ExpressCard in MacBook Pros

I’d heard various complaints about the MacBook Pros not having a PCMCIA PC Card slot, further confirmed by Dan Lurie’s “mini” review, which also mentioned the MacBook Pro however sporting an “ExpressCard” slot.

It turns out ExpressCard™ is an industry standard developed by PCMCIA to

carry forward the benefits of ‘plug-in’ I/O cards to the next generation of personal computing devices.

This standard was introduced in 2003. PCMag posted an insightful overview of its potential applications 2 years ago.

Apple appears to be pioneering the industry-wide ExpressCard migration(oh snap, sorry about that). As of this writing, not a single a few Dell laptops appear to ship with ExpressCard (Product details –> tech specs –> Ports & Connections). Similar story for HP.

While ExpressCard appears to clearly be the way to go forward, it adds pressure on existing PC Card manufacturers to migrate their products and services toward the new standard. If you’re an EV-DO, UMTS/HSDPA, EDGE wireless Internet access PowerBook user, you’ll likely want to hold-off on getting the MacBook Pro until ExpressCard versions of the PC Card modems you use today become available on the market.

If you’re currently not an avid user of your PC Card slot, and are willing to wait a little while until the rest of the industry catches up to ExpressCard, the MacBook Pro just might be a good investment.


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