PowerBook Buyer's Guide

PowerBook 520

by Steve Hildreth

The 520 was the passive-matrix grayscale equivalent of the 520c. It was aimed at budget-conscious consumers who wanted to upgrade from their 100-series PowerBooks to a 500-series PowerBook, but just didn't have the cash to spring for the more expensive models. Its screen is okay for text and other basic applications, but it's not really suitable for graphics or games. That said, the grayscale screens are brighter at their maximum settings that the color displays. For the demanding road warrior who wants light weight and maximum time from the battery, the 520 is the way to go. At only 6.3 pounds, it is the lightest 500-series 'Book, and the battery lasts on average 15 percent longer than a battery in a color model. All 500-series PowerBooks are PowerPC upgradable.


At the time: B

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

Passive-matrix 16-level grayscale
640x480 resolution

Weight: 6.3 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 4-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: 6/10/1995
Form Factor: PowerBook 520
Gestalt ID: 72
Weight (lbs): 6.3
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: 160-240MB
Int HD Interface: SCSI
Orig CD Speed n/a
Int CD Support: