PowerBook 160

The PowerBook 160 introduced grayscale video to the PowerBook line with its 4-bit (16 shade) internal grayscale video and support for 8-bit (256-color) video on an external monitor with up to 832 x 624 resolution.

Powerbook 160With the PowerBook 180, it was the first PowerBook to support an external monitor (using Apple’s proprietary VID-14 connector with an adapter) and the first to allow more than 8 MB RAM. Other than that, this is much the same as the PowerBook 145.

The 160 reintroduced SCSI Disk Mode to the PowerBook line, a feature previously found only on the PowerBook 100.

As with all early PowerBooks, when buying used be sure it has all the memory you need (new PB RAM is getting more difficult to locate, especially at reasonable prices).

The PB 160 has a 14 MB memory ceiling, although you can go beyond that by using Virtual Memory (slow and free) or RAM Doubler (faster, not free, and discontinued). Another option is RAM Charger 8.1, which offers better memory management than the Mac OS.


  • Code Name: Brooks
  • introduced 1992.10.19 at US$2,430; discontinued 1993.08.16
  • requires System 7.1 to 7.6.1
  • CPU: 25 MHz 68030
  • FPU: none
  • Performance: 3.6 (relative to SE)
  • ROM: 1 MB
  • RAM: 4 MB, expandable to 14 MB using a special 85ns pseudostatic RAM card
  • display: 9.8″ 4-bit 640 x 400 77 ppi passive matrix
  • video: 512 KB VRAM, VID-14 port, supports 8-bit external video at 512 x 384, 640 x 400, 640 x 480, 800 x 600, and 832 x 624 with video adapter
  • ADB ports: 1 port for keyboard and mouse
  • serial ports: 2 DIN-8 RS-422 ports on back of computer
  • SCSI ports: HDI30 connector on back of computer
  • Hard drive: 40, 80, or 120 MB
  • proprietary modem slot
  • Gestalt ID: 34
  • Size (HxWxD): 2.25″ x 11.25″ x 9.3″
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • power supply: M5651 – 19W, 2 amps

Accelerators & Upgrades

Online Resources


  • Apple Computer considers this computer obsolete as of 2001.07.16 in the United States and 2001.07.23 in Canada. As of that date, service parts and documentation are longer be available from Apple.
  • The 100-series and 500-series PowerBooks do not provide SCSI termination power, depending on external SCSI devices to provide it. For more details, see SCSI Termination Power.
  • Serial port limited to 57.6 kbps; throughput using a 56k modem may be limited. See 56k modem page.

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