OWC’s DEC gives the MacBook Pro its ports back

Prospective buyers bummed out about the lack of expansion options on Apple's latest MacBook Pro now have somewhere to turn to. Other World Computing's DEC semi-permanently attached dock brings back the ports Apple courageously omitted. An OWC spokesman said the company has been working on the DEC for three years, a claim that seems odd considering that the MacBook Pro was just refreshed at the end of October.

The CNC-machined DEC attaches flush to the bottom of a 2016 MacBook Pro or MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and adds Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, up to 4TB of SSD storage, an SD card slot, USB 3.0 ports, and "other features to be announced at a later date." The pictures make the entire MBP-DEC amalgam look a bit bulky, but OWC says the combined stack is no thicker or heavier than a 2012 Mac Book Pro.

This idea may be somewhat novel, but this is hardly OWC's first rodeo with extensions and accessories for Apple hardware. The company expects shipments of the DEC to begin in Spring, though there's yet no pricing information.

Comments closed
    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    Ah, this gives a view of what it connects by, black block to the TB port.

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrzq69Nzf5I[/url<]

    • deruberhanyok
    • 3 years ago

    Sometimes I think Apple makes the design decisions they do specifically to keep the third party accessory companies going strong.

    Every time they do a drastic redesign, there’s a proliferation of heretofore unnecessary products. They sell well for years before we all just shrug and get used to having less port types, whatever, then Apple goes and changes something again.

    (At least the latest Macbook redesign was enough for our team to decide we were phasing out Macs on our corporate network. Love ’em for home use, hate ’em for corporate deployments).

    • JosiahBradley
    • 3 years ago

    You probably need another dongle to connect this. Jobs is rolling in his grave.

    • blastdoor
    • 3 years ago

    Kind of an absurd product, but that’s not OWC’s fault.
    I like OWC — good products and very responsive to pro users needs. Maybe Apple should just license macOS to them and let them make pro Macs

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    Doesn’t look like any part of it connects to any of the four Thunderbolt ports, the only wired IO on the machine…How does this, um…Work?

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      The dock and the macbook whisper softly to each other

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Whispering “Al-oo-min-i-um” in soft British voices

          • Chrispy_
          • 3 years ago

          Hmm, yeah.

          That rules out magnets too. How do they work anyway?

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    In my dream world, they go on stage and say something akin to “We really love the MacBook Pros we just released, we’re keeping those around and updating them. But today, we’re releasing the MacBook Actual-Pro, with the original unibody thickness, room for ports, 99Wh battery, and back to 50-75W GPUs, and more RAM”

    A man can dream, can’t he. A man can dream. New architectures and more transistors to throw at it has kept GPU performance going forward, but the wattage steadily decreased each MacBook Pro generation, imagine if we kept the old 50 and 75W TDPs with Polaris instead. Or heck, that higher end would allow what Nvidia released for Pascal so far.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Hackintosh is still the best way to experience OSX because Apple won’t make hardware that’s worthy of it anymore. It’s borderline disgraceful how limiting and devoid of CPU/GPU power the modern mac range has.

        • demani
        • 3 years ago

        What laptop has the hw compatibility though? And a comparable trackpad?

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        It’s a consideration for a future desktop build, but you can’t really hackintosh most laptops without some flaws as part of building a desktop for it is making sure every little thing is compatible. Some Netbooks used to be pretty good at it, but I’m not sure about 2017 high end laptops. Since no Macs ship with Kaby Lake, Kaby Lake GPU compatibility alone is probably a no-go there.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      I, too, have wondered about that.

      Unfortunately, the same things that cause Apple to make some outstanding products also cause them to make some really goofy decisions.

      • SuperSpy
      • 3 years ago

      My wallet would literally fly out of my pocket if they did that.

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    Haha. Pretty funny. Makes the MBP thick enough to contain all the necessary ports that users need.

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      It was thick enough already, Apple just has too much courage and magic to provide users with what they really want this time around.

        • stdRaichu
        • 3 years ago

        A properly courageous company should take the thin concept to its logical extreme – move the keyboard up 1cm and the screen down 1cm. That way you have a laptop that is -0.5cm thick and has the keyboard fold out above the keyboard.

          • curtisb
          • 3 years ago

          [quote<]the keyboard fold out above the keyboard.[/quote<] That's quite the paradox...but Apple has magic so I'm sure it'll be a feature on the next MacBook Pro lineup to be released in five years.

    • Concupiscence
    • 3 years ago

    It sounds like a great product. I just think it’s a shame that it’s [i<]necessary.[/i<]

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    Hmm, no wire connected to the machine. Maybe Apple’s hardware really is magic.

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Courage-Fi. The bravest wireless technology out there.

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      Assembly may require a power drill and a Dremel.

        • curtisb
        • 3 years ago

        Don’t forget the duct tape and bailing wire.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      I wonder if they pull the backplate off, anchor it via the screw holes meant for the backplate and somehow tap into something inside there.

      I can’t imagine them being able to attach to anything though. It’s not like Apple leaves useless connectors open inside their hyper-compact laptops.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        > It’s not like Apple leaves useless connectors open inside their hyper-compact laptops.

        Not sure if deliberate jab because there is indeed a mystery useless connector left inside these new MBPs 😛

        [url<]https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Touch+Bar+Teardown/73395[/url<] Actually, now I'm wondering if that was it.

          • jihadjoe
          • 3 years ago

          Looks like way too many lanes to be a simple SSD connector (as the ifixit reader surmises). I guess Apple must’ve put it in there just in case they decide to offer an expansion gadget/dock.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 3 years ago

          I was not aware of that.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how they do it.

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