Apple Lisa

Introduced in January 1983, Apple’s Lisa shipped that June. The first consumer computer with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) display, a GUI (Graphical User Interface), and a mouse, its $10,000 price tag made it anything but successful. Only 11,000 original Lisas were sold.

original Apple Lisa

Lisa teamLisa had a whopping 1 MB of RAM, an unprecedented amount in an age when PCs could use at most 640 KB. That’s also more RAM than any Mac would have until the Mac Plus arrived in january 1986 – three years later.

Unlike Macintosh computers, Lisa does not have square pixels. Instead, pixels are 50% taller than they are wide. Its 720 x 360 pixel 12″ display had about 50% more pixels than early Macs, and it wasn’t until the Mac II arrived in March 1987 that Macs had comparable resolution with their new 640 x 480 pixel screens.

Apple LisaThe original Lisa was replaced by the Lisa 2 in January 1984 (the same month the first Macintosh was introduced) – and Apple even offered a free upgrade to owners of the original Lisa.

A year after it was introduced, the Lisa 2 was renamed Macintosh XL as some software changes were made to make the Lisa compatible with the Mac OS.


  • announced 1983.01.19 for May delivery at $9,995 with 5 MB Apple ProFile hard drive; also available with 10 MB hard drive; discontinued 1984.01
  • requires Lisa OS
  • CPU: 5 MHz 68000
  • ROM: 16 KB
  • RAM: 1 MB, expandable to 2 MB
  • 12″ b&w screen, 720 x 360 rectangular pixels
  • keyboard attached via coiled telephone-like cable
  • mouse attached via DB-9 connector
  • two DB-9 serial ports
  • parallel printer port
  • three expansion slots
  • floppies: two 5.25″ 860 KB ultra-thin Twiggy drives
  • sound: beeps
  • size (HxWxD): 15.2″ x 18.7″ x 13.8″
  • Weight: 48 lb.
  • Gestalt ID: 2
  • upgrade path: Lisa 2/Macintosh XL

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