Object of Desire: Apple MacBook Pros With Thunderbolt Connectivity

April 15, 2011

By Dan Havlik

It’s hard to resist making Apple’s refreshed MacBook Pro line a PDN Object of Desire especially now that these sleek laptops come with the thunderous new Thunderbolt connectivity for transferring files at lightning speed. The big headline for the update to Apple’s popular MacBook Pros in February was that they added new port technology, co-developed by Intel, which can speed transfers at up to 10 gigabits per second. If you’ve got tons of image and HD video files to move onto your computer, Thunderbolt (which Intel calls LightPeak) should save you a lot of time.

The new Thunderbolt port can also support FireWire and USB devices along with Gigabit Ethernet networks with the help of an adapter so your older peripherals aren’t left out in the cold. For RAID arrays and external monitors, Thunderbolt supports the PCI Express and DisplayPort protocols, letting you hook up a variety of devices into your MacBook Pro via one cable. The Thunderbolt standard is already being adopted by storage companies such as LaCie, which recently announced its new Little Big Disk RAID device with Thunderbolt (see entry below).

In addition to the faster ports, the new MacBook Pros use the latest dual-core and quad-core processors (aka “Sandy Bridge”) from Intel. According to early benchmark tests from Macworld, the new quad-core processors are 50 percent faster than their dual-core counterparts so we recommend going with the upgrade.

Other MBP bonuses include a built-in FaceTime HD camera offering triple the resolution of the previous models for crisper, wide-screen video calls. The new MacBook Pros have the FaceTime video calling software built in so you’ll be having face-to-face chats with clients and colleagues right out of the box. Otherwise, the new lineup is pretty much the same, which is a good thing. They sport aluminum, unibody enclosures, glass multi-touch trackpads, LED-backlit widescreen displays, illuminated full-size keyboards and 7-hour batteries. Size range is familiar: 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch.
Yeah, you want one.

Cost: $1,199-$2,499
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