PowerBook Buyer's Guide

PowerBook 520c

by Steve Hildreth

The 520c is the budget color 500-series 'Book. It was the first passive-matrix color PowerBook to use dual-scan technology, which is actually two displays with independent scanning circuits put together. A dual-scan display refreshes about twice as fast as a normal passive-matrix display resulting in sharper images. This was a clear improvement over the 165c, but still not as good as an active-matrix screen. The other major differences between the 520c and its upmarket sibling 540c were the smaller hard drive (160 MB), slower processor (25 MHz), and lack of a second battery. If you can live without the active-matrix screen, you'll enjoy the 520c's extended battery time and lighter weight (0.9 lbs.). Used 520c's can be had for under $1000, but be prepared to pay more for one that has been upgraded to a PowerPC processor. There has even been talk of a G3 upgrade.


At the time: A-

1 serial
audio out
audio in
video out
internal modem
1 PDS slot

Passive-matrix 256 colors
640x480 resolution

Weight: 6.4 pounds

Apple's Specifications:

Logic Board Ports Power
Processor: 68LC040, 50 MHz
PMMU: integrated
FPU: none
Data Path: 32-bit, 25 MHz
L1 Cache: 8K
L2 Cache: none
2nd Processor: none
Slots: modem
ADB: 1
Video: mini-15
Floppy: none
Geoports: none
Ethernet: AAUI-15
Mic Type: Line in
Other Ports: Printer, Speaker,
Max Watts: 40
Amps: 1.0/1.5
BTU per Hr: 136.8
Voltage: 100-240
Freq Range: 50-60 Hz
Battery Type: PB500, NiMH
Soft Power: yes
Memory Video Memory
Logic Board: 4 MB
RAM Slots: 1, PB5xx
Min - Max RAM: 4 MB - 36 MB
Min RAM Speed: 70 ns
RAM Sizes: 4, 8, 12, 20, 32 MB
Install in Groups of: 1
Resolution Video Memory
built-in LCD screen
(built in)
Video Memory
512K VRAM (ext. only)
(built in)
512 x 384 n/a-bit 8-bit
640 x 400 n/a-bit n/a-bit
640 x 480 8-bit 8-bit
800 x 600 n/a-bit 8-bit
832 x 624 n/a-bit 8-bit
1024 x 768 n/a-bit n/a-bit
1152 x 870 n/a-bit n/a-bit
1280 x 1024 n/a-bit n/a-bit
Physical Software Storage
Introduced: 5/16/1994
Discontinued: 9/16/1995
Form Factor: PowerBook 520
Gestalt ID: 72
Weight (lbs): 6.4
Dimensions (in): 2.3 H x 11.5 W x 9.7 D
Addressing Modes: 32-bit
Orig SSW: 7.1.1
Orig Enabler: PowerBook 500 Series Enabler
ROM ID: n/a
ROM Ver: n/a
ROM Size: 2MB
AppleTalk Ver: 57.0.4
Mac OS
Floppy Size: 1.44MB
Floppy Inject: manual
Min. Int HD Size: 160-320MB
Int HD Interface: SCSI
Orig CD Speed n/a
Int CD Support: