The MacBook Pros have landed

February 24, 2011: 10:07 AM ET

Photo: Apple Inc.

As widely expected, Apple (AAPL) took the wraps off its new line of MacBook Pros Thursday.

Thunderbolt logo

In addition to faster processors, higher-resolution cameras and FaceTime video chat software, the new models feature Intel's (INTC) new Light Peak input-output technology, which Apple and Intel have re-branded Thunderbolt. It comes in the form of a Swiss Army knife I/O port designed to eventually replace nearly everything -- FireWire, USB, Ethernet and a variety of high-res display standards, including HDMI, DVI and VGA.

Apple advertises Thunderbolt as 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and 20 times faster than USB 2.0. In theory, it allows users to daisy-chain up to six devices without a hub, but before that can happen peripheral makers will need to build a new generation of Thunderbolt-ready products.

Although some critics are already complaining about the 13-inch model's 1280 x 800 screen -- lower-res than the 13-inch MacBook Air -- we suspect that at $1,199 the entry-level MacBook Pro is going to sell like the proverbial hotcakes.

Specs and prices in Apple's press release, below.


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