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PowerBook G3/233 Information And Performance Page

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.

The 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.

MacBench Scores

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 here.


Model/Mhz Processor Bus Speed
VRAM Expansion
 Modem  Monitor
G3/233 750 66 32
4MB 2 PC 2.0 IDE 20X 56K Flex
10 BT Ethernet
14.1" TFT