OWC Makes MacBooks ‘Pro’ Again With Game-Changing OWC DEC

back-to-back-computersv3OWC today announced the OWC DEC, the first-ever expansion solution designed specifically for the 2016 Apple MacBook Pro. The OWC DEC is the finishing touch to a MacBook Pro, allowing users to take their laptops to the next level, extending the life and the functionality of the already-exceptional 2016 MacBook Pro. The DEC is the latest in OWC’s long line of upgrades for nearly every Mac made and continues the company’s legacy of providing the best solutions for Mac owners.

The OWC DEC attaches completely flush to the bottom of the 2016 MacBook Pro, providing additional flash storage and connectivity, ultimately increasing the performance of MacBook Pros. With the OWC DEC, users will get an enhancement path for their 2016 MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to keep their system upgradeable for the long term in a clean and integrated fashion. On top of the core functional benefits, the OWC DEC also touts a sleek design. When installed, the OWC DEC and MacBook Pro will be as thin as a 2012 MacBook Pro, allowing this advanced solution to retain the attractive light weight design that users favor.

This patented solution has a range of features, which include:

  • Up to 4TB of additional Flash/SSD storage (for a maximum of 6 TB, including factory capacity)
  • SD Card Slot/Multi-Media card slot
  • USB 3 Type A Ports for standard USB cabled devices
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • And other features to be announced at a later date

Larry O’Connor, OWC Founder and CEO, will personally showcase the OWC DEC prototype in Las Vegas this week. The OWC DEC enables the new MacBook Pro to be updated and expanded in order to operate at peak performance and ultimately be relevant for years longer than may otherwise be expected.

“We’ve been developing this concept for over three years and feel now is the perfect time for this ground-breaking product,” said O’Connor. “Storage space is always at a premium on a laptop and without the potential to upgrade the factory drive, the OWC DEC brings that option back in addition to cleanly supporting the gear we all rely on.”

Related: OWC CEO Introduces the OWC DEC at the 2017 NAMM Show

The release of the OWC DEC comes on the heels of a significant year of new product announcements from OWC, including the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock, OWC USB-C Dock, Aura SSD and the newly released Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini and Mercury Elite Pro Dual.

OWC will ship the highly-anticipated OWC DEC in late 2017. OWC Upgrades are available from MacSales.com and other fine retailer and e-tailers in the U.S. and around the world.  For more information, please visit www.owcdigital.com/DEC.

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  • Any chance of producing a model for the 2015 models with thunderbolt 2? this would give us some extra flexibility. I won’t be upgrading to a 2016 macbook pro and only just replaced a 2012 macbook pro non retina with a custom 2015 model. I run Protools HD with Sonnet hardware as well as other equipment and certain pieces do not work with a 2016 system, good thing I didn’t spend £4050 on a top end 2016 15″ paperweight.. If you could produce a version of this for use with 13″ and 15″ 2015 series machines, that would be awesome and would offer customers extra expansion and support while on the road. at least an extra thunderbolt port or two, USB 3.0 ports, storage for SSD’s either PCIE or SATA, etc so that a macbook pro like mine could go out on tour without carrying sonnet echo units which weigh a heck of a lot in a flight case with all the extras.

  • PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! Add a firewire port to this – you will get a ton of musicians and video editors buying it if you do. I will not buy one unless it has firewire.

    Also, it would be very nice to add space for an additional battery – or a hot swappable battery slot. This is a nice to have, especially for those of us who are getting less than 4 hours of battery life.

  • Excellent idea.

    Can you do the same thing to the 2013 MacPro? 4 x 16X PCIe 3 slots, accepting the graphics card(s) of your choice, and a SAS RAID card, or any PICe card.

  • If the intent is to allow us to continue using our legacy peripherals, need to add more legacy ports: HDMI or DisplayPort, 2+ Thunderbolt 2 ports. And as a bonus: More USB3 ports so I can retire the ugly external USB hub.

  • I hope you will find some way to increase the amount of RAM. It seems to me that the greatest fault of Apple’s new MacBook Pro is the limitation of factory installed RAM to 16Gb. Additionally, a magsafe adapter would be great.

  • Any plans to add an external GPU inside one of these? I know there are technical challenges to doing that in OSX with the laptop screen, but if anyone can solve that, it would be OWC.

    Maybe Apple should just license you guys to make the first fully legal Hackintosh, and you could build your own OSX laptops to claim the pro market Apple no longer wants. :)

  • The Following options should be in this Touch Bar or I wouldn’t purchase it , no matter how cheap it is.
    1- An optical Drive (a must)
    2- At least 2 usb 3 ports
    3. An ethernet port
    4. An HDMI port
    5. A Thunderbolt port
    6. A Large battery to power the Mac book, USB ports
    7. One charge cable that will power everything.
    keep me inform.

  • Looks great! I am curious how the DEC will be attached to the computer and how cooling will be managed. I believe the vents in the bottom of the computer are are intake as well as speaker sound output.

    In addition to the ports shown in the pictures, I would be a happy camper if the DEC came with:
    1. HDMI port that supports 4k @ 60hz.
    2. Thunderbolt 2/Mini display port
    3. Additional Battery with level indicator
    4. Magsafe and USB-C port for charging the additional battery and powering computer.

  • Why not more than one size – in thickness (thin one, thicker one), perhaps stackable levels? An integrated fan to extend the life of the MacBook Pro? Modular Units/Bays, BTO options to accomodate different business fields, creatives, teachers, someway to lock the device down to a table, internal GPS for those working constuction and surveying/ GPS proximity alerts-lockdown if removed? Removable batteries? This is an awesome idea! I honestly don’t care too much if its thick as long as I can get my work done. Business is business, and if it has everything then and no more dongles and wires!! Hooray! How about a Lockable, shielded hidden place for a passport, cards and a few SD cards or some emergency cash, for the international traveler, there is no such thing as a ‘Safe’ Hotel Safe.

  • I know it’s still a prototype, but from the pictures above, the center section with the ports is not aligned well.

    I think cost will be a big factor too. The MacBook is already a high priced item and even this expansion can’t solve a critical problem. 16 GB RAM.

    Since Apple seems to keep their engineers focused on their iOS products instead of Macs (logical given the revenue difference), it would be nice if they worked with OWC on an expandable solution. Nothing wrong with outsourcing some work. Perhaps a removable bottom with a bus connector inside so you could have either a powerful or lightweight machine.

  • You know what would be incredibly cool—I’m thinking specifically for media professionals? Put internal USB connections *inside* the casing, so we can “hard-wire” our iLok and Syncrosoft license dongles inside our laptops. That would be amazing…

      • Just riffing on this a bit; one way to handle different configs would be with a daughter card approach. They could have an internal connector, maybe usb 3.1 based, or pci, then sell custom daughter cards for different connectors. If they offered, say 3 of these, you could have 2x M.2 ssds and an internal 2-port usb-a for our annoying syncrosoft/ilok dongles!…

  • Laptops are used often for presentation and an HDMI connection is a must like the old MacBook Pro.
    An extra battery pack will be greatly welcome for long range travellers.

    • Why would you do this? In case you haven’t noticed, Apple has stopped putting optical drives into almost all of their higher end computers because they are huge and slow. Unless you go with a BR burner, the most a DVD will store is about 8.5 GB. (You can get 100GB BR disks) With USB3 thumb drives offering 128GB for about $30. Also, do you want an external optical starting around $30, or one that comes in a $1000 attachable dock?

      • I have the last 13 inch mode w/ a super drive – it is four years old, has traveled to Alaska, Wyoming, Oregon and California with me – has been thrown across a room by a disgruntled student, and slammed in a car door by my disgruntled foster son; and it still works.

        I use the super drive almost every day – currently I handle cyber security/network administration/jack of all trades for various medical offices and high security practices in my current city. For desktop and server installs I love having the ability to burn a custom ISO to a disk from my MacBook Pro, and use it, then leave it behind for the client (just in case I return and don’t have my laptop with me for whatever reason or if I have to talk someone through booting to the disk for diagnostics). I also password protect/encrypt my log files and burn those to disks – my employer and my clients seem to loose those less often then they do USB drives.

  • It’s easy to make slimmer computers by throwing away features. The OWC DEC is the only way out I see nowadays to replace my 2008 17″ MBP.

  • Put a battery in it, maybe a DVD drive, HDMI, magsafe, and anything else you can get on it that is on older macbooks, make the storage in it expandable, and I would consider it.

  • Apple maximizes the transportability of their MacBooks at the cost of connectivity, expandability, repairability and usability. It’s good to observe that OWC does listen to the needs of the MacBook user society.

  • Ready for a radical idea… Given the quite thick size of this “dock”/adapter, how about going all the way, and adding many many, if not every, legacy connection that is practical!
    -MagSafe, SD, CF, HDMI, FW 800, FW400, Ethernet, USB3, audio jack, SATA…and a DVD/CD/BR-RW drive to boot! (Don’t forget that 4T HD)
    Not kidding! Having a mega – adapter where I could plug-in any peripheral from the last ten years would be absolutely awesome! (Now go ahead haters, and start complaining.) Given it’s size, this could be the device to solve every legacy problem!

    • I love your idea. I can’t stand the fact that they took out the DVD/cd drive to begin with. There are some thing that do not come on streaming services! Doing that there would not be anything it could not do for years.

    • Personally, I use CDs so rarely that I don’t see the point. Also, if they included all those ports it would probably cost a fortune. To me, ethernet, HDMI and USB are the single most important because they are used by practically everyone in a business setting. Can’t speak for the rest as I’m not in a creative field.

    • Alex, why would you want a MagSafe Adapter? The new MBP comes with a USB-C charger already… And, to be honest, what is the realistic use of all of the old legacy adapters? I know the last thing I want to do is hook up a FW400 or USB1.0 drive to transfer data from/to – that’s why I’ve consistently upgraded to newer drives over time (even though I almost never re-visit any of the data I wind up transferring…).

      • Do me a favor rich, take your 2016 Macbook Pro and plug it in with the USB-C charger, and then run the cable across the floor to the outlet. Now, have your ten year old kid come running through the room, trip over the Cord, and tell me if it breaks. That’s the point of a magsafe adapter.

        As for firewire – you are missing the point. This is supposed to be for “PRO” users. i.e. pro musicians, video folks, etc. MANY MANY audio interfaces out there are Firewire only, and cannot be used with the 2016 MBP. These are items that are only a year or two old, and are still supported by their manufacturers.

        • Mike – I don’t have a 2016 MBP, nor do I have kids (they break too much). But point taken…

          MagSafe would be nice to have for that reason. It would also free up another USB-C port, which you could connect to a dock that could be geared towards an Audio Pro’s needs, or one that is geared towards a photographer’s needs (like me).

          It is still beyond me why anyone would need an optical drive or something like FW400 in such a dock… And that IS the point – what kind of a pro is running something off of FW400? If the Music/Audio industry is still producing items with that interface I feel sorry for the Pros in that industry.

          • Some of us would still like to be able to use our legacy hard drives and enclosures. FW400 may be pushing it, but I have a bunch of FW800 enclosures and drives that I’d like to still have access to at those speeds instead of USB 2.0, which was the only other interface at the time that I got them.

  • Does this change come with a high price increase ? I am interested and can you send me a pricing list ?
    Thanks, Richard

    • Hi, Richard. We haven’t released pricing information, but keep checking back to the Rocket Yard for more details in the near future.

      • I love the idea, talk about being expandable. It’s like being able to customize a desktop, but the mobility of a laptop.

  • Toss in a CD player and I’ll consider it very seriously. As it appears, 5 little ports isn’t quite doing it for me.

  • Awesome! I’ve had one of these designed in my head for 2-3 years, wishing someone would implement.

    Here’s a thought for a special edition option that’s a niche market, but might net you multiple thousands of sales. Consider making one with a smart card reader, possibly instead of the SSD. Government agencies have a requirement to use PIV card authentication, and though we have the little folding readers like the SCR3500, dealing with attaching and detaching the reader and putting in the card for every wake from sleep has been something I’ve been dreading on my laptop for 5-6 years. NASA has thousands of Mac laptops. Government tends to be PC-heavy overall, but I’m sure there are a lot out there in other agencies with the same issue.

  • I do venue sports photography. I need, more storage, video upgrade, Increased RAM, USB 3 and HDMI and more battery life. Asking a lot yes, but I don’t care if it is thicker.

  • Will this enclosure also include an additional battery? That would be even more helpful than the ports and additional storage…

  • reading the reviews. We spend over 3000.00 for a new mbp and then have to radically upgrade in order for it to be well upgradeable and useable?? all they do is look for thinner and more tablet like while pushing their cloud. My data stays with me I WILL BACK IT UP! If i need more storage I will buy it!

  • I liked using my Macbook pro for work. As IT consultant however I need the additional interfaces, Ethernet port (sometimes I need a second). I want longevity too so upgradeability is a MUST. Apple just moved away from me so i mist now say goodbye! Last great OS was without a doubt 10.6.8 and the 2009 MBP.

    • Can’t wait, Larry!!
      Need it yesterday, (really!) but happy for the brilliant solution…
      My how far OWC has come since I met you at the last MacWorld in Boston! I’ve been a loyal customer ever since, and use your products for me and all of my clients !

    • I heartily agree with you about 10.6.8 and more.
      Apple has clearly lost its way. Seems to have no respect or concern for those of us who have been using their products since the 80s as a WORK tool.
      I resent that they are turning their hardware into glorified iPhones. I run my business on my Mac’s, and they’re making it increasingly ever harder to do so with the crappy UI’s and unstable OS’s. For instance, iOS 10 update bricked my iPad air, and what they’ve done to the iTunes interface is utterly unconscionable.
      Their memory’s are a little short when it comes to those of us who have been stalwart Apple users, who kept them afloat in the scary years when they needed Microsoft to bail them out.
      Any of us who are creatives and in the design world who use our machines to create our products and run our businesses have been sorely disrespected, neglected and nearly abandoned as time has gone on.
      Thanks to Larry O’Connor who has provided us with Hardware workarounds over the years.
      Now if we could just get them to stop having 10-year-olds designing the software who only know “cool” and have no understanding of business needs. Sheesh.

      • LMAO you just said everything I feel. Now I have the iPad Air as well, but it works fine. I did learn a trick I used on it though. It’s a forced start! Not sure if it would help or if you may already know and tried it, but if you hold down the power button and the volume down button it forces the device to start, if it’s not mechanical. I remember mine not starting up for like 5 days, then I tried pushing multiple buttons and it started back up. I can not remember what update it was though.

      • Microsoft never “bailed out Apple”. The $150M dollars that Microsoft was required to invest in Apple (1997) was the first installment of a lawsuit settlement that Microsoft lost to Apple. Read the decision rendered in “Apple Computer v. San Francisco Canyon Co”. This initial installment had little to do with Apple’s bottom line. As another way to make amends, Microsoft agreed to continue support for MS Office on the Mac, which bolstered support for the business sector. Although, there were, and still are, better document solutions without the cost and licensing restrictions of MS Office. The lawsuit was a stroke of genius and under that framework allowed Apple a little flexibility until Jobs’ NeXT OS could be implemented. The real savior of Apple, in a very backdoor way, was Ross Perot, who was Jobs’ chief investor in NeXT. When Jobs returned to Apple, it was he and Jony Ive and NeXT that really brought Apple out of the ashes.

        You haven’t given any examples to clarify your attack of any UI’s or your business needs; so, I have no comments about that. I can do much, much more with macOS today than I ever could with 10.6.8; although, I do agree that it was a very good OS version for its time and still run it on an old Mac Pro. Further, I can do all of things that I need as a programmer and scientist including HDMI, Gigabit ethernet, Firewire 400 & 800, SD and more directly from the USB-C ports available on the 2016 MacBook Pro without the need for this Dec. And the new Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter has made all of the old Thunderbolt adapters, that I purchased with my original MacBook Pro w/Retina, relevant again…and they all work.

        I am a big fan of OWC. Especially, their SSD’s and memory, but this is a gigantic (relative to size) miss for not much gain and it still doesn’t include an optical drive (which was a big mainstay of the Pro’s for so long), Firewire or Thunderbolt 2 ports. So, this Dec doesn’t really make anything “Pro” again other than transforming the 2016 MacBook Pro into a heavy laptop like its predecessors.

        • Thank you. I was going to point out that Microsoft would have lost a lot more by staying with the lawsuit also, but passed on it. Gates knew this as well which is why he jumped on the offer, since Jobs literally made it standing outside of the Apple event before he walked in and told everyone about it, he was also pretty confident Gates would jump on ot. I have not yet updated to the new OS, because the last few were so bad I wasn’t going to risk it. Since it’s nearly impossible to find reviews about by people who actually use it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

          • I find that most people’s likes and dislikes of a specific OS are mostly subjective. It’s difficult to answer a big question in a short space, which is why OS reviews are less than useless most of the time. I think it comes down to what you need. If your current OS version has everything you need and most of what you want, stick with it as long as you can. If you prefer to keep current and make use of new features and device integration, upgrade to the latest. I see upgrading as fun and like to play with new features. So, I’ll sum it up with this…

            I have not experienced any problems under what I would consider to be typical business and end-user operations. I have experienced some minor issues programming with the new version of Xcode…but that’s an Xcode problem not a Sierra problem. Sierra is faster and cleaner in many ways and you still have access to all of the things you’ve been able to do in previous versions. Perhaps better in most cases. I have always been a fan of Siri on my iPhone and iPad and having it on my Mac has proven to be very helpful. Now I can be lazy and just tell Siri to open a document or application or send a text message or find something…you get the idea.

          • It is true that “out-of-the-box”, Sierra is more locked down than any previous version. However, all of the features that lock it down, such as System Integrity Protection, can easily be disabled for those who need complete control over the system.

  • And what about the pathetic 16GB RAM maximum on MacBook Pros? I routinely max out even the 32GB on my Windows laptop with relatively tame image-processing tasks.

    • Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do about that besides wait for Apple’s 2017 models. Supposedly they will have the option of 32GB.

  • Great concept. I could see something like this being a HUGE seller, but only if you get it very, very right. 1) It’s got to be thinner than what you are showing here. I’m sorry, but I’m not obsessed with thin at all, but that’s just downright huge. 2) Consider a MagSafe. That’s a big deal to many of us. Like I said, great concept, potential huge seller; but at this point the implementation just looks to need a substantial bit of tweaking.

  • I need 3 things that Apple has taken away with their direction with laptops:

    1. storage upgrade
    2. video upgrade
    3. port & device compatibility

    (assume we can still upgrade memory in MCB Pro)

    • You can get HDMI adapters. I’ve got one for my MacBook 2011. Plus one guy said something about needing extra RJ45 ports, they have a USB to RJ45 adapter as well. They came out with it for the original airbook! Some of the thing people want are available in adapters. I would spend $100 and get them from Apple, because the generic $20 work just as well!

      • While you could, it would be convenient to not need one. HDMI is so utterly ubiquitous now that it just makes sense. But if the best they can do is mini-displayport, we’re still better off than what Apple is giving us.

  • The obsession with ultra thin devices will ultimately be the downfall of Mac in my view when it dos not allow the user to upgrade mass storage or memory or use legacy connection methods. Users will still upgrade their machines to later versions as long as they can perform internal upgrades and retain connectivity.

  • Ugh! I just bought a new 2015 MBP in lieu of a 2016 model for this very reason. During my research I have spoken on numerous occasions with several OWC staff and mentioned my plans and frustration with Apple’s design on the new MBP. Not one mention of this new OWC Dec! To put it mildly I am NOT Pleased! Had I known about this ahead of time I would have purchased a 2016 MBP and then an OWC Dec. OH WELL!

      • A hint of a solution is all it would have taken to add me to one of the first to buy. Now That would have been smart!
        Thanks for your polite comment joe.

  • Oh, powered Firewire would be so good in the dock, I have an audio interface that cannot work with current Thunderbolt adapters. MagSafe we can emulate with another company’s invention, so I think with this we’re getting the old mac power. If only OWC could also fix bugs in new Mac OS X :)

  • A thunderbolt 2 port would make it so easy to use current peripherals such as a Thunderbay 4. The weakest point of the new Apple Macbook Pro is the shockingly bad quality of adapters available for it, even if one was willing to put with them. This dock might even make me reconsider abandoning Apple.

  • Using the USB-C connector for plug-in power is a bit of a chore (2016 Macbook), how about the an addition of a Magsafe-2 port for power using legacy Apple power adapters and to prevent unintentional takeoffs and landings if the power cord gets pulled or tripped on.