Apple Introduces the PowerBook G3

The first Macintosh PowerBook G3, codenamed "Kanga" was introduced in November 1997.

At the time of its introduction, the PowerBook G3 was advertised as the fastest notebook computer available (a title formerly held by its predecessor, the 240 MHz PPC 603ev-based 3400c). This model was based on the PowerBook 3400, and was unofficially known as the PowerBook 3500. It uses the same case as a 3400, and a very similar motherboard. The motherboard was upclocked from 40 MHz to 50 MHz, resulting in some incompatibility with older 3400 RAM modules. Other changes to the motherboard included doubling the on-board RAM from 16 MB to 32 MB, and a faster version of the on-board Chips and Technologies graphics controller than the 3400 had. The G3 made the Kanga more than twice as fast as a 3400, and the improved graphics controller allowed it to refresh the screen 74 percent faster.

This first PowerBook G3 shipped with a 250 MHz G3 processor and a 12.1" TFT SVGA LCD. It is the only G3 system that is not officially compatible with Mac OS X (though various methods not sanctioned by Apple exist to do so.) The Kanga was on the market for less than 5 months, and is largely regarded as a stopgap system that allowed Apple to ship G3 PowerBooks in a preexisting Apple design while Apple prepared its more revolutionary PowerBook G3 Series. As a result, the Kanga has the dubious distinction of being Apple's fastest depreciating PowerBook. Nevertheless, many people chose to purchase a Kanga to continue using their interchangeable expansion bay modules, batteries, and other peripherals from the Powerbook 190, 5300 and 3400 models. The Kanga was also notably smaller in depth and width than the following Wallstreet Powerbooks and the Kanga remained the smallest-when-open G3 laptop until the debut of the Apple iBook some years later.

The PowerBook G3 Series represented a complete redesign of the PowerBook line. The new casing was rounder and lighter than earlier models. The different sizes and configurations meant that the series had a low-end, mid-range and high-end model. It was the first time a PowerBook was built to order. The low-end model started at $2,299 and the high-end war around $7,000.