Its case design and features are the same as that of the 170, but it shipped with the more powerful 33 MHz Motorola 68030 CPU and Motorola 68882 FPU. Along with the 160, it introduced a new power-saving feature which allowed the processor to run at a slower 16 MHz rate, the same speed as the original 140.
The PowerBook 180 came with a 9.5 in (240 mm) (diagonal) active matrix LCD screen capable of displaying 4-bit grayscale at a resolution of 640x400, and a trackball was mounted beneath the keyboard. A 1.44 MB floppy disk drive and 80 MB 2.5-inch hard drive were also standard.
The Apple Powerbook also gave an option of possible expansion to a 120 MB hard drive. They are equipped with keyboard stands to slant the keyboard.
Like the Macintosh Portable before it, with the addition of an external color video port (missing on the 170), the 180 became a full-featured, no-compromises desktop replacement, equivalent in performance to the Macintosh LC III+. It was sold until May 1994.