-ROMs, scanners, printers, and other devices; also supports PowerBook SCSI disk mode
    • Sound output port for external audio amplifier/powered speakers, stereo mini-jack, 3 connector, standard 3.5 mm stereo miniplug
    • Sound input port for stereo sound input (line level), stereo mini-jack, 3 connector, standard 3.5 mm stereo miniplug
    • Video port (micro DV-14) for 8-bit/256-color video output to most Apple monitors, VGA monitors (640 x 480), and SVGA monitors (600 x 800)
    • Ethernet network interface (with AUI adapter)
    • Internal expansion slot for processor-direct expansion card
    • Optional internal modem interface
    • One 90-pin processor-direct slot (PDS) for connecting PDS devices or optional PowerBook PCMCIA Adapter.
  • Power adapter:
    • Input: AC 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz
    • Output: two ouputs, DC 16.6 V, 1.0 A and DC 16.6 V, 1.5 A, nominally
  • Keyboard:
    • 3.0 mm travel keyboard, 19 mm vertical pitch, 19 mm horizontal pitch
  • Trackpad:
    • Integrated, solid-state trackpad provides precise cursor movement

  • Weight:
    • With one battery in the PowerBook: 2.9 kg (6.3 lb.)
  • Dimensions:
    • 292 mm x 245 mm x 57 mm (11.5 in. x 9.65 in. x 2.25 in.)
  • Apple Desktop Bus power requirements:
    • Maximum current draw for all ADB devices is 200 mA. Note: The maximum number of ADB devices recommended in a daisy chain connected to the ADB port is three.
  • RAM configurations:
    • All models ship with 4 MB of RAM on the main logic board. Additional RAM may be installed by means of a memory expansion card; additional RAM must be installed by an Apple-authorized dealer. If your machine came with 12 MB of RAM, the expansion slot is already used, and the card will need to be removed before RAM can be installed.
    • Memory expansion cards must use RAM chips rated at 70 ns access time or faster.
  • Microphone/Sound:
    • The internal microphone is an omnidirectional electret type. An external audio source may be used with these PowerBooks if it generates line level output.
    • Note: To input sound from audio equipment with line level outputs, you need the appropriate adapters which are available from most electronics stores. The Apple Omni-microphone and Apple PlainTalk microphones are not compatible with this computer.
  • Environment:
    • Operating temperature: 10° C to 40° C (50° F to 104° F)
  • Storage temperature:
    • –25° C to 60° C (–13° F to 140° F)
  • Relative humidity:
    • 20% to 80% noncondensing
  • Altitude:
    • Operating: 3048 m (10,000 ft.) maximum
    • Shipping (non-operating): 4572 m (15,000 ft.) maximum



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