Blog Post

MacBook Pro SD/ExpressCard Slot Tradeoff: Brilliant or Blunder?

Apple’s new/refreshed MacBook Pro 13″ and 15″ models each come equipped with an SD Media Card reader slot, but in the case of the 15-incher, this has required elimination of the ExpressCard/34 expansion slot that had been in every 15-inch MacBook Pro since the get-go, back in 2006. This has led to a crescendo of protest from certain classes of MacBook Pro users who depend on the expansion interface, even though an ExpressCard/34 slot is still offered on the 17″ MacBook Pro.

Does this move represent wise decision-making, or is it a blunder on the scale of the misbegotten elimination (now thankfully rectified) of FireWire support from the first revision 13″ unibody MacBooks? I think the ExpressCard/SD Card tradeoff makes some pragmatic sense. It would be great to have both formats, but for most users, SD Card support will be more functionally useful. Apple CFO Phil Schiller was quoted on Monday saying that surveys had determined only 10 percent of MBP owners ever used the ExpressCard slot.

As much as I like the idea of having ExpressCard capability in my laptop, I’m doubtful that I would miss having it on any machine that has built-in FireWire. I did make a fair bit of use of the PC CardBus slots in my G3 PowerBooks back in the day, and still do use the one in my “road” Pismo for a Buffalo G54 802.11g adapter card I use in conjunction with OS X’s AirPort software to log onto Wi-Fi hotspots. However, built-in AirPort has been standard on even the cheapest Apple notebooks for about five years now. On the other hand, an SD Card slot would be very useful for transferring image files from my digital camera. (Alas, my 13″ unibody MacBook has no slots and no FireWire.)

However, there are a minority of users who depend on the ExpressCard slot — for example, 3G cards for Wi-Fi connectivity, Gigabit Ethernet cards to provide a second network connection, or cards to provide extra FireWire ports on their own dedicated bus operating at full speed instead of daisy chaining devices. There are also ExpressCard-based PCI expansion options used by audio and video pros, and they work with ExpressCard interfaces. ExpressCard-based eSATA interfaces are also available for data transfer faster than FireWire 800 can support, and some folks, of course, use ExpressCard-SD card adapters or a variety of other media card readers such as 7-in-1 readers or 12-in-1 readers that can read much more than just SD cards. With an SD Card slot, you can only read one type of card.

All that said, Apple’s director of portables, Todd Benjamin, told PCMag’s Mark Hachman in an interview this week that the ExpressCard 34 slot was dropped from the 15″ MacBook Pro because the “vast majority” of owners use USB connectivity, and that Apple opted for a SD Card slot because that format has become “ubiquitous.”

The obvious solution, if one absolutely requires ExpressCard support, is to get a 17″ MacBook Pro, which at least is now more reasonably priced at $2,499, and most professional notebook users should find that affordable. The 17-incher is a bit larger and heavier to lug around, but having the bigger display is no hardship, and as a 17″ PowerBook owner myself, I would say that the diminished portability aspect is often exaggerated. I’ve found mine a surprisingly tractable road warrior-ing machine.

So, which would you prefer: ExpressCard 34 or SD Media Reader?

160 Responses to “MacBook Pro SD/ExpressCard Slot Tradeoff: Brilliant or Blunder?”

  1. This is a big mistake on Apple’s part in my opinion. The decision has clearly been made to reduce production costs without affecting 90 percent of MBP buyers. However, this is supposed to be a “Pro” machine and surely, as such, it should cater for those 10 percent of people who do require a machine that allows a degree of expansion.

    As an audio professional, I consider myself a Pro user and, having waited a few months to upgrade my laptop to benefit from the “upgraded” models, I am now seriously considering buying an end-of-line model from the previous generation. While I must admit that I have never used an ExpressCard slot on any previous machine, the lack of any expansion possibilities whatsoever on the newer machines really puts me off.

  2. Doug B.

    In my ExpressCard slot I use: esata, G3, CF card reader, and for a second FW 800 (for when I am dogin the built in FW buss). I was going to upgrade to get the 8GB internal RAM on the new unibody but with no ExpressCard slot…. I am now shopping for a Dell or Lenovo.

    Unibody first gen. 2.8 GHz 4 GB RAM
    20 plus year mac user
    Doug B.
    Pro Photographer

  3. Absolute deal-breaker. The first thing I did after I saw this on the text streams is to fire up a MBP feedback to Apple expressing huge disappointment.

    I use 3G card when out of home and use eSATA expansion card when at home. Just look at what they call “pro” machine – apart from two measly USB ports and 1 FW, there’s not a single expansion slot. That’s not a pro machine, that’s consumer machine.
    17″ is not an option, that’s simply too huge to be used as portable machine.

    Even with USB and FW800, that’s way too slow (eSATA is 2-4x faster) for the kind of stuff I move around. Like, I guess most audio/video/photo pros move around. It’s a ridiculous decision – MBP allows 500GB (could enter TBs with replacements) disks, 8GB of memory – it invites to use MBP as powerful studio machine. And then when you need to move it of the machine, you’re forced to wait while USB is chugging along.

    The way things stand, I’m gonna stick with my two gens old MBP 15″. Immensely stupid of them. They should have kept the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, instead of making them all consumer MacBook stuff.

    • Shaun

      Ditto for me as well. It’s a deal-breaker. Apple is really just charging more for the MacBook series by calling it “Pro”. What’s “Pro” about it?? What “Pro” that you know uses an SD card? Pro’s need the speed and options on a laptop, and are willing to pay for it. For those that never needed the ExpressCard slot – that would make you a MacBook user and you got to save some money. All that has happened now is that the consumer user base is forced to pay “Pro” prices (albiet with a small price drop), and the pro user group is forced to use a consumer machine. No one wins.

      On another point, Apple is saying that only 10% of MacBook PRO users used the ExpressCard slot?? WHY buy a MacBook Pro then? I think they are lumping both MacBook AND MacBook Pro users together and saying 10% used the slot so they could justify the consolidation of the two machines (saving them money). They then spin the whole “boot from an SD card” thing that apparently impressed many users – even though they could easily do that with an SD express card.

      Very frustrating.

  4. Matt J

    I think what a lot of people are missing is that the ExpressCard port took up a lot more space than the SD slot does. And Apple won’t be letting this void go to waste. Losing the ExpressCard will almost certainly have allowed Apple to increase the size of the battery, something which ALL users benefit from, whereas the ExpressCard probably only benefited ~1% of users. It’s unfortunate for those who used the slot, but Apple has never been in the business of keeping features around for a tiny subset of users.

  5. 2 reasons the SD slot rocks.

    1. A Mac OS X solid state boot drive ready to pop in whenever you want.
    2. Works with Bootcamp. Windows can sit on a card without stealing from your HD.

    I’ve never used my Express Card slot and not from a lack of trying or wanting to. But there are hardly and out there that do anything of interest to me. I understand eSATA is nice and some people have made that investment… but most SD cards I’ve see add Firewire (check) or SD/media card readers (check). I’m excited.

  6. I was thrilled with the lower prices of the new MBP, then I found out the 15 inch doesn’t have the express adapter. The 17 is good, but it is hard to work with on airplanes. As a video editor, I was hoping to plug an esata and a Matrox MXO2 Card into the MBP for p2 acquisition and editing.

    We video and film guys (plus graphic artists) keep Apple going and we rely on the brand to keep making top of the line product. I am going to try and get a last generation MBP if I can find one. I really want the 15inch. 2 inches doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you are flying back from a shoot in coach trying to edit on a computer that will hardly fit on your lap, life isn’t that fun.

    I really hope Apple comes back with the slot or someone can find a workaround to use a port for esata, raid and I/O capture cards.

    • I just watched a Webinar on Matrox line, and spoke to their head engineer. The Matrox mini with Max software is IDEAL for a laptop editor; it frees your processor, you can keep working in FCP, and it compresses to H.264 many orders of magnitude faster than the MBP CPU. But it won’t work with the new MBP unibody because of this express card omission!
      I have the previous generation, and now, instead of passing it on to a family member, I must guard it like gold because it has the 34mm slot! and when it finally goes south, I will have to buy a 17″ monster, as you note, to get eSata connectivity. I agree with the “remove the ‘pro’ nomenclature” from the Macbooks.

  7. Stephanie, I’m not considering switching back to WinBlows but it WILL affect my repeat purchase cycle. I usually buy a new MacBook Pro every 12-18 months, but I’ll probably stretch this one out to 24 or even 36 months because of the inconvenience of also having to upgrade my Verizon EVDO card as well. It’s just a pain, and will probably cost Apple one of my upgrades (worth about 2 grand).

    You win some, you lose some…

  8. Stephanie

    If anybody is threatening to purchase a Winblows PeeCee instead of a Mac because of this, then they should. Too many people have switched to Mac in recent times, so if some want to go the other way, then good luck and all the best! It’s great that Apple’s market share has increased so much, but I don’t want trojans and hackers taking advantage of that.

    I have three Macs, and one of them is a 15 inch 2.5 GHz MacBook Pro with an ExpressCard slot. Would I be able to boot from as SD card as well if it is installed into an ExpressCard SD reader? I understand it would be slow, but I do like the idea of an emergency system on a SD card.

    • Money is apples goal, and more money usually comes from an increased marketshare. We should not just sit complacently and accept changes that make our system a poor tool for the job we are using it in.

      Security is mainly there on our OS becuase of obscurity and there are exploits and the like out there for mac’s, you just wont see them floating around too much and most likely no one cares enough to target your machine

      Why do you think the expresscard sd reader would be slow? However you should be able to boot from it

    • I agree a “Professional” machine, that a lot of professionals cant use and I’m sure will be taken up by casual users who would be just as fine with much lower specs…

  9. I will miss the ExpressCard slot a lot. Being a photographer, I got tired of waiting for transfers of large files from my DSLRs via USB2.0. I recently got a Delkin ExpressCard Compact Flash reader, and the transfer times were cut IMMENSELY. I’m not talking seconds. I’m talking minutes. I wasn’t a believer in ExpressCard until I started using it.

    Unfortunately that MBP is old and I recently ordered the new one. I refuse to go back to USB for transferring files, so I ordered a firewire CF reader.

    Regardless, I think SD is useless.

  10. I use the ExpressCard slot in my MBP for my Verizon Wireless card. The USB wireless cards are bulky and put stress on the USB port, and since I use my VZ Wireless card everywhere outside the office, it’s definitely a necessity. I’m very glad I have the latest gen MBP with an ExpressCard slot.

    Oh, and I have an SD card adapter for my ExpressCard slot, so I’m not sure where Apple is coming from with this update. I hope they’ll reconsider by the time I need to upgrade…

  11. brian g

    Too bad…a bootable SSD in an express card slot works so darn well (wintec filemate ultra) on the previous revsion mbp and is a ton cheaper than an internal SSD!

  12. Chris L.

    Let all the whining and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the “loss” of the ExpressCard slot not obfuscate the fact that many users of same had, at best, very mixed experiences with their ExpressCard adapters. For every one who bemoans the loss, I can name another who tore his hair out over lost FireWire connexions, stuck CF card readers, line-dropping audio adapters, malfunctioning eSATA adapters, or wireless modems with shaky drivers and flaky uptimes. Those are just instances of which I have personal knowledge, having been asked to help. For others, just Google “expresscard problems”.
    The omission of FireWire on the previous MacBooks, on the other hand, was an outright disaster. I know of many colleagues who either postponed a planned MacBook acquisition until Apple would come to their senses, or ruefully went for the white plastic MacBook.
    Seems to me that Apple have decided to cut their losses and pacate the many, while risking the ire of a vocal – and hitherto lucky – few.

    And, Josh C. (#1): If you read my comments over at MacInTouch, you’ll see that installing OS X on an external SD card via USB reader (and even virtualized systems, too!) has long been possible on Intel Macs. It’s just that, now, Apple have decided to officially take this solution aboard; hardly astonishing, since the SD reader is internally connected to the USB bus.

    My condolences to eSATA orphans: they’re really the ones left out in the rain. But there is a cruel moral to this: never, ever, rely on external disks with a single interface.

    • You are correct, getting an eSATA hdd without also getting firewire or at least a usb hookup is kind of silly, but it happens and I also feel for those people.

      I have been using express cards. I use them on my PCs as well. I’m an IT consultant, I travel to different client sites with my laptop and a heavy bag filled with other stuff. I need a bit of flexibility to work on clients sites and 17″ is pretty large to be considered easily portable.

      That flexibility lets me connect to the console port on equipment, get extra networking options so that I can bridge connections or check multiple networks. eSATA is just so fast and nice to use that I am a bit sad when I am forced to use something else.

      Apple doesnt exactly have much in the way of flexibility as it is, but they are making it so certain groups of people can not just rely on an apple and must get a PC if they want to do the job they are paid for.

      There have been more than a co-workers and clients that have been angry and put off mac purchases (in the case of co-workers they went with PC’s since they were also fairly angry)

      It might not have been used by everyone but it was needed by certain groups and it is very silly to not even give an option to have it instead.

  13. The only thing I’ve ever put in the ExpressCard slot in my 15″ MBP is… a SD card reader. So I think it’s great. Being able to create a bootable emergency SD card is hot hot hot as well.

    And at #11, personally I’m thinking that by the time it’s new laptop time, that eSATA drive is going to look quaint and slow next to the USB3.0 stuff that will likely be available in the next year or two…

  14. You can always add an SD card reader — and DOZENS of other addons — to an ExpressCard slot. But it doesn’t work the other way around. With only an SD card reader, you’re stuck with ONLY being able to use SD Cards. No CF cards, no extra FireWire ports, no eSATA ports, no ExpressCard modems, nothing.

    Absolutely ridiculous move on Apple’s part, which is a slap in the face to all of us Mac users.

    This is the problem with being locked into one hardware vendor like Apple. We Mac users are literally TRAPPED PRISONERS TO APPLE’S WHIMS, unless we want to switch to using PC’s instead.

    • I’m very much in the same boat as you and sadly will probably be getting a PC when I upgrade. I’ll hold off and maybe apple will give options for those of us that actually need this to do work and wanted to support them

  15. I use the ExpressCard slot almost every day with a P2 Card Adaptor at work to offload P2 video footage. I already have an SD card reader for USB, not sure why I need a slot for a dedicated format over a slot with multiple uses. I’m glad I got my new MBP 15″ before this update!

    • I’m just as lucky as you. I’m glad I got the 1st gen unibody w/ expresscard slot to work with my P2 data as well, but what concerns me is what alternative will we have in the future when it is time for a replacement?

  16. Grodesh

    I need the ExpressCard to connect my e-sata hard drive. I can only hope that by the time I need to upgrade my Macbook Pro, Apple will have finally decided to put an e-sata plug on their laptops! Or else I’ll have to look elsewhere…

  17. I’ve never found occasion to use an ExpressCard slot, but I can understand users’ frustrations with its loss in the new models. However, the author of the linked blog post is going overboard in his complaint that “Apple… made a very foolish decision which affects all 15″ MacBook Pro owners in a NEGATIVE MANNER.” Actually, it doesn’t affect 15″ MacBook Pro owners AT ALL; their computers still have the EC slot. When replacing their computers, yes, then it becomes an issue, one which comments here and on the linked post have already suggested a few solutions for.

    Ultimately, he says that users who want an SD card slot can get around it (by plugging their cameras into the computer via USB), but doesn’t want to have to do it himself at all. The reality, however, is that there are likely far more SD card users than EC users, and it makes sense to force a minority of users to adjust their usage than it does to force the majority to do so.

    • You could have kept the EC slot and thrown a multi-reader in there.

      It does effect 15″ macbook pro owners becuase if they like the product they have an want to upgrade said product, they can not and must find a new product.

      I am an IT consultant and loved using my mac. Sadly I am forced to find a PC laptop as my upgrade since 17″ is just too much to haul around all day and its pretty bulky imho. The PC will let me add extra network interfaces, eSATA, a serial port for maintance on routers and the like.

      I guess this just shows that apple is not concerned enough to even give an option and are forcing certain professionals to go back to a pc

  18. I would’ve preferred a multi-format card reader (SD/CF/MS/xD), like the one in current generation Thinkpads but I guess we can’t have everything.

    My pet peeves are the lack of a faster GPU and the glossy screen that’s being forced down our throats. The 9400M was a good option in 2008 but just doesn’t cut the mustard going into the DX11 era of 2010. I think something like a 9600M on the 13″ MBP spec sheet would’ve been a nice option. And for the love of God, give us the option of a matte display Apple! Not every Macbook owner uses the screen to look at their face or apply lip gloss and stuff.

    • USB wireless adapters tax the system much more, also some of us work in IT and need a little flexibility. I often end up connecting eSATA, a serial port and an extra ethernet port quite often.

  19. Jeremy M.

    I’m glad I got in the MBP 15″ a month ago before the ExpressCard went away (and while I can still swap out a second and third battery!–S. Asia has power only part of the time, after all). I intend to use it for 3G connectivity while traveling internationally, and very likely for eSATA with a new LaCie External HDD. If they were going for usability, they should have replaced the EC with a universal 12-in-one card reader. Sole SD card functionality excludes the Nikon-user community. That said, presently I use my SD card reader more than any other possible EC devices, at least stateside. Would like it in addition, though. But no drama, really. I’ve had to explain to friends and clients how they might use the EC slot, so I think Apple did the market research correctly. The 15″ MBP should have been able to accommodate both, IMO, though.

    • I agree with Jake. Just about all Professional photographers use Compact Flash cards, and many buy the 15″ (with dedicated graphics card) for its more compact size (vs 17″), NOT SD cards! So “Blunder”. Give me back my Expresscard slot.

      • Well, I got the 17 inch i7 for that reason. Especially with a performance computer, you need faster busses etc.

        And guess what? The hard drive heads cxrashed horrible whizzing click of death. Yesterday.

        OK so screw platters, we’ll go for an SSD now methinks.

  20. I don’t see any problems with losing the ExpressCard. But, I also have no need for it so I’m sort of bias maybe. I would have a lot more use for the SD slot because of my camcorder and camera. It saves me from having to have a USB SD card reader.

    And the fact that Macworld said it can run OS X is a huge PLUS.

    Now, to just buy a new MBP.

    BTW, this is coming from someone who has a MBP already. It’s a 15” 2.16 GHz, about 2 years old. =(

  21. Apple should have at least given us a configuration option to still keep the express card slot on the 15″ MacBook Pro! This is a giant step backwards for me as a professional who very much prefers the 15″ over the unwieldy 17″ MacBook Pro. As a media professional, I need the express card slot for some adapters I have, as well as an eSATA card for my eSATA ONLY drives. When I get ready to upgrade from my previous generation MacBook Pro very soon, I will be forced to buy the 17″ laptop, which in all other respects I DO NOT WANT! I want a 15″

    This is a bigger deal breaker than taking the matte option away from us on the 15″ and then only allowing us to have it back on the 17″. I do not need super color accuracy on my laptop, I need seeability in all conditions and the seeability of the glaring glossy display (while probably the preference of some) is horrible for me. When I need color accuracy in a monitor for color correcting or matching purposes, I use the calibrated monitor in my office in a controlled environment.

    The #1 liability of being a Mac user is this: Since our entire computing world revolves around ONE VENDOR and ONE VENDOR ONLY for our hardware, we are at the whims of Apple’s engineering decisions, even when those decisions hurt the user. It is times like this when one can understand the desire of PC users to stick with the PC.

    Please, please please give us options back Apple! I can see how SD card slot or glossy displays would be preferable to some, but for those of us that need the matte display and the express card slot PLEASE give us the option! I don’t understand why we can’t have options!

    • Buy a refurbished unibody 15″ Macbook Pro right now for HUNDREDS of dollars off. It is a great deal and has the express 34 slot, removable battery, faster SATA bus, larger L2 cache etc. I just ordered the 15″ 2.53 4GB 320 GB 512 VIDEO for $1449. DO IT NOW, THEY WILL BE GONE SOON!

    • mac engineer

      there’s a decent trade off to the SD card or the express-card i bought a MBP 15.4 in with express card slot and don’t regret it the SD wouldnt be nice but i have o have my express card slot for double the firewire and my server admin connections but what sucks is i bought mine a week before the new ones came out and paid 400$ more than the new ones cost!!!

    • JR Foster

      I agree with TJ Draper. It’s a PORTABLE computer, and the 15″ and 13″ are much more portable. I fly around a lot using the macbook pro to upload huge video files to separate hard drives, and even then, I have to use a PCMCIA adapter for the Panasonic P2 cards going into the express card slot. Apple, please give us options.

  22. Having seen on Macworld that you can install OS X on an SD card, I’ll go with that. World’s smallest boot drive- also solid state!

    As you said above, the only reason I could see the need of an ExpressCard slot is for external FireWire- but since we have FireWire built in, who needs it?

    • A blunder for Apple.
      I make extensive use of the express-34 card that’s on my MBP 15″. I normally upgrade macs every 6 months to a year, but not this time. All my external drives are SATA. Whoever talks about the express card-34 as being a ‘firefire’ has no clue. The express card lets you transfer about 5 times faster than the 800-FW. I have files that are 35 and 45GB, without express card, I’ll be living like a caveman waiting for the fire to start. According to Apple ‘only’ 10% of Mac users ever used their express card – Is that a reason to ‘spit’ on 10% of millions of customers? I am very disappointed with Apple. It has become too much of a mass market, with very small customer base. It boils down to sort of a monopoly. With my next PC, I will not choose Apple, and Linux will be my OS of choice. For a computer pro, Apple is not reliable and/or flexible enough. It is very bad to be at the mercy of one vendor (who has very little understanding of pro users). They can continue to produce toys for teenagers, but they can also drop the ‘pro’ from their machines.

    • Ooh! Well said! If they are going to mark a machine as a “Pro”, shouldnt there be a logical reason to have an express card to begin with, i mean its for the pro’s right? Which just strengthens the point, apple is aiming for a younger more, irresponsible market which in turn is turning the more dedicated followers into plain old fags for supporting them…. Lets have a round of applause for open computers please….

    • the 06 model mbpros had a load of defects that were, unwelcoming at best (overheating, videocard issues etc). hopefully these unibodys corrected those flaws but, at the price of customer loyalty?

      For a new pro line, throw away with the damn unibody and re-invest in the poly carbonate or go REAL pro with carbon fiber.

    • I strongly disagree. I am a Music Technician and use a UAD sound card that is critical for my production and my mixing. I cannot use another system as I have spent thousands of pounds on this card for plug ins etc but love the portability of the 13″. The jump between the Macbook and the Macbook Pro have shrunk which is positive for the normal end user, but for the prosumer and the specialists, this jump is very unwanted.

    • well, anyone who wants to use their rme hammerfall breakout audio box needs the expresscard. it was a total failure on apples part to exclude it for a stupid card reader which can be found everywhere i have one in each of my two dell ultrasharp 24″monitors, that i never use. the solution, a removable cardreader that fits into the expresscard port.

      as for josh c. running osx off of an SD card… sure maybe you can, but i fail to see the value in doing so. furthermore i would be surprised if you are actually doing this as compared to just talking sh*t.

    • Getting rid of the ExpressCard slot on the 15″ MBP was one of the most ignorant and stupid things Apple could have done.

      If you need a cardreader so badly, go buy an ExpressCard card reader for $10 – $15. Those card readers take SD, Memory Stick, XD, … not just SD. And you can leave it in your MBP all the time since it doesn’t stick out!

      For those who want a small SD card to use it as a SSD: Even a class 10 SD card is slow. And mind you: The card reader in the MBP is only on the USB bus. So it’ll be slow.

      A nice and really fast Sony SxS or a Verbatim ExpressCard SSD are not an option anymore.

      What about all those ExpressCard TV tuners? It’s really nice to have them, since they don’t or only barely stick out! Talk about breaking off an USB TV stick… Happens faster than you think! And it’ll probably wreck your logic board too!

      Same thing for HSPA data cards… Better than any stick.

      And then ExpressCard offers all the expandability with eSATA, extra firewire connections, and: In a few months probably USB 3.0. So you guys will be stuck with slow USB 2.0 on your new MBPs.

      What about ExpressCard video adapters? Hook up two screens to your MBP instead of just one!

      Oh ExpressCard is so nice! Apple, why did you take it away! You could have at least given us, the pro users a choice!

      And 17″ is not portable!

    • Re: Will’s comment on August 22nd, 2009 at 10:46 pm

      Will, I am shocked that no one called you out on your gay slur.

      It is inappropriate to use such terminology in the context you used it in. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      This isn’t a message board for political/religious discussion, however I cannot let that one pass. Irresponsible, insensitive, and just plain ignorant. Shame on you Will.

      Everyone else reading this: this is not meant to start on off topic discussion, so please dont add your two cents, lets leave it at this and move on.


    • Golf4Pro

      I don’t understand why Apple just didn’t include an express card that reads multiple SD cards with every purchase??…Kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Apple grows it’s customer base (kicking Window’s ass :) and we keep our ExpressCard/34. Simple!