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Apple to beef up G3 PowerBook

Still glowing from the iMac launch, Apple will refresh the PowerBook G3 notebooks with faster processors and bigger screens.

Following on the heels of the successful launch of the iMac, Apple Computer will next turn attention to its notebooks by refreshing the PowerBook G3 systems with faster processors and an emphasis on gigantic 14.1-inch displays.

PowerBook G3
PowerBook G3

The new G3 notebooks, expected to be introduced on September 1, will include new 300- and 266-MHz notebooks that are anticipated to be offered at the same price as the older (and scarce) 292- and 250-MHz G3 notebooks for similar configurations, sources said.

(Click here for detailed specifications of the new G3 PowerBook.)

Apple has apparently decided to offer 14.1-inch screens as standard across the lines and offer the floppy disk drive as an option, but sources say Apple could well change its mind by the date of introduction.

Availability of the new high-end notebooks will likely be constrained as well, but Apple will try and stir up demand for its low-end configurations by offering a 233-MHz PowerPC 750 that will now include 512K of backside cache.

Previous 233-MHz systems did not offer this performance enhancing feature, and subsequently have not sold well even though customers had trouble finding the other models.

A system with the new 233-MHz processor, 14.1-inch display, 32MB of memory, a 2GB hard disk drive, a CD-ROM drive and built-in networking will be priced at $2,799, according to sources.