Introduced in 1989, at over 4 kg the Outbound Laptop was significantly lighter and easier to carry than Apple's own Macintosh Portable, which became available at around the same time. However, due to Apple's refusal to license its software in read-only memory (ROM), Outbound users had to install a Mac ROM to make the computer work. The ROM was typically removed from an older Mac, a process that would render the donor Mac unusable. Even with this additional cost, a typical price of US $4,000 compared favorably to that of the Mac Portable.
The Outbound featured a built-in pointing device located below the keyboard; it was a cylinder that scrolled up and down and slid left and right.