The MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.2 17-Inch (Early 2011/Thunderbolt) features a 32 nm "Sandy Bridge" 2.2 GHz Intel "Core i7" processor (2720QM), with four independent processor "cores" on a single silicon chip, a 6 MB shared level 3 cache, 4 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (PC3-10600) installed in pairs (two 2 GB modules), a 750 GB Serial ATA (5400 RPM) hard drive, an 8X DL "SuperDrive", dual graphics processors -- an AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory and an Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics processor that shares 384 MB of memory with the system -- and an integrated FaceTime HD webcam.
The standard configuration of this model has an LED-backlit 17.0" widescreen TFT active-matrix "glossy" display (1920x1200 native resolution), but it also was offered with an "anti-glare" (matte) display for US$50 more.
Connectivity includes AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, a Firewire "800" port, three USB 2.0 ports, separate audio in and out ports, an ExpressCard/34 expansion slot, and a new "Thunderbolt" port that is backwards compatible with Mini DisplayPort and, likewise, supports an external display at 2560x1600 and passes an audio signal. Thunderbolt also supports other peripherals that use the Thunderbolt standard which provides up to 10 Gbps of bandwidth in both directions.
This model uses a "Unibody" aluminum case design -- milled from a single piece of aluminum -- and has a backlit keyboard, a "no button" glass "inertial" multi-touch trackpad, and a non-swappable battery design that provides an Apple estimated 7 hours of battery life.
Compared to its predecessor, this model has a very similar external enclosure, apart from a higher-resolution webcam and the aforementioned Thunderbolt port. Internally, however, it has a significantly faster architecture, faster RAM, and improved graphics.