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Confirmed: MacBook Pro debuts Intel Thunderbolt

  • MacBook Pro
  • Thunderbolt

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 24 Feb 2011 at 13:45

Apple has updated its MacBook Pro lineup, adding the Thunderbolt interconnect formerly known as Intel's Light Peak.

That makes the MacBook Pro the first device to use the new interconnect technology, which combines data transfers via PCI Express and displays using DisplayPort on a single dual-channel cable at 10Gbits/sec.

"All Thunderbolt technology devices share a common connector, and let individuals simply daisy-chain their devices one after another, connected by electrical or optical cables," Intel said.

Although DisplayPort offers bandwidth up to 17.28Gbits/sec, above Thunderbolt's 10Gbits/sec, that shouldn't be a problem with a single-monitor setup, as running a 1080p display at 60Hz demands just over 4Gbits/sec.

Using adaptors, Thunderbolt also supports FireWire and USB, and Intel stressed it was "complementary" to existing interconnect technologies. Thunderbird offers more than twice the bandwidth of USB 3's 4.8Gbits/sec.

Intel said a host of tech manufacturers planned to use Thunderbolt in their products, including LaCie and Western Digital.

Revamped specs

Apple claimed the new MacBook Pros are twice as fast as the previous line-up, thanks to Intel's Sandy Bridge processors. The 13in MacBook Pro runs Intel's Core i5 or i7 dual-core processors, while the 15in and 17in versions run quad-core i7 processors.

The new laptops will feature a built-in HD camera and be preloaded with Apple's FaceTime video-conferencing software.

In the UK, the 13in will start from £999, the 15in from £1,549 and the 17in from £2,099.

Apple also released a developer preview for its next operating system, dubbed Mac OS X Lion, showing off new features including the Launchpad app organiser, a new version of the mail client, wireless file transfers called AirDrop, and FileVault encryption.

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User comments

Thunderbird?

I think you mean Thunderbolt. Unless Apple's gone all open source all of a sudden!

By marty on 24 Feb 2011

Thunderbolt/bird

Typos corrected. Apologies.

Barry Collins
Editor

By Barry_Collins on 24 Feb 2011

UK Prices start at £999, poor exchange rate as usual.

By J400uk on 24 Feb 2011

US companies rip off Europe again

On todays FX rate the 13" should be £100 cheaper, the 15" £200 cheaper, and the 17" £240 cheaper (all calculated with 20% VAT added to the US price). Adobe are even worse.

To be honest, I haven't found a US company yet that is fair on exchange rates. Look at the comparison prices of MS Office for instance.

By SwissMac on 24 Feb 2011

@SwissMac

I down loaded the full version office 2007 for 6.85 GBP just before office 2010 had it release so it not all rip of prices from MS

Mark

By mprltd on 24 Feb 2011

Typo still there

At the end of the paragraph which starts "Using adaptors,..."

By mviracca on 24 Feb 2011

Prices up again :(

I've been waiting to see whether Apple would bump the prices up a bit and they have. The only one that is a few quid cheaper is the cheapest 13". The rest have increased in price with the 17" £170 dearer than last year's 17". Also, what with Mac games becoming more numerous, they put a bad graphics card in the cheaper 15" with only 256MB of RAM so the only decent one there is the £1849 15" MacBook Pro which has a fairly good 1GB card. All in all I can't afford one again and I'm beginning to think I'll never get a Mac now.

By TimoGunt on 24 Feb 2011

@Timo

I'm on the same page. My laptop is pretty old and I need an update. I like Apple but I also want to be able to play TF2 on my new computer and watch Blu-Rays (the latter is almost certainly not going to happen on a Mac unfortunately)


The iMac refresh is still to come and the 27inch is likely to be good value for money - though still expensive. But £1800 to ensure a graphics card which isn't completely useful is too steep!

By longn on 24 Feb 2011

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