Friday Poll: How does Thunderbolt strike you?

The new high-speed data-connection technology promises transfer speeds double those of USB 3.0. Will Thunderbolt affect your gadget-buying habits?

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
  • Third place film critic, 2021 LA Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards
Leslie Katz
Thunderbolt promises to replace a handful of ports with one that can do more things, and do them faster. James Martin/CNET

This week, we got hit by Intel's Thunderbolt, a new high-speed data-connection technology that promises transfer speeds double those of current USB 3.0 and extends that swiftness across several devices simultaneously.

Formerly called Light Peak, the long-awaited technology is available now on Apple's new MacBook Pros, which are shipping with a Thunderbolt port as a standard feature. Yesterday, Intel also revealed more details about when we'll see Thunderbolt in other consumer devices.

Thunderbolt currently runs with a top speed of 10Gbps, though it promises to one day top 100Gbps in data throughput when it moves from copper wire to optical fiber. USB's ubiquity means it's not going anywhere just yet, and Intel has also said it plans to support USB 3.0 in future chipsets alongside Thunderbolt.

Still, all this talk of speed and port consolidation has us wondering just how electrified (if at all) you're feeling about Thunderbolt's official arrival. Will it affect your gadget-buying habits in the near future? Vote in our poll, and be sure to share any additional thoughts in the comments section.