PowerBook G3 Mid 1999 PowerBook G3 Mid 1999

PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999 Explained

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, there are iconic moments that shape the industry. One such milestone occurred on May 10th, 1999, when Apple introduced the PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999, a remarkable addition to the PowerBook G3 series of Macintosh computers. This sleek notebook, designed and crafted by Apple, left an indelible mark on the tech world from 1999 to 2000, capturing the hearts of Apple enthusiasts.

The PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999, also known as Lombard, marked the third generation of PowerBook G3. This groundbreaking release in May 1999 revolutionized the portable computing experience. Lombard stood out with its slim and lightweight design, a significant departure from its predecessor. It was the first New World ROM PowerBook, boasting improved battery life and a unique feature allowing users to double the duration to a remarkable 10 hours by substituting a second battery for the optical drive in the expansion bay.

The Lombard keyboard transformed, now featuring translucent bronze-tinted plastics, earning it the affectionate nickname “bronze keyboard.” Adding to its allure, Lombard became the first Apple laptop to showcase a backlit Apple logo on the rear of the display, a design element that would later become a trademark feature.

One notable feature of the PowerBook G3 series was the interchangeability of internal hard drives among models like Pismo, Lombard, and Wallstreet II. While expansion bay drives were interchangeable on Pismo and Lombard, Wallstreet presented limitations in this aspect. The optional DVD drive on the 333 MHz model and the standard inclusion on the 400 MHz version marked a significant advancement, with the latter featuring a hardware MPEG-2 decoder for seamless DVD playback.

The introduction of USB ports to the PowerBook line, while retaining SCSI support and eliminating ADB entirely, showcased Apple’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements. Graphics were powered by an ATi Rage LT Pro chipset on the PCI bus, ensuring a stunning display with a maximum resolution of 1024×768 on the 14.1-inch LCD.

The PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999 supported Mac OS 8.6–10.3.9, excluding 10.4. However, the use of XPostFacto 4 provided a workaround, enabling users to upgrade to Tiger, demonstrating the resilience of this powerhouse even beyond Apple’s officially supported boundaries. With upgrades allowing for more RAM (up to 512 MB), expanded hard drive capacity (up to 128 GB), and CPU enhancements (up to a 433 MHz G4), users could tailor their PowerBooks to meet evolving computing needs.

With a starting price of $2,499, the PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999 was positioned as a powerful and stylish notebook computer. Boasting a 333 MHz or 400 MHz PowerPC 750 G3 processor, a vibrant 14.1-inch color LCD display, 64 MB of RAM, and a 4 GB, 6 GB, or 10 GB hard drive, the configurations catered to a range of user preferences. The base model featured an 8 MB ATI Rage Pro LT graphics card and a tray-loading 24x CD-ROM or 2x DVD-ROM drive.

Weighing nearly two pounds less and 20% thinner than its predecessor, the PowerBook G3 Series, the Mid 1999 model made portability effortless. It was a testament to Apple’s commitment to innovation, making it the most convenient PowerBook since the 4.4 lb. 2400.

In the field, a fully charged 50-watt-hour Apple battery could yield up to 5 hours of use, and using two batteries could extend that to an impressive 10 hours. Replacement batteries further enhanced performance, potentially reaching up to 60%, offering a staggering 8 hours with one battery and an incredible 16 hours with two.

The PowerBook G3 Mid 1999 brought about significant changes, including the shift to only one drive bay, one PC Card slot, and the elimination of the ADB port. The keyboard received a facelift, adopting a translucent brown (or as Apple calls it, bronze) plastic design. Notably, it was the last PowerBook with built-in SCSI support and the first to embrace New World ROMs.

Despite its popularity, the PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999 faced discontinuation on February 16, 2000, marking the end of an era. Interestingly, the 333 MHz model faced competition from its predecessor, the 300 MHz PowerBook G3 Series II, as the older model occasionally outperformed it due to a larger (1 MB vs. 512 MB) and faster (2:1 vs. 2.5:1) Level 2 cache.

Today, 24 years later the PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999 stands as a nostalgic reminder of Apple’s early days in the computer industry. Its sleek design, innovative features, and powerful performance paved the way for future generations of laptops. As we reflect on the impact of this iconic device, it serves as a testament to Apple’s enduring commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology and setting new standards in the world of computing.

PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999
Source: wikipedia.org – PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999

PowerBook G3 14.1-inch Mid 1999 Details

IntroducedMay 10, 1999
DiscontinuedFebruary 16, 2000
Model IdentifierPowerBook1,1
Model NumberM5343
Order NumberM7304LL/A (333 MHz)
M7308LL/A (400 MHz)
Original Price$2,499
$3,499
ColorsDark Grey
Weight5.9 Ibs.
2.676 KG
Dimensions1.6” H x 12.7” W x 10.4” D
4.06 cm H x 32.25 cm W x 26.41 cm D

PowerBook G3 Lombard Tech Specs

Processor

ProcessorPowerPC 750 G3
Processor Speed333 MHz
400 MHz
Architecture32-bit
Number of Cores1
System Bus66 MHz
Cache64 KB L1
512 KB L2 (333 MHz)
1 MB backside L2 (400 MHz)

Storage & Media

Storage4 GB
6 GB
10 GB
Media1 – 24x CD-ROM or 2x DVD-ROM (Tray-loading)

Memory

Built-in Memory64 MB
Maximum Memory384 MB (Apple)
512 MB (Actual)
Memory Slots2 – PC66 3.3V 144-pin SO-DIMM
Minimum Speed10 ns
Interleaving SupportNo

Display

Built-in Display14.1″ Color TFT Active Matrix Display
Resolutions640 x 480
800 x 600
1024 x 768

Graphics

Graphics CardATI Rage Pro LT
Graphics Memory8 MB
Display Connection1 – VGA
1 – S-Video
Display ModesDual display extended and video mirroring
External ResolutionNone

Expansion

Expansion Slots1 – Type I or II
Hard Drive InterfaceATA-2
Bays2 – PowerBook Media Bays (1999/2000)

Connections

Wi-FiNone
Ethernet10/100BASE-T (RJ-45)
Modem56k
BluetoothNone
Infrared1 – 4 Mbps
ADB1 – Internal for Trackpad
SerialNone
SCSI1 – HDI-30
USB2 – 12 Mbps
Audio In1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack
1 – Built-in microphone
Audio Out1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack
2 – Built-in speakers
Display1 – VGA
1 – S-Video
Security Slot1 – Kensington cable lock

Keyboard and trackpad

KeyboardBuilt-in Full-size 77-key (U.S.) or 78-key (ISO) incl. 12 function and 4 arrow keys
TrackpadBuilt-in Solid-state trackpad (Tap, double-tap, and drag)

Software

Original OSMac OS 8.6
Maximum OSMac OS X 10.3.9
FirmwareMacintosh ROM
Bundled SoftwareNone

Power

System Battery50 Wh Lithium-Ion (M7318)
Backup BatteryPowerBook G3 Backup Battery (922-3329)
Battery Life5 hours on one battery
10 hours on two batteries
Maximum Continuous Power45 W
Line Voltage100-240 V AC
Power Adapter45 W AC (M4402)

Further Reading and References

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Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.

Last updated: January 14, 2024