Macintosh Portable prototype hits eBay, unusual keyboard configuration intact
If you are looking to grab a piece of Apple history, here is your chance. Spotted on eBay is a prototype Macintosh Portable computer, an early predecessor to the PowerBook. The Macintosh Portable debuted in September 1989 and was a semi-portable, battery-powered version of a desktop Macintosh. The variant available for sale is labeled as a demonstration unit and is in perfect cosmetic condition. Unfortunately, the Portable will not power on, as the lead-acid battery within the device is toast. Though the Macintosh Portable has an input for AC power, the AC power is used to charge the battery, not power the machine. The current owner is selling the laptop precursor with the hope that a collector with some restoration skills may be able to work around this battery issue.
This particular Macintosh Portable may look slightly different from the original retail model as it includes a trackball installed on the left side of the keyboard. This unusual configuration suggests the previous owner of this device may have been left-handed, as the trackball can be installed on either side of the keyboard according to the user's preference. Currently, the eBay auction has four days left and is sitting at a cool US$1,750 with zero bids. Even if you are not interested in buying the Macintosh Portable, the auction has some quality pictures of this vintage device and is definitely worth a click-through to check them out.
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