The new PowerBooks run at speeds of 100MHz and 117MHz and feature 8MB of DRAM (expandable to 64MB), a 9.5-inch gray scale or 10.4-inch dual-scan or active matrix color display. Users can choose from a 500MB, 750MB or 1GB hard drive. The units also come with a removable floppy drive that can be replaced with a number of third-party peripherals, such as additional hard drives, magneto-optical, removable media drives and internal AC power adapters. Prices for the 5300 series range from $1,799 to $6,299. The price depends on whether it's a gray-scale or color screen and the speed of the processor.
For details on release dates, contact Apple Computer Inc., 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014, or call 408/996-1010.
This is just a small sampling of notebook computers available to government agencies. There are dozens of other popular brands -- such as IBM's ThinkPad and Dell's line of mobile computers -- that are worth considering.
Procurement officers and information managers planning on a large purchase of any machine should, as Aronson advised, take the machine for a test drive. "Don't go by name alone," he said. "Try it out before you buy it. Although a big name is probably a plus, you don't want to be blind-sided when a faulty product arrives. Base your decision on some kind of criteria or experience and you'll save users a lot of hassle."
Michelle Gamble-Risley is the publisher of California Computer News.