MacBook Pro eve roundup: Thunderbolt arrives

It's been pretty widely rumored that Apple will release an upgrade to the MacBook Pro notebooks tomorrow, and leaked images leave me unimpressed.

Don't you just love Apple-eve?

It's been pretty widely rumored that Apple will release an upgrade to the MacBook Pro notebooks tomorrow, and leaked images have appeared on fscklog and Mac4Ever (via MacRumors). But if they're true, color me unimpressed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about Light Peak (Apple's blazing-fast 10 Gbps optical bus) but it's curious for Apple to brand it "Thunderbolt" at almost the exact same time as HTC's mobile phone by the same name. I guess that stranger things have happened (Cisco iPhone anyone?).

MacRumors has confirmed that the image below is of a 2011 13-inch MBP. Apparently, the Light Peak port (Indicated below by a lightening bolt icon) will take the shape of the mini Display port it replaces.

Here's a closer shot of the port in question, believed to be branded as "Thunderbolt"

It looks like Thunderbolt is only going to be used for a video out port initially, but I hope that Apple puts more than one of the newfangled ports on the new MBPs. I mean, maybe there's only one port visible in these shots because they're of the 13-inch model? Maybe there's more on the other side (since the optical is gone)?

Hopefully the 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pros would ship with at least two, if not more, "thunderbolt" ports (I still having a tough time with that name!) What if you're using the Tbolt port with an external monitor -- which I do at least half of the time on my current MBP15 -- and you want to use another Tbolt peripheral? You're out of luck. Since the port is being used for video you'd need a dongle or hub to share the connection. And don't get me started on how I feel about dongles.

Here's an alleged top shot of the new MBP13:

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

With apologies to Roger Daltry, yawn. I mean come on! It looks exactly the same as the current line of MBPs. Is the razor-sharp edge along the wrist pad on the current MBPs the same too? I hope not. Where are all thin lines of the MacBook Air?

It'll definitely take some time for Thunderbolt to build a critical mass of consumers and for manufactures to build the new port into its devices, but I applaud Apple for bypassing USB 3 in favor of 10 Gbps optical connections. I can't wait to see what kind of cool Light Peak technology comes out in the next 12 months.

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