PowerBook Buyer's Guide

PowerBook 550c

by Steve Hildreth

From someone who recently posted an ad for a 550c:

PB550c - Only sold in Japan. It has a 10.4'' active matrix screen, which goes all the way out to the corners, and is a full 1'' bigger than the 540c. I hear that this is the best quality screen ever to be put on a powerbook, including the 3400 Hooper.

It has the same design as the 540c, but is black. Externally,it's immaculate. This is a discontinued rare model, and I think it'll hold it's value (maybe even go up???) long into the future.

It comes with a Japanese layout keyboard, but I can swap it for an English keyboard if you prefer. (but the English keyboard would be for the grey 540c, and so there would be a two-tone effect.) The english letter character set-up is the same but extra characters, like (*&?>^$ take a bit of getting used to.

I'm running KanjiTalk7.5.5 now, the Japanese OS, but it's completely compatible with English 7.6. Without the NuPower card, it blows the 540c away, and with the NuPower, it blows the 5300ce away.

The 040 33mhz chip is almost 2X as fast as the 540s in mathematical calculations and graphics because it has an attached FPU, which the 540 does not.


At the time: A

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

Active-matrix 1000s colors
640x480 resolution (?)

Weight: 7.3 pounds +

Apple's Specifications:

Logic Board Ports Power
Processor: 68040, 66 MHz
PMMU: integrated
FPU: none
Data Path: 32-bit, 33 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: 12 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 16-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: 5/30/1995
Discontinued: n/a
Form Factor: PowerBook 520
Gestalt ID: 72
Weight (lbs): 6.8
Dimensions (in): 2.3 H x 11.5 W x 9.7 D
Addressing Modes: 32-bit
Orig SSW: J-7.5
Orig Enabler: PowerBook 550c Enabler
ROM ID: $067C
ROM Ver: $30
ROM Size: 2MB
AppleTalk Ver: 58.1.3
Mac OS
Floppy Size: 1.44MB
Floppy Inject: manual
Min. Int HD Size: 750MB
Int HD Interface: SCSI
Orig CD Speed n/a
Int CD Support: