Mobile Mac users with sore shoulders will be happy to hear that Apple announced a thinner, lighter successor to the current PowerBook G3 Series at this week’s World Wide Developer Conference. Sharing the existing model’s design but measuring only 1.7 inches deep (down from 2.0 inches), the new laptop weighs as little as 5.9 pounds (rather than 7.8 pounds) with one battery and a CD-ROM drive installed. The new PowerBook G3 Series (which doesn’t feature a name change, adding new levels of confusion when trying to describe the different models) will be available in two configurations. The high-end model features a 400 MHz G3 processor model with 1 MB of Level 2 backside cache, a 6 GB hard disk, and a DVD-ROM drive; the 333 MHz version includes 512K of backside cache, a 4 GB hard disk, and a CD-ROM drive. Both variations include 14.1-inch active matrix screens, 64 MB of RAM, ATI Rage LT Pro video controllers with 8 MB of video memory, built-in 10/100Base-T Ethernet, and 56K modems. One significant change to the PowerBook design is the presence of two USB ports, replacing the ADB and printer/modem ports found in earlier models; unlike Apple’s other USB-equipped Macs, a SCSI port is still standard issue. The new PowerBooks also benefit from the use of a 50-watt-hour lithium-ion battery, which Apple claims will provide up to five hours of use (depending on configuration and usage, of course). Pricing for the 400 MHz model will start at $3,500, while the 333 MHz machine will start at $2,500, with both variations available beginning 20-May-99.
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