Jean-Louis Gassée Introduces the Macintosh Portable

The Macintosh Portable is huge and heavy, but it’s fundamentally the same product as today’s MacBooks. This is the first place where many of these design solutions were applied to the Mac, like putting the computer to sleep and entering a low-power state once the battery is depleted.

It’s really neat how he assembles the computer while explaining how its components work and what makes them unique. I’m charmed by the relative simplicity of the components and how they all plug together. It’s very modular and logical.

There’s a similarity in this approach to the design of Framework’s laptop. I can imagine a similar assembly video being used to introduce that machine and its benefits. Framework forces reconsidering the question: how much integration is really necessary to deliver a great portable computer?

That screen still looks really good, even without a backlight. It reminds me of the screen used in the Playdate, and I wonder if that nostalgia is what informed Panic’s decision. I would love to see super-crisp LCDs used more often, especially if they would have a customizable LED backlight.

But omg, it used a lead acid battery. This laptop uses car parts!! Even the battery icon in the OS looks like a car battery.