That makes the MacBook Pro the first device to use the new interconnect technology, which combines data transfers via PCI Express and displays using DisplayPort on a single dual-channel cable at 10Gbits/sec.
"All Thunderbolt technology devices share a common connector, and let individuals simply daisy-chain their devices one after another, connected by electrical or optical cables," Intel said.
Although DisplayPort offers bandwidth up to 17.28Gbits/sec, above Thunderbolt's 10Gbits/sec, that shouldn't be a problem with a single-monitor setup, as running a 1080p display at 60Hz demands just over 4Gbits/sec.
Using adaptors, Thunderbolt also supports FireWire and USB, and Intel stressed it was "complementary" to existing interconnect technologies. Thunderbird offers more than twice the bandwidth of USB 3's 4.8Gbits/sec.
Intel said a host of tech manufacturers planned to use Thunderbolt in their products, including LaCie and Western Digital.
Apple claimed the new MacBook Pros are twice as fast as the previous line-up, thanks to Intel's Sandy Bridge processors. The 13in MacBook Pro runs Intel's Core i5 or i7 dual-core processors, while the 15in and 17in versions run quad-core i7 processors.
The new laptops will feature a built-in HD camera and be preloaded with Apple's FaceTime video-conferencing software.
In Australia, the 13in MacBook Pro will start from $1399 with a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB HDD. The 13in MacBook Pro with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 500GB HDD starts at $1698.
The 15in MacBook Pro starts at $2099, with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500GB HDD. The 15in MacBook Pro with 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB HDD costs $2499. The 17in MacBook Pro costs $2899 and includes features a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB HDD.
Apple also released a developer preview for its next operating system, dubbed Mac OS X Lion, showing off new features including the Launchpad app organiser, a new version of the mail client, wireless file transfers called AirDrop, and FileVault encryption.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk