Hold up there. Remember the Sony VAIO Ultimate Mobile PC we showed you in late April? That’s right the thin VAIO Hybrid PC which is supposed to pack a Thunderbolt port to connect you to an external dock that may contain a separate GPU. A closer look at the ports shown in the leaked slide by Gula Digital reveals that there isn’t a DisplayPort style connector that we have seen on the Macbook Pro. Instead, there looks to be a USB 3.0/Thunderbolt combo port.
This is surprising mainly due to the fact that you can’t just go and slap a USB port in a notebook and add functionality. You need to work with the USB group to gain permission and as Engadget notes, they haven’t been too keen on allowing the Lightpeak, now Thunderbolt, connectivity over USB. Either Sony has hashed out a deal with the USB group to deliver a combo port, or the leaked slide may just be an old rendering.
If Sony delivers a USB 3.0 Thunderbolt combo port, it could likely be a better deal for consumers who can use the port for USB 3.0 hard drives and accessories while Thunderbolt devices come to market. The MacBook Pro currently has a DisplayPort Thunderbolt connector, but no real devices to plug in, and it’s quite possible that there are some new MacBook Pro owners that will never use the port.
However Thunderbolt makes its way into notebooks we can be sure of two things. First, it will be a part of another port, which means we won’t have wasted space, even if some users never use Thunderbolt, they are likely to use DisplayPort at some time. Second, if you plan to buy Thunderbolt accessories, you better get ready to look for dongles and adapters that will make your super fast new accessories work with your Mac and your Sony PC notebook.