With any luck, Intel's drive to put out more Ultrabooks this year will no doubt yield results, especially seeing the kinds of specs manufacturers like ASUS are pulling out of their hats. But while low-power Core i5 processors, SSDs and large batteries aren't exactly the mark of innovation, Thunderbolt may be the connection standard that beats DVI, HDMI and Displayport in the end. It could well herald a new age of products that all use a single connector, limiting the clutter of cables on the desk and showing off more versatile capabilities than USB 3.0.
This year analysts expect more Thunderbolt-capable product to launch, with motherboards being the first to push the standard for desktop users. Recently ASUS and MSI included it on their Z77 boards in the high-end segment. Both feature a Thunderbolt header, with the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium also coming with an internal 3.5" bay for ports at the front. Optical Thunderbolt cables are also in the works later this year, increasing speed and bandwidth and offering longer cable lengths for consumers.