Outbound Laptop and Notebook

Perhaps the best known early portable Mac clone came from Outbound systems. It was announced in August 1989, just weeks before Apple unveiled the Macintosh Portable.

Isopoint TrackbarThe Outbound Portable Plus uses the same 68000 CPU as the Plus and SE, but runs it nearly twice as fast at 15 MHz. It has a unique built-in pointing device, the Isopoint Trackbar, that rolls to scroll up and down – and moves sideways to scroll right and left. The Trackbar is part of the detachable keyboard. The Outbound requires ROMs transplanted from a Mac Plus or SE.

To use your desktop computer, you can attach the Outbound to your Mac, giving it access to the pulled ROMs. To attach a SCSI device, you had to buy a $95 adapter.

Still, at $3,995 with a 20 MB hard drive and a 10 pound weight, it was an attractive alternative even after Apple’s $6,500 Mac Portable shipped.

In late 1991, Outbound released a modular notebook computer. This model uses faster CPUs (from 20 MHz 68000 to 40 MHz 68030), supports 2-14 MB of RAM, has a backlit display, supports 20-120 MB IDS drives, works with high density floppy diskettes, and runs off a standard camcorder battery.

Outbound LaptopDetails, Outbound Laptop

  • introduced August 1989; discontinued
  • requires ROM from Mac Plus or SE
  • requires System 3.2 to 7.5.5 (Plus ROM) or 4.1 to 7.5.5 (SE ROM)
  • CPU: 15 MHz 68HC000 CPU
  • performance: about double that of a Plus or SE
  • ROM: 128 KB (Plus ROM) or 256 KB (SE ROM)
  • RAM: 1 MB, expandable to 4 MB using pairs of 256 KB or 1 MB 150ns 30-pin SIMMs
  • 9″ b&w screen, 640 x 400 pixels
  • keyboard communicates via infrared
  • two miniDIN-8 serial ports
  • SCSI: DB-25 connector on back of computer
  • floppy: 1.4 MB double sided
  • hard drive: 40 MB drive optional
  • silicon drive (1-16 MB) optional, holds data 10-25 days
  • size (HxWxD): 7.8″ x 12.3″ x 3.6″
  • weight: 9.3 lb., including battery
  • PRAM battery: unknown
  • battery: 3 hour charge
  • Gestalt ID: unknown
  • addressing: 24-bit only

Details, Outbound Notebook (also sold as RealTech Travler)

Outbound NotebookAlthough available with fast 68030 CPUs, the use of Mac Plus and SE ROMs limited to Outbound Laptop to 4 MB of memory.

  • introduced 1991.12.01; discontinued 1992.12.08
  • requires ROM from Mac Plus or SE
  • requires System 4.1 to 7.5.5 (SE ROM) or 6.0.7 to 7.5.5 (Classic ROM)
  • CPU: 20 HMz 68000; 20, 25, 33, or 40 MHz 68030
  • FPU: 68882, optional
  • performance: about double that of a Plus or SE
  • ROM: 128 KB (Plus ROM) or 256 KB (SE ROM)
  • RAM: 2 or 4 MB, expandable to 4 MB using pairs of 256 KB or 1 MB 150ns 30-pin SIMMs
  • 10″ supertwist b&w display, 640 x 400 pixels
  • keyboard communicates via infrared
  • two miniDIN-8 serial ports
  • SCSI: DB-25 connector on back of computer
  • floppy: 1.4 MB double sided
  • hard drive: 40, 80, or 120 MB IDE
  • silicon drive (1-16 MB) optional, holds data 10-25 days
  • size (HxWxD): 2.1″ x 11.0″ x 8.5″
  • weight: 6.25 lb., including battery
  • PRAM battery: unknown
  • battery: 2-3 hour charge
  • Gestalt ID: unknown
  • addressing: 24-bit only

Online Sources

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