OWC's USB-C DEC docks under Apple's MacBook Pro, adds legacy ports and storage

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
A new peripheral from OWC connects to the underside of the new MacBook Pro, and adds a series of legacy ports plus up to 4TB of flash storage.




Features included in the OWC DEC module include up to 4TB of some form of SSD storage, a SD card slot, USB 3 Type A ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and "other features to be announced at a later date." However, the ports as described by OWC are not shown on provided pictures of the assembly.

OWC claims that the device "attaches completely flush" to the 15-inch MacBook Pro. When connected, OWC notes that it makes the combined assembly "no thicker than a 2012 MacBook Pro" but which specific 2012 MacBook Pro model is referenced is unclear.

Little else is known about the device, beyond what ports it includes. Not clear is what kind of SSD storage fits inside the DEC, how the device attaches to the computer mechanically, and if the connection is USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt 3.

Images of the upcoming accessory show a USB-C port on its right side, presumably its method of connection to the MacBook Pro. But product mockups show the port empty while docked.

AppleInsider has contacted OWC for comment on more of the device's details, and will update accordingly.

The OWC DEC will ship in Spring 2017 and a prototype will be shown at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. Pricing is not yet available.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,850member
    That looks just like the design of the fabled Powerbook G5!
    Are there fans?
    Solimattinozanantksundaram
  • Reply 2 of 40
    thedbathedba Posts: 482member
    jsmythe00 said:
    Damn....you're paying to upgrade to the latest tech...which then requires you to purchase legacy tech to make your product functional. 

    Apple is great at most of the few things it does. This isn't one of them. 
    Or this is one of many solutions out there that support your legacy tech. All you have to do is choose which one is right for you. 
    But if you really are attached to all  your old equipment, maybe you should not be purchasing new tech. 

    If Apple were to do focus groups and listen to all naysayers, then the new MBP's would have at least one of each of the following
    1) Firewire
    2) Ethernet
    3) VGA
    4) USB-A
    5) SD card slot
    6) HDMI
    7) Thunderbolt 2 / Display port
    8) Magsafe
    9) Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C
    10) CD/DVD drive
    11) Toslink
    12) 3.5mm Analog jack
    13) Lightning
    edited January 2017 andrewj5790ai46StrangeDaysravnorodomroundaboutnowwatto_cobraSoliDaekwanwlympscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 40
    thedba said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Damn....you're paying to upgrade to the latest tech...which then requires you to purchase legacy tech to make your product functional. 

    Apple is great at most of the few things it does. This isn't one of them. 
    Or this is one of many solutions out there that support your legacy tech. All you have to do is choose which one is right for you. 
    But if you really are attached to all  your old equipment, maybe you should not be purchasing new tech. 

    If Apple were to do focus groups and listen to all naysayers, then the new MBP's would have at least one of each of the following
    1) Firewire
    2) Ethernet
    3) VGA
    4) USB-A
    5) SD card slot
    6) HDMI
    7) Thunderbolt 2 / Display port
    8) Magsafe
    9) Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C
    10) CD/DVD drive
    11) Toslink
    12) 3.5mm Analog jack
    13) Lightning
    Thank you for your reasonable post! Not many around these days... Though, you forgot, 14)Floppy Drive and 15) pinned mouse and keyboard connectors instead of that horrid new USB junk
    edited January 2017 ai46StrangeDaysravnorodomwatto_cobraSoliDaekwanuraharawlymsnype719
  • Reply 4 of 40
    Cool! It solves a problem that didn't have to exist and costs more money.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member
    Strange the ports don't show on the image.   If it were a mock up they could have faked them, especially if it's a photorealistic illustration.  Could they be hidden by a flap?
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 6 of 40
    thedba said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Damn....you're paying to upgrade to the latest tech...which then requires you to purchase legacy tech to make your product functional. 

    Apple is great at most of the few things it does. This isn't one of them. 
    Or this is one of many solutions out there that support your legacy tech. All you have to do is choose which one is right for you. 
    But if you really are attached to all  your old equipment, maybe you should not be purchasing new tech. 

    If Apple were to do focus groups and listen to all naysayers, then the new MBP's would have at least one of each of the following
    1) Firewire
    2) Ethernet
    3) VGA
    4) USB-A
    5) SD card slot
    6) HDMI
    7) Thunderbolt 2 / Display port
    8) Magsafe
    9) Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C
    10) CD/DVD drive
    11) Toslink
    12) 3.5mm Analog jack
    13) Lightning
    Excellent. Well done. I like what Apple is doing. The best products w/ the best software in the history of mankind are not everyone, I guess. :)
    StrangeDayswatto_cobraSoli
  • Reply 7 of 40
    This image could be an Onion parody. It looks absurd but not as absurd as only including USBC.

    I've been on board with most Apple minimalism but it's gone too far. 

    The list of ports posted above "apple would include if they listened to focus groups" is insane. Toslink? VGA? etc.. hahahaha Give me a break.

    There would be little to no criticism if just an SD (even mini) port & lightning was on it.
    Rayz2016Daekwansnype719SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 40
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member
    This image could be an Onion parody. It looks absurd but not as absurd as only including USBC.

    I've been on board with most Apple minimalism but it's gone too far. 

    The list of ports posted above "apple would include if they listened to focus groups" is insane. Toslink? VGA? etc.. hahahaha Give me a break.

    There would be little to no criticism if just an SD (even mini) port & lightning was on it.
    Did we read  different articles?

    "Features included in the OWC DEC module include up to 4TB of some form of SSD storage, a SD card slot, USB 3 Type A ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and "other features to be announced at a later date." However, the ports as described by OWC are not shown on provided pictures of the assembly."
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 9 of 40
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member

    Little else is known about the device, beyond what ports it includes. Not clear is what kind of SSD storage fits inside the DEC, how the device attaches to the computer mechanically, and if the connection is USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt 3.

    Apparently Bluetooth  >:)
    edited January 2017 lorin schultz
  • Reply 10 of 40
    safi said:
    That's cool. How about Apple fix the absolutely horrid battery life on the new Pro? I have returned mine, got another one with the same crappy 5 hour battery life and returned it as well. I will stick to 13inch 2015 rMBP. Apple needs to be sued and punished for this horribly false claim of battery life. 
    Can you explain with relevant details -- what sort of activity, brightness, etc. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 40
    jsmythe00 said:
    Damn....you're paying to upgrade to the latest tech...which then requires you to purchase legacy tech to make your product functional. 

    Apple is great at most of the few things it does. This isn't one of them. 
    Nonsense, it doesn't require you to upgrade at all. I'm a pro software dev and i've never used a SD card, and have no need for ethernet, firewire, HDMI, VGA, or any legacy ports. In the rare event I need somebody else's legacy drive I'll use a small adapter completely painlessles. I want power and light weight, not a desktop. MBPs have been awesome machines and i don't see how this one will be any different. I'm certain you'll see the rest of the industry copy it, too. 
    edited January 2017 Rayz2016
  • Reply 12 of 40
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,204member
    thedba said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Damn....you're paying to upgrade to the latest tech...which then requires you to purchase legacy tech to make your product functional. 

    Apple is great at most of the few things it does. This isn't one of them. 
    Or this is one of many solutions out there that support your legacy tech. All you have to do is choose which one is right for you. 
    But if you really are attached to all  your old equipment, maybe you should not be purchasing new tech. 

    If Apple were to do focus groups and listen to all naysayers, then the new MBP's would have at least one of each of the following
    1) Firewire
    2) Ethernet
    3) VGA
    4) USB-A
    5) SD card slot
    6) HDMI
    7) Thunderbolt 2 / Display port
    8) Magsafe
    9) Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C
    10) CD/DVD drive
    11) Toslink
    12) 3.5mm Analog jack
    13) Lightning
    If they were to do focus groups, I wonder if we would have got what we got.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    MacPro said:
    Strange the ports don't show on the image.   If it were a mock up they could have faked them, especially if it's a photorealistic illustration.  Could they be hidden by a flap?
    Presumably this is a dock that would stay on your desk and therefore the majority of the ports are probably on the back so the cables are out of your way while you work. The SD slot on the side makes sense as that is one of the few ports you might need regular access to. I'd think the final design might also have a USB A port or two on the sides as well for easy access with flash drives and such. The rest can be on the back which is not shown in the photos.

    The dock itself may be just a tray to set the MBP on without actually attaching it as I first thought when I saw the photos and wondered if they could make a version with a built-in battery to extend the run time when you are mobile.

    My only other comment is that if they make it as designed the photo, typing might be easier if they made it thinner on the front edge and thick on the back to angle the keyboard a little bit...assuming this is meant only to be a desk-bound (vs portable) docking solution.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    I stumbled across this on OWC's site today. I confess I thought it might be a fun addition to my new machine (if it comes in Space Grey).

    It seems like I never have enough storage. Even with the 2TB I paid through the nose to add, I still have to carry around a 4TB external with more of the stuff I use every day (I don't use ALL of it every day, but I never know what part of it I might need). I also use Ethernet every day, because as fast as AC wireless is, Gigabit Ethernet is still faster. A few times a week I have to plug in a thumb drive. None of these things is particularly inconvenient now, but part of me wonders if it might be handier to just have it all built in? If it's easy to detach, one could leave the base behind when size/weight are the priorities du jour, and snap it on when all-in-one-ness is desired.

    Obviously cost, performance, weight, and ease of use will be critical factors, but it does look like an interesting idea.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    thedba said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Damn....you're paying to upgrade to the latest tech...which then requires you to purchase legacy tech to make your product functional. 

    Apple is great at most of the few things it does. This isn't one of them. 
    Or this is one of many solutions out there that support your legacy tech. All you have to do is choose which one is right for you. 
    But if you really are attached to all  your old equipment, maybe you should not be purchasing new tech. 

    If Apple were to do focus groups and listen to all naysayers, then the new MBP's would have at least one of each of the following
    1) Firewire
    2) Ethernet
    3) VGA
    4) USB-A
    5) SD card slot
    6) HDMI
    7) Thunderbolt 2 / Display port
    8) Magsafe
    9) Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C
    10) CD/DVD drive
    11) Toslink
    12) 3.5mm Analog jack
    13) Lightning
    Thank you for your reasonable post! Not many around these days... Though, you forgot, 14)Floppy Drive and 15) pinned mouse and keyboard connectors instead of that horrid new USB junk
    Can't believe you miss the good old SCSI port. I need to connect my ZIP drive!
    urahara
  • Reply 16 of 40
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,204member
    I also thought about the battery possibility although it would push the price up and, as you say, I'm not sure if it's a desktop solution or mobile. If mobile, it would require connection/clamping method to keep it in place. A function for which the existing ports wouldn't be used. Makes sense that the main spread could be on the rear.
  • Reply 17 of 40

    avon b7 said:
    thedba said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Damn....you're paying to upgrade to the latest tech...which then requires you to purchase legacy tech to make your product functional. 

    Apple is great at most of the few things it does. This isn't one of them. 
    Or this is one of many solutions out there that support your legacy tech. All you have to do is choose which one is right for you. 
    But if you really are attached to all  your old equipment, maybe you should not be purchasing new tech. 

    If Apple were to do focus groups and listen to all naysayers, then the new MBP's would have at least one of each of the following
    1) Firewire
    2) Ethernet
    3) VGA
    4) USB-A
    5) SD card slot
    6) HDMI
    7) Thunderbolt 2 / Display port
    8) Magsafe
    9) Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C
    10) CD/DVD drive
    11) Toslink
    12) 3.5mm Analog jack
    13) Lightning
    If they were to do focus groups, I wonder if we would have got what we got.
    The only inconvenience I've noticed with this machine (aside from not being all that fond of the keyboard, but it's not a deal-breaker for me) is having to pull out a USB-A adapter a few times a week to connect a thumb drive.

    Then, when I do, I remember how much I hate single-orientation connectors, which reinforces my resolve to be part of the push to drive adoption of USB-C.

    In this case, what I got MIGHT be better than what I would have asked for. Despite my protestations over the years that power trumps size/weight, I gotta admit that it's a lot nicer travelling with a lighter backpack.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 18 of 40
    Bad naming.  'DEC' is likely a trademark of Hewlett Packard.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    anomeanome Posts: 1,297member
    avon b7 said:
    thedba said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Damn....you're paying to upgrade to the latest tech...which then requires you to purchase legacy tech to make your product functional. 

    Apple is great at most of the few things it does. This isn't one of them. 
    Or this is one of many solutions out there that support your legacy tech. All you have to do is choose which one is right for you. 
    But if you really are attached to all  your old equipment, maybe you should not be purchasing new tech. 

    If Apple were to do focus groups and listen to all naysayers, then the new MBP's would have at least one of each of the following
    1) Firewire
    2) Ethernet
    3) VGA
    4) USB-A
    5) SD card slot
    6) HDMI
    7) Thunderbolt 2 / Display port
    8) Magsafe
    9) Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C
    10) CD/DVD drive
    11) Toslink
    12) 3.5mm Analog jack
    13) Lightning
    If they were to do focus groups, I wonder if we would have got what we got.
    A faster typewriter?
    dewme
  • Reply 20 of 40
    thedba said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Damn....you're paying to upgrade to the latest tech...which then requires you to purchase legacy tech to make your product functional. 

    Apple is great at most of the few things it does. This isn't one of them. 
    Or this is one of many solutions out there that support your legacy tech. All you have to do is choose which one is right for you. 
    But if you really are attached to all  your old equipment, maybe you should not be purchasing new tech. 

    If Apple were to do focus groups and listen to all naysayers, then the new MBP's would have at least one of each of the following
    1) Firewire
    2) Ethernet
    3) VGA
    4) USB-A
    5) SD card slot
    6) HDMI
    7) Thunderbolt 2 / Display port
    8) Magsafe
    9) Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C
    10) CD/DVD drive
    11) Toslink
    12) 3.5mm Analog jack
    13) Lightning
    Thank you for your reasonable post! Not many around these days... Though, you forgot, 14)Floppy Drive and 15) pinned mouse and keyboard connectors instead of that horrid new USB junk  
    16) SCSI.   how could you forget SCSI.
    watto_cobraanomeRayz2016
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