First Look: Apple's early 2011 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt
The new MacBook Pros also debut Thunderbolt, an enhancement of the existing DisplayPort that adds two bidirectional 10Gb data channels of switched fabric interconnect, making PCI Express available externally on a new cabling system that supports a high resolution display and multiple disks, disk arrays, docks, and media breakout boxes.
This entirely new interface allows the new notebooks to plug into a variety of workstation devices with just one cable, or power a remote drive with up to 10 watts while working on the go. Thunderbolt is like a very fast FireWire, with an improved connector, high resolution external display support, and more electrical power, with support for Target Mode booting and the ability to bridge other interfaces, including Ethernet and USB.
Savings on retail configurations
Several of Apple's larger authorized resellers are already reflecting stock of the company's five standard retail configurations for the MacBook Pro. And a handful are offering considerable early discounts of up to $150 on the new models.
For its part, MacConnection is offering the lowest prices on the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros, while MacMall delivers the best deals on the 13-inch models through its 3% instant discount coupons, which are included in the price guide links below and are exclusive to AppleInsider readers.
For those readers considering a discounted purchase through one of these authorized resellers, it's noteworthy to point out that the MacConnection requires that customers submit mail-in-rebates post purchase to achieve the prices listed in AppleInsider's Mac Pricing Guide, while the discounts shown for MacMall are instantaneous (including the 3% AI discount) and do not require any form of rebate.