A quick couple of tips from readers Ken and Jack, and this thread over at the MacRumors forums, point us towards an interesting results page at the Geekbench site (Google cached version, in case they get hammered), which aggregates benchmark results from thousands of users all over the globe. This particular page reports the performance of a previously unreleased MacBook Pro model (MacBookPro6,1) which claims an Intel Core i7 M 620 processor running the show.
Real? Maybe, although at this point it's a bit suspicious that it's not running a dev build of 10.6.3 instead of an internal build of 10.6.2 as reported on the page; also, Geekbench results are frequently spoofed by hackintoshes (unless Apple built an AMD-based MacBook Pro and simply neglected to tell us about it). Fast? Heck yes; the benchmark score of 5260 handily blows by the speed of currently shipping machines.
The eventual appearance of the 6,1 version of the MBP has been a bit of a foregone conclusion since October of last year, when developer builds of OS X 10.6.2 were found to include support files specific to those model IDs. A laptop refresh in Q1 would be a very nice thing, but in this case I wouldn't get the checkbook sharpened quite yet.
Thanks to Ken and Jack for sending this one in.