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We got our hands on Apple's latest Unibody laptop. This is Apple's first portable to sport a quad-core processor: Intel's Core i7.

This machine includes Thunderbolt, a new I/O connection that combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single connector.

Thunderbolt claims to provide 10 Gbps throughput for both input and output. It appears that both PCI Express and DisplayPort receive their own 10 Gbps data channel. That's nice, as you don't want your display competing with your external hard drive for bandwidth.

You can chain up to 6 Thunderbolt devices including up to 2 HD displays. That's not a problem today as we're not even aware of 6 products that support Thunderbolt yet. If the connection becomes widespread, the 6 device limit might be a problem for some people.

In comparison, FireWire supports up to 63 devices in a daisy-chain, while USB does not support daisy-chaining.

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