on OWC by Christina Warren!
- New Accessory Makes the MacBook Pro
Actually Suitable For Pros
One of the biggest professional gripes about the new MacBook
Pro—dongle issues aside—is its lack of upgradability. Apple made
the decision to solder the storage onto the logic board (just as
it does with RAM), making it impossible for users to upgrade
past the capacity they choose at the time of purchase.
Fortunately, longtime Mac accessory and storage maker OWC has a
solution. Dubbed the OWC DEC, the device adds additional storage
and ports to your MacBook Pro. Unlike other docks, this one
actually is a dock. The MacBook Pro will sit on top of
machine-milled aluminum that houses the NAND flash storage and
Although most people will probably use the DEC on their desk,
it’s fully portable. The DEC will make the new MacBook Pro about
the same thickness as the old 2012 MacBook Pro with an optical
drive. It also adds some weight, but OWC says it should still
weigh three to four ounces lighter than the 2012 optical drive
I had a look at an early (but working) prototype model without
ports and was impressed. Yes, this adds thickness and weight,
but it also makes the MacBook Pro an actual pro machine.
In addition to up to 4TB of additional storage, the DEC will
SD card slot
3 USB 3 Type A Ports
OWC told me they are also looking at offering mini-DisplayPort
in certain configurations and may even look at adding an
Although you can’t upgrade the RAM (something no Apple laptop
has allowed since 2012), this is probably the closest solution
you’ll get to returning your Touch Bar MacBook Pro to what Apple
used to offer back in the day.
The downside to all of this is price. OWC isn’t announcing
pricing—and the volatile nature of NAND memory chips made it
difficult for them to give me an estimate—but expect it to be
expensive. I was told that the 4TB model would cost less than
what Apple charges to go from 256GB to 2TB on the MacBook Pro.
Apple charges $1400 for that privilege, so prepare to spend
I can’t fault OWC for its pricing structure though, this is a
problem Apple brought upon itself when it decided to continue
its evolution of turning professional tools into turnkey
appliances. If you want a seamless way to upgrade the storage on
your MacBook Pro and you want legacy ports, this is one of your