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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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  • Considering that I won’t be moving to a 2016 macbook pro due to the fact that their models crash with certain external hardware over thunderbolt or USB because of a firmware block component that rejects certain firmware id’s, in professional audio this is a huge issue. I use a 2015 macbook pro custom and would love a solution like this for the 2015 models. this would give the same support, mobility and expansion that would be absolutely vital in professional media work. Running Protools based systems on a mobile environment means carrying external drives, controllers, etc, instead, a product like this should be made available for 2015 macbook pro and slightly earlier model owners to give us the degree of support we need. it’s about time some oen came out with this product, though it’s for the touchbar models, should also be for older models which are still very high spec.

    to settle a few matters. firstly, optical drives are no longer needed these days, if you feel you need one, carry a USB 3.0 bluray burner drive, that takes out one issue for weight of the dock as well as vibration issues. 2: the ethernet port is an important factor. a lot of places still use gigabit ethernet, I still do when remote use is needed in clients studios with my machine, etc. 3: USB 3 ports are a real asset, the amount of times you carry dongles, etc, a good idea here if you’re an ilok owner would be an internal USB3 slot to place your ilok dongles which is secure, that way it’s out of the way, still gives you external USB 3.0 ports, etc. yes, sd card support is important here and the ability to install SSD’s etc into the case. it would be a good idea to offer both SATA III and PCIE support so that users can install either or both drive formats. say you’re working with a customer and need access to cheap 7200rpm 2.5″ sata drives, what would be ideal is the ability to undock the mbp, drop in the client’s drive, re dock and the drive’s there, without thinking of external drive enclosures taking up ports.

  • This sounds wonderful.
    It maybe enough power and flexibility for me to consider buying a new MAC book.
    I am very excited by this product

  • looking for a Video Post Production solution using OSX and the new MBP is not it! Looking forward to this solution becoming a reality.

  • Another way to look at this “Pro” device is to ask what ports are needed for existing Pro audio and video connections, e.g. HDMI, optical audio, the whole range of SD memory cards. It’s all about convenience, and I don’t see the add-to-the-side, or add-by-cable, devices as being sufficiently convenient form factors. Obviously, to set it apart from all the other add-on adapters, being able to expand RAM is where the love really is — and for OWC represents an additional item to sell. I just hope this doesn’t have such a “Pro” price tag on it that only Hollywood can afford it!!!!!!!

  • Please consider only adding the ports offered by the last generation MBP. Specifically, there’s little need for a built in Ethernet anymore. I carry an Ethernet adaptor and haven’t used it in 2 years. Forgoing the Ethernet would help reduce the height requirement.

    • I’m working in an IT company, and none of my clients use Wifi, for security reason. Ethernet is essential and that’s was I won’t change my MBP 2012 for the actual ridiculous MBP … professionnaly, but personnaly too !

    • There are unfortunately still 2 cases when wired Ethernet is critical: (1) When a business has a special in-house network that you must physically attach to to get certain features, and (2) if you have high speed internet like Google Fiber. Sadly, there’s some serious bugs in OS-X that prevent USB-Ethernet solutions from working reliably – I know – I personally went through about a dozen different USB->Ethernet adapters before giving up.

  • So, it looks like there’s enough room in that for an optical drive, why not include it? Some of us still use them. Doesn’t have to be slot load either, sometimes a tray is better.

    And needs a few more ports… ThunderBolt 2, FireWire 800 at a minimum. USB, even USB 3, still sucks. And yes, ThunderBolt is nice, but I still use FireWire devices every day.

    As of right now, my upgrade path from my 2011 MacBook Pro is to a 2012 MacBook Pro, and no farther. Sure, Retina display is nice, but there are too many sacrifices to get it. I’ve got a quad i7 2TB disk, and 16GB RAM now, I’m not giving up an optical drive and battery life to get one.

    So, good job OWC, but keep going, you’ve got more stuff to put in. I’ll definitely want one of these once we get the next generation of MBP that has at least 32GB RAM, preferably 64GB. (Seriously, Apple? What were you thinking? Were you thinking? 16GB was great in 2011, it’s pitiful in 2017.)

    • You must still be living in 2011 id you need an optical drive built in. I say skip the optical drive. I haven’t used on in 2-3 years.

      • For this point, ok, we already skipped optical drive at work on most computers, or have an external one.

        But personnaly, I’am very attached to optical media for personnal video and BR movies I bought (don’t want less video quality or be stuck with DRM from a store account like AppleStore). So it’s a frequent use for me. And useful to make media for my large collection of Apple Products (1982-2017) ;)

  • That thing is thick! I get excitement of getting ports back, but if they would have left off the ethernet port (I know, but one dongle is better than 5) then it could have been half the size, pop a superdrive off the side of it and put a couple old generation thunderbolt ports on it and it would be perfect. Know it helps some problems, but too thick in my opinion

        • There are many of us that rely heavily on wired Ethernet. In fact if you’re a network engineer, you can’t do your job properly without one, especially for configuring switches and routers. How the heck do you set up a wifi router without wired ethernet?? Kinda the chicken or the egg, which came first argument. I actually use two wired ethernet ports on a regular basis, one built into my MacBook Pro, and the other a USB dongle. Having to use two ethernet dongles would be cumbersome, especially since my USB ports will be tied up!!

  • I love OWC! Unlike Apple, those people know what Apple users want. They build great stuff that extends the usefulness of the expensive Macs for many years. With this add on, I can finally upgrade my old 2011 MacBook Pro and don’t worry about ugly dongles and additional cables to carry around.

    • Thanks for being a great customer friendly business OWC! And let me know when you start making the kind of laptops your customers need… the specs seem to be all in the comments! And thanks too for tracing my order… the repair shop thought it good to upgrade my late ’08 MacBook from 10.6.8 to 9.4 and my work has been a disaster ever since.

  • I miss optical drives in the new MacBooks. I currently have two Laptops (or Notebooks) that have DVD Drives but it would be nice to have Blu-Ray in this device that I can read/write to and play Blu-Ray movies

    • I agree with him, I can’t replace my MBP mid 2012 BR upgraded with the poor and limited configs Apple offers today.

  • I would buy one in a snap if it’s available for the 15″. Sad to say, my new laptop has turned into paperweight for now – went back to my old one for the time being due to the restrictions of the ports on this series. Of course the new laptops are lighter, they took everything off of them! They basically made it into a sports car, no frills or accessories, just power.

  • So what kinds of prices are we going to see for the basic unit and then for the add-ons?
    And when can we expect to see this become available for purchase?

  • It would actually be nice if MacSales could just license the apple OS and build the whole damn computer and get apple out of the way. They obviously have a clue and apple doesn’t. Anyone remember PowerComputing?

    • Ho yes ! Personnaly, the Motorola Starmax 4000 was one of my best Macintosh. I upgraded it with G3/300, two IDE internal drives, a internal SCSI DVD drive, Ethernet PCI Card, Wired4DVD Card and Voodoo 4500 Card. It was blowing up Apple hardware ;)

    • I’ll back u you. Appleworks on my LC 475 transferred to 10.6.8 and than…. fini along with no firewire and a bag of bits I have to lug around

  • This upgrade will be A+. If this Doc had the capacity to increase the disk space and add more battery’s power Macbooks will step a head with other products. And if in the Future Apple decide on upgrade the dims ports from 2 to Four for a 64gb ram or more. There no needs to buy another computer.

    But i guess it is not possible ????
    Battery, i dont mind, unless i can get 15 hours, without adding weight… :-)

    FW800 & USB3 = Love
    E-Sata ?
    SD card… Hmm I Use CF

  • Please make room for conventional hard drives, for those of use with need for storage but not drive speed a conventional hard drive vastly more cost effective.

      • Thank you, Paul, for reperesenting all of us because you do what you do (and don’t do) regarding what you need in that DEC. So, if you don’t use a tool, nobody ought to use it. Good directives, my liege! I shall be obeisant to your will.

  • I’m very interested in this idea (considering how underwhelming this new MBP is). I would really like this hardware be capable of GPU expansion similar (but more elegant) than the Razer Core hardware (it uses USB-C thunderbolt 3 ports to upgrade the internal GPU).

    I would love to see OWC allow for GPU card support as an alternative option to the ports on the right side of this proposed expansion exclosure.

  • Great idea! Please consider adding a DVD drive, an extra battery, and a HD — swappable if they won’t all fit together. And yes, mag safe, please, or some equivalent if apple patents get in the way. I must be tripping at least once a month.

    Don’t worry too much about weight. I’m hanging on for dear life to 3 of the old 17 inchers, even if two of them are becoming ancient. Light and thin is OK, but powerful and flexible is better.

  • I am disappointed with the battery life in the new 2016 touchbar MBP. I am satisfied with HD space. Offering the option of hard drive OR battery would be helpful.
    Ethernet, full-size USB3, Magsafe, Thunderbolt 2, FW800, all of these helpful. Apple creates beautiful formats and then ditches them far too quickly, forgetting about those of us who require backwards compatibility. Thank you OWC

  • LOL – I love it. Keep your mac functional!

    I swear I take so much cr*p at work for keeping my older macbook pro with
    -2 normal USB slots
    -Optical drive… !!
    -SDXC card slot
    I added memory and upgraded to a SSD. It’s doing just fine with many times the functionality of a newer MBP.

    They look at my old mac because it’s “heavy” and say when am I going to get an upgrade?

    Never. Not without OWC docs and DECs. But even so, apple has intentionally changed every aspect of the simple upgradable design in an effort to force us to by new hardware whenever we want to bump up.

    Good luck with that.

  • Hey MBP, feeling a little anorexic? Don’t worry, OWC has the answer!

    They are going to Plump You Up!

    Seriously interesting piece of hardware, which presumably replaces the bottom plate of the MBP and taps into the MBP’s right rear USB3 connector for power and data?

    There’s a lot of people wanting various other mixes of connectors. This must be a difficult balancing act for OWC for this and their other docks. I wonder if they could come up with various port combo cards that would fit this or their docks. Then folks could get what they want – mix and match.

    Isn’t MagSafe Apple proprietary? That’s why there are no third party MS power supplies and OWC can’t do it here even if they wanted to. I don’t understand though why some other approach could not be used to make a break-away USB cable (C or otherwise) which comes off the connector on the computer with a short cable, has the break-away connectors, then runs to the other USB connector with whatever length is required.

    Mac< > device

    • Didn’t realize the dashes and slashes in my attempt at a cable diagram would be eaten. Trying again:

      MAC{ {-//————–} }PS or device

  • Ports – all you can fit! SD slot is critical. FW would be great to enable us to work with the OWC backup drives I already own. MagSafe should be a must! Here’s a chance to help us manage what Apple did wrong on this release.

    • MagSafe would literally make me cry with happiness. Getting rid of that that was one of the stupidest decisions to come down the pipeline in Apple’s history.

      I absolutely lost it when they introduced MagSafe and spent a ridiculous amount of time going, “LOOK WHAT THIS THING CAN DO!” and intentionally catching things on the cord and watching it not pull my computer off the table. I had a PowerBook G4 before that, with its deathtrap round plug that sent the system flying at the slightest tug.

  • Will there be a FireWire port option? This is important for many creating music because of expensive FW devices already invested in. Using a Thunderbolt to FW cable isn’t supported by many FW devices.

  • This is very encouraging and making me look more at getting one of the newer MacBook Pros (I’m still holding out for Apple to get with the program and offer 32GB RAM), instead of buying an older machine, but my primary concern with the new systems is still not so much the lack of expandable storage or ports but instead the soldered SDD, the complete inability for the user to replace it, and what happens when (not if, when) the onboard fails and we incur expensive replacement costs (a $1200 drive plus the lobo and everything attached).

    Assuming you price this within the realm of affordability for most of us, how thoroughly integrated will it be? Will it be possible for us to install OS X to an SSD inside it, use that as the primary boot drive, and simply bypass the onboard SSD in the MBP entirely for that purpose? Because that would not only save a lot of money on the machine (no need to drop $1200 on the 2TB upgrade), it would save a lot of worry about having the boot drive fail. I would be first in line to buy one of these were that the case! I have a 2010 MBP that’s still going strong so the size is a non-issue for me. The only reason I’m really looking to replace it is that it has a 16:10 resolution and that places nicely with exactly nothing in the graphics world these days.

    Also, will the DEC be compatible with coming MBPs? 2017 and onward? I assume Apple will be using the same casing.

    • This is my biggest issue with apple. If one thing goes wrong inside, your have to pay outrageous repair costs, or just buy a new machine. If I didn’t work supporting Macs, then I’d be off of them completely. I can’t bring myself to spend my own hard-earned money on a machine that is built to fail and be replaced.

      • Yes, exactly. My 2010 MBP has been surprisingly resilient. Only one issue has been Apple’s, and they fixed it even though they technically did not have to (my GPU was likely from a bad batch, and even though they weren’t positive and the replacement program had ended and my warranty was long expired they replaced my lobo at their expense). Plus I have the option to, gasp, open it and SWAP DRIVES!

        I despise the Windows environment and nothing feels like a Mac under the hands. Going to a PC is not something I want to do, every one I have owned has been an absolute disaster. I have some relatively pricey legacy and indie software that I either don’t want to or can’t buy for another OS, either.

        But these new Macs just read as disposable to me. Soldering and glueing everything together doesn’t say “this stuff is so well-made it will never fail,” there’s no excuse for that mess in a so-called pro machine. It DOES say, “lol you can bet this $1200 SDD will die in exactly three years, right after the AppleCare that we should have thrown in for free with this $4200 computer but charged you $350 for instead expires and you’ll have to pay to replace it and the lobo and everything on it, hey, maybe you should just buy a new computer, we know the one you had before this lasted seven years or more but get with the times!”

  • A thunderbolt 2 or mini-dvi would be awesome. The lack of a mini-dvi jack was a huge mistake.

    Or even 2 of these for all of us running 3 monitors that are not thunderbolt.

  • I am seriously thinking of getting one of the new MB Pros, and find it wanting in that all it has is the USB-C ports. Please tell me more about this and of course I will want pricing.

  • I’ve been a mac guy since the beginning. I travel a lot and power is my biggest issue. I loved the “wall street” hot swappable DVD and extra battery option, I had 3 extra batteries(from macsales). I love this Idea of yours.
    a. will it cost so much nobody can afford it?
    b. Everybody is right. it needs “ports,ports and more ports. CAT5 Yes, More USB’s Yes, HDMI Hell yes, Swappable drives with extended battery (wishful thinking) There’s no way to do that without a cable coming out and losing the sleek design. Unless?! it extends 1/4 inch wider than the macbook and the macbook slides in like a docking station.
    c. precut foam storage slot to store those micro SD cards. Always losing those darn things.

  • Battery, Battery, Battery…. oh and one last thing… MagSafe! Please do consider adding a 99.9 watt-hour battery that charges via Apple’s previous generation MagSafe 1 or MagSafe2 connectors!! I desperately want MagSafe back.

    Additionally, without knowing how the Flash drives are attached internally, I would request there be 2 M.2 NVMe slots and I would also request there be room for a standard 2.5 inch SATA HD for more capacity for less cost.

    Also, consider adding one or two HDMI ports or One HDMI and One Display Port for additional monitor support.

    Done correctly, this device could fix almost everything wrong with the 2016 MacBook Pro. Now if only Apple supported external video cards. Imagine packing a 1080 into one of these models! :-)

  • My old Apple PowerBool Duo 2300c has history of our mission served in 1995. Please help me get it up & running.
    Thank you,
    My first visit to Amazon!

  • Please seriously think about adding firewire 800 to these machines. Many DJs/music producers/Audio enthusiasts have very expensive firewire DACs that they would like to continue to use without a convoluted series of dongles to get firewire via TB3.

  • If the DEC does not come with a 150-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery (or two 75-watt-hour batteries to meet FAA regulations), what’s the point? The DEC will probably not be worth it just to avoid a few dongles. Sure, dongles are not aesthetic, but they work. I have one dongle that leads to 6 Type-A USB 3.0 ports, 5 of which are in daily use.

  • I also don’t understand to go this far with a product only to have some usb ports and a NIC. sd card slot – eh. Problem is, apple and the entire computer world has monitors people own, and still need to use, with absolutely NO viable solution to support them. You can even call Apple directly and run circles around them on this matter. Just to connect a dual monitor workstation up to a new macbook with ethernet you need to buy and daisy-chain (4) adapters. Trust me – it looks UGLY looking at these diagrams. We need some thunderbolt/dvi options at a minimum. Video support is huge.

  • Looks huge, does it have a battery?

    Why stop at the # and type of ports it has, why not just deck it out if you’re gonna go, go all the way.

    • I had to stop using Mac awhile ago when they axed professionals from their target consumer groups. It’s unfortunate because Mac had a lot of appeal for me as a designer. That said, my PC laptop has been mostly flawless for 6 six years 5 years straight and stacks 4 hard drives, 64GB ram, 5 USB 3 ports, DisplayPort, PCIe, Firewire, SD card reader, a powerful CAD worthy Quadro card and runs Solidworks or any program I need natively and flawlessly without running Parallels or Boot Camp. Still miss Mac for professionals.

  • for its size more usb ports would be nice. Some more thunderbolt 3 as well as thunder bolt 2 would be nice as well. I am not a fan of a dongle book pro. A hot swap battery would be great. I am a composer and could use the battery life. This would give me a reason to even buy the new donglebook pro.Please and thank you.