This week we met with Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO of Other World Computing (OWC). Much of OWC’s success has been as a provider of storage upgrade solutions for Apple-made computing devices. Our meeting in a suite at the Venetian was to view and discuss OWC’s latest offerings and plans.
Apple has had a bit of a history of producing computing devices that are difficult, and sometimes impossible to upgrade the storage capacity and/or performance of. Their latest MacBook PRO is no exception, with the onboard solid-state drive being soldered in place. OWC has been quite successful at providing storage system upgrades in these situations where possible.
Let’s say that you have recently purchased a new MacBook PRO (at by all means no small price tag) with 512GB of SSD storage. One would initially assume that there would be no means to upgrade the likes of the MacBook PRO’s soldered-in SSD, short of purchasing a higher capacity complete new MacBook PRO, at an even higher cost. But OWC is in the process of releasing a viable alternative.
What OWC has done is to create an entire new “lower shell” for the MacBook PRO’s enclosure that contains up to 4TB of solid-state storage. This new lower half, unofficially being referred to as a “DEC” (pronounced “deck”), will screw into the same mounting holes as the original lower half. By disconnecting the soldered-in Apple-provided SSD, and re-connecting to the larger storage in the “DEC”, you are now able to upgrade the storage system in your late-model MacBook PRO. The cost of the MacBook PRO plus the “DEC” will still be a good bit less than purchasing a larger capacity complete new MacBook PRO.
The images you see here are of a non-production prototype, so the final version should have better fit/finish, as well as moving the card reader slot seen on the front of the prototype around to one of the side panels. Also not shown here, yet to be present on the final version are Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, an Ethernet port, and a headphone jack.
Also on display was OWC’s soon-to-be-released new Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which has a total of 13 various ports for unprecedented connectivity options. On the front side, we see an SD card reader, audio in/out, and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port.
Check out all of these ports on the rear side — 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, S/PDIF digital audio port, a Firewire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a mini display port connection. The Thunderbolt 3 Dock is anticipated for early 2017 availability, and pre-orders can be placed at the OWC website here at discounted introductory price of $279.oo.
A number of other OWC’s current products were on display, including the Thunderbay 4 Mini external storage solution, which is offered with storage capacity of up to 4TB.
Also displayed was OWC’s popular Aura SSD upgrade kit for 2012 and early 2013 MacBook PRO with Retina display.
Stay tuned for further updates as we continue our meetings and explorations at CES 2017.