PowerBook G3 Computers: How to Identify Different Models

Apple has introduced a number of PowerBook computers with similar industrial design, and all with PowerBook G3 in their name. This article explains how to identify the various models.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

There are two ways to differentiate the various PowerBook G3 models: by family number or by visual inspection. Family numbers are not the same as model numbers, which are usually listed on the invoice or proof of purchase.

Identifying by Family Number

The product label on the bottom of all PowerBook models, as shown in Figure 1, lists a computer's family number. Use this table as a cross reference:

Month introduced
Family Number
PowerBook G3
PowerBook G3 Series (233 MHz, 250 MHz, 292 MHz)
PowerBook G3 Series (233 MHz w/512 cache, 266 MHz, 300 MHz
PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze keyboard)
PowerBook (FireWire)

Figure 1 Model and family number locations

Identifying By Visual Inspection

PowerBook G3
The Macintosh PowerBook G3 (M3553), shown in Figure 2, closely resembles the PowerBook 3400. It has a small, six-color Apple logo on the exterior display housing, and two small vents on the display housing.

Figure 2 PowerBook G3 (M3553), right side view

PowerBook G3 Series
The Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series (M4753), shown in Figure 3, has a large, white Apple logo near the middle of the display housing. The PowerBook G3 Series computer has two PC Card slots and a modem port on its left side. On the rear of the computer, the microphone and speaker ports are exposed.

The industrial design of the PowerBook G3 Series computer is different from the PowerBook G3 computer.

  • It is slimmer-that is, it is not as thick as the PowerBook G3 computer.
  • It is about 2 cm deeper and 3 cm wider than the PowerBook G3 computer.

Figure 3 PowerBook G3 Series (M4753), right side view

PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze keyboard)
The PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze keyboard) (M5343) also has the large, white Apple logo. The main visual difference is the keyboard, which has a translucent bronze color. The computer has a single PC Card slot on the left side, no exposed modem port, two USB ports, and is slimmer than the PowerBook G3 Series computer. The ports on the back of the computer are fully covered by a single door.

See article 58328: "PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze keyboard): How to Differentiate From Other PowerBook G3 Series Computers" for more information.

PowerBook (FireWire)
The PowerBook (FireWire) computer (M7572) is very similar in appearance to the PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze keyboard) computer. The two distinct visual differences in this model are:

  • It only has "PowerBook" stenciled on the display bezel.
  • It has no SCSI port on the rear panel, and has two FireWire ports as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 PowerBook (FireWire) rear panel

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