- "Introducing Macintosh" "Soon there'll be just two kinds of people," Apple's ads said. "Those who use computers. And those who use Apples."
1986: Macintosh Plus
The Macintosh Plus didn’t change the look and feel of the Macintosh, but it made it a lot more powerful. The Plus came with more ROM and more RAM, plus offered more expansion — and barely increased the price.
1987: Macintosh II
It was expandable and powerful, but the best thing the Macintosh II had going for it was that it could power a color display. 16.7 million glorious colors, if you installed the right graphics card. There was just nothing like it.
1989: Macintosh Portable
It almost looked more like a laptop than a desktop, a bold move that made the comparatively light — only 15.8 pounds — Macintosh Portable both slow and awkward to use. At $6,500, it was more impressive than it was practical. Much more.
- "The Macintosh Portable is here." It was a fairly loose definition of "portable," maybe, but Apple sold its latest Macintosh as the computer that goes everywhere.
1991: PowerBook 100
The Mac Portable was more like a prototype, but the PowerBook 100 was a truly viable product. It was five pounds, had a keyboard and trackball, and gave Apple a line of laptops to go along with its desktops.
1993: Mac Color Classic
The Classic wasn’t much different from the Mac Plus, and it was a bit behind the times, but at $999 it was the first sub-$1,000 Mac. It was the closest thing yet to Apple’s dream of getting Macs to everyone.
1993: Macintosh TV
1993 was a big year for the Mac lineup, as Apple made devices for every price and use it could think of in an effort to boost its flagging sales. The Macintosh TV may have been the craziest: it came with a TV tuner card and a CD-ROM drive, in a great-looking black case. Apple only made 10,000 before discontinuing it — apparently TV was a hobby then too.
- 1995: Macintosh Performa 6300 The beige Power Macintosh Performa 6300 arrived near the end of the Performa series, which was later replaced by Apple's G3 line.
- 1995: Mac Clones For a brief period of time, Apple allowed other manufacturers to make Mac-compatible computers. Power Computing was the best-selling (and most creative in its advertising), but when Jobs returned to Apple he both ended the Mac Clone program and bought Power Computing.
- 1996: Power Macintosh 5400 The Power Macintosh 5000 series is notable for its all-in-one design that brought together a monitor, speakers, and case in one distinctive package with a subtle chin. The 5400 debuted in 1996, and was targeted to family and education markets.
1997: Power Mac G3
By the time Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the focus of the Mac had shifted. It was about power, and capability — and that started with the Power Mac G3, the fastest Mac ever made.
1997: 20th Anniversary Mac
When Apple turned 20, it made the weirdest Mac ever. The 20th Anniversary Macintosh was as much as $10,000, had a totally unique shape, and came with integrated TV, FM radio, and a separate subwoofer. If you bought one, a man in a tuxedo would bring it to your house and set it up for you.
With the iMac, Apple made its first computer for the internet. Its multi-colored, curved case was as good-looking as a computer had ever been, and came with a high-end modem and processor. And it had USB ports. Two USB ports.
1999: iBook G3
After the remarkable success of the iMac, Apple shrunk the formula into the iBook. It was colorful, powerful, and thanks to an oddly over-promoted handle the 6.6-pound body was easy to carry around. And did I mention it had a handle?
1999: Blue Power Mac G3
It wasn’t a huge spec change, or really a new idea for how the Mac could work. But the blue PowerMac G3, and then the G4, released later in 1999, looked awesome.
2001: PowerBook G4
The iPod made most of Apple’s headlines in 2001, but the PowerBook G4 was a dramatic change the same year. With a new, one-inch thick titanium body, a low-power chip, and a 15.2-inch screen, it was the first Apple laptop to look like its MacBooks still do today.
- 2002: iMac G4 It was a bit of a one-off design, but the iMac G4, which bore more than a passing resemblance to the Pixar lamp, gave the iMac a flatscreen LCD (as Steve Jobs proudly announced CRTs were dead) and a striking new look.
2004: iMac G5
Apple finally moved the entirety of its all-in-one into its display with the iMac G5, as it added a 64-bit G5 processor to the equation as well. It came with displays as large as 20 inches, and the transparent white mouse and keyboard so many people still remember.
2005: Mac Mini
Apple had high-end and consumer-friendly machines, but the Mac mini gave it a real option in the low-end market.
2006: MacBook and MacBook Pro
With the MacBook and MacBook Pro, Apple fully made the switch to Intel processors. It also unified its many product names and ideas into a single family, and made sure every one of its computers had Mac in the title.
2008: MacBook Air
Steve Jobs pulled it out of an envelope, just to prove the point — after 24 years of slimming down the PowerBooks, and the iBooks, the MacBook Air was the result. It was incredibly expensive, before becoming Apple’s entry-level laptop years later, and it was underpowered next to the MacBook and MacBook Pro. But it was *thin,* and it drove competitors back to the drawing board.
2013: Mac Pro
The most recently overhauled of Apple’s Macs, the new Mac Pro is smaller, lighter, and more powerful than virtually any professional machine it’s ever made. Apple bet on Thunderbolt as a tool for expansion, and brought an entirely new design language to its desktops.