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Hands-On: OWC's 'DEC' Adds an SD Card Slot, Ethernet, and USB Type-A Ports to the MacBook Pro

With the release of the 2016 MacBook Pro, there were a slew complaints over the compromising thinness and the removal of ports. For professionals who rely on the MacBook Pro, this latest iteration fell short of expectations. The outcry was so loud, in fact, that Apple slashed prices on its USB-C adapters, a move rarely seen from the company.

This is the DEC from Other World Computing. It's a new dock for the 2016 MacBook Pro that's designed to return some of the missing features Apple removed. It's unique in the way that it connects to the computer and the functionality it brings.

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The DEC attaches to the bottom of the MacBook Pro by replacing the screws that hold on the bottom plate. This method won't void your warranty, but it will allow for the dock to be securely attached at all times.

At first glance the DEC looks comically large, but in person the size and weight are more than manageable. OWC claims that when attached to a 2016 MacBook Pro, the DEC will be as thin as the 2012 MacBook Pro. Weight didn't seem to be an issue, but this is an unfinished prototype that doesn't have all the hardware in place.

When considering the functionality of the dock, the size and weight compromises may be worth it. The DEC connects to the MacBook Pro over Thunderbolt 3 and will bring USB Type-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an SD Card Slot, and up to 4TB of storage. Additional features are also being considered, such as an expanded battery pack.

The models shown here are still in prototype phase, but OWC assured us the final models will be available within months. The DEC will come in both Silver and Space Gray, and at release it will be available for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Pricing is not yet available, but OWC expects it to be priced lower than the BTO 2TB storage upgrade available from Apple.

Tags: OWC, CES 2017


Top Rated Comments

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8 weeks ago
When people are resorting to screwing docks into the bottom of their new MacBook Pros to regain access to ports that Apple removed, it should be a sign to Ive and company that perhaps their quest for thinness has gone too far.
Rating: 66 Votes
8 weeks ago
this idea is awful. i'd rather carry dongles and external drives.
Rating: 33 Votes
8 weeks ago
This thing would have never needed to be invented if the most useful features of the PRO laptop were not removed in the first place.

Now instead of ultra thiness, Ives asethic gets a third party make over making it even thicker than the previous gen.

Nice move.
Rating: 33 Votes
8 weeks ago
A solution to the unnecessary Apple preoccupation with laptop thinness.
Rating: 32 Votes
8 weeks ago
Apple effed up this machine... OWC to the rescue.
Rating: 30 Votes
8 weeks ago
Actually pretty neat. If only Apple could make a built in version themselves :confused:
Rating: 19 Votes
8 weeks ago
Reminds me of the old IBM ThinkPads that used to have docking stations so you could have a few more ports and a disc drive.

Rating: 18 Votes
8 weeks ago
If it had a SuperDrive it would almost replicate the functionality of my 2011 MBP...
Rating: 12 Votes
8 weeks ago
You know your product is bad when it require such a device to make it as functional as it was in the past.
Rating: 11 Votes
8 weeks ago
Whoa, it screws onto the bottom. I was hoping it was this instead of some dumb method of hooks and clasps.

This is such an interesting idea. With this ridiculous thing I might finally replace my MBP late 2011...although I really hate the new keyboard.

The only other obvious addition would be a battery and a massive SSD raid for video people. That alone might pay for the development costs.
Rating: 10 Votes

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