Apple introduces Sandy Bridge MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt “Light Peak” technology

 Apple released updated MacBook Pros today with Intel “Sandy Bridge” Core i5 and i7 processors ranging up to 2.3GHz, FaceTime HD cameras, Intel or AMD HD graphics, and a new I/O technology Apple calls Thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt features two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to 10Gbps each, allowing for a new generation of external high performance peripherals. The I/O was developed by Intel in collaboration from Apple. According to Apple, “Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters. Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays. Freely available for implementation on systems, cables and devices, Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as a new standard for high performance I/O.”

The new FaceTime camera has triple the resolution of previous cameras on MacBook Pros and will allow chats with all other Intel-based Macs as well as the iPhone 4 and current-generation iPod touch.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro and 17-inch MacBook Pro are available today at The Apple Store.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations:
– 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, Intel HD Graphics 3000, 320GB: $1,199
– 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7, Intel HD Graphics 3000, 500GB: $1,499

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models:
– 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M, 500GB: $1,799
– 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, 750GB: $2,199

The new 17-inch MacBook Pro:
– 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, 750GB: $2,499

Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.3 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 750GB, solid state storage up to 512GB, more memory up to 8GB DDR3, antiglare and high-resolution display options.

We’ll be updating our 17″ MacBook Pro, 15″ MacBook Pro, and 13″ MacBook Pro Price Trackers continuously as pricing information comes in from resellers, so be sure to check back often.

Update:
MacConnection already has these new models in stock and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP – details here.

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