updated 05:10 pm EDT, Tue April 13, 2010
Apple MBP first notebook to push audio out
The Mini DisplayPort jack on the new MacBook Pro can relay audio out, Apple said today. While all previous MacBooks have so far put out video only, the new version as part of the official DisplayPort spec also carries sound. Ars Technica was told it should work with third-party miniDP to HDMI adapters, although it's not known how many of these recognize audio through the single connector.
The Cupertino-based firm was quick to add that it didn't publicly have any plans to make an adapter of its own despite earlier allusions to the possibility. It's unknown if Apple will update the LED Cinema Display to allow audio without depending on the USB cable, but this would be doubtful as the USB cable is needed for expansion.
Adding audio greatly simplifies the use of the MacBook Pro and future Macs as ad hoc home theater computers, since it not only eliminates the need for a second cable but eases putting out surround sound.