Introduced: March 1, 1985
Terminated: February 1, 1988


The Apple LaserWriter had a resolution of 300 DPI and a printing speed of eight pages per minute.  Although on the surface it appeared to be similar to other printers, albeit more expensive, but inside the LaserWriter was a rastor image processor, the Adobe PostScript interpreter.

A Motorola 68000 processor powered the printer’s CPU.  The processor was capable of speeds up to 12 Mhz, which was more than the fastest Macintosh of the time.  It also had 512KB of RAM and a 1MB framebuffer. 

Because of the expense of a single LaserWriter, it was necessary to develop the means for multiple computers to communicate with the printer, which led to the creation of AppleTalk. 


The PostScript printer was revolutionary in terms of printing.  Before PostScript, printing capabilities were much lower.  PostScript allowed an entire page to be printed at once combining both graphical and textual elements.  With PostScript, the LaserWriter was able to print at a quality previously only found at a printing press.

The huge step forward in printing did not come cheaply.  The first LaserWriter cost $6,995.  In spite of the expense, the LaserWriter was very successful.  It is often credited with saving the Apple company and the Macintosh line.  Modern desktop publishing is based on the foundation laid by the first LaserWriter.


Processor: Motorola 68000
Frequency: 12 MHz
Minimum: 1.5 MB
Maximum: 1.5 MB
Slot: 1
ROM: 512 kB
Ports: Serial, LocalTalk
Type: Laser
Color: 1
DPI: 300
Speed: 8 Pages Per Minute
Language: PostScript Diablo 630
Power: 760 Watts
Weight: 77 lb
Dimensions: (H x W x D) 11.5 x 18.5 x 16.2 in


The LaserWriter was introduced in 1985 was highly successful.  The original LaserWriter was in production until 1988, when it was replaced by new models.



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