As widely expected, Apple (AAPL) took the wraps off its new line of MacBook Pros Thursday.
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.
[UPDATE: The new MacBook Pros, with Thunderbolt, have arrived. See here.]
The yellow Post-It sign was up early Thursday at Apple.com, a sure harbinger that something new is coming
By the time you read this, Apple (AAPL) may have already announced its new line of MacBook Pros.
For blurry photos and speculation aplenty, check out the dozens of posts linked to MacRumors' Wednesday report.
Also on Fortune.com:
A birthday card for Steve Jobs
The speech of MORE
|Water becoming more valuable than gold|
|What stumps Warren Buffett? Minimum wage|
|Will 7 Apples a day keep the bears away? - The Buzz|
|GM's $1.3 billion recall cost wipes out profit|
|Apple's stock split makes the math easier; new all-time high is $100|