From the Bat Cave to the board room, the latest incarnation
of the PowerBook G3/233 showed us that Apple could design
a machine that is both elegant and functional. Originally
offered with a small passive matrix screen and sans backside
cache, the 233 had a low budget feel. Thankfully the entire
G3 PowerBook line has standardized on the 14" active
matrix screen and Apple is no longer making PowerBooks without
a backside cache. The price of the 233 has recently been reduced
by Apple to $1,999 and you can find it for even less from
various online vendors.
In terms of connectivity the PowerBook G3/233 offers an Ethernet
connector for up to 10Mbps transfer rate, handy for plugging
to the school or office network. For the home user there is
an internal 56k modem with support for both flex and the v.90
standard. Last and I would guess least utilized is the infrared
port offering 4Mbps wireless networking. The side bays allow
you to plug in two batteries for up to 7 hours use. The same
bays can also take a Zip, CD-ROM or floppy drive. Perhaps
indicative of Apple's attitude toward the 3.5" plastic
square, the floppy drive is not standard on this machine but
is available as an add on.
14" active matrix (TFT) screen is a welcome improvement
over the 12" passive matrix of the original 233 which
lacks both the crispness and brightness of its successor.
Powering that screen is a ATI RAGE LT PRO graphics controller
with 4MB SGRAM. On the backside of the PowerBook you will
find both S-video and VGA connectors. This is handy for connecting
to projection systems or an external monitor. The 4MB of SGRAM
will support millions of colors on a 20" monitor.
The original PowerBook G3/233 MacWorld
reviewed came with half the SGRAM, a 12" passive
matrix screen and no backside cache. The cost? $2,299! Today
for $300 less you can own a machine that will meet the needs
of all but the most demanding users.
Below you will find MacBench 4.0 scores comparing the PowerBook
G3/233/512 to several other models. MacBench 4.0 yields scores
that are relative to a Power Mac 6100 which is assigned a
score of 100. For more information on MacBench click
10 BT Ethernet