Apple Inc. has updated its MacBook Pro computers, featuring the latest Intel chips, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera.

The release coincides with Apple's founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs' 56th birthday.

Featuring the next generation dual-core and quad-core processors, the entire MacBook Pro line is up to twice as fast as the previous generation, says Apple.

Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O standard which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro, says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive starting at $1,199; and one with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,499.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models: one with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,799 and one with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive starting at $2,199.

Priced at $2,499, the new 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive.

The MacBook Pro now includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera that allows high definition video calls between all new MacBook Pro models and supports standard resolution calls with other Intel-based Macs, iPhone 4 and the current generation iPod touch.

Apple says FaceTime is included with all new MacBook Pro models and is available for other Intel-based Macs from the Mac App Store for 99 cents.

Separately, Apple has released a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X -- Apple's desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.