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Tech Times | I'm really missing the SD slot on the new MacBook Pro

Published:Monday | October 31, 2016 | 10:00 AMJefferson Graham

LOS ANGELES:

I miss my SD card slot already.

As well as the traditional USB slots on the MacBook Pro that I use to insert external hard drives, charge the iPhone, plug in my microphone for recording the Talking Tech podcast and all sorts of other things, too.

Apple introduced its super-pricey new Mac computers last Thursday, and just like the company did away with floppy disks and CD/DVD drives in the past, it's now making a computer that's smaller, thinner, yada, yada, by killing the camera SD slot and removing the traditional USB slots. Now Apple wants us to use a new Thunderbolt USB-C slot that promises to power and run devices at the same time.

Know that your existing devices probably won't fit into the new slots; you'll need adapters and those will cost you big time. Accessories manufacturer Belkin announced a new USB-C dock last Thursday to fit multiple devices, and it's expected to cost in the $300-400 range.

Ca-ching!

 

PRICING

 

The new Macs start at a hefty $1,499 and go up to $2,799, but once you add in extra RAM and memory, you'll probably spend way more. I spoke to a friend last Thursday who figured it would cost him about $4,500 to get the machine he needs.

The good news - yes, there's still a headphone jack, unlike the recent iPhone 7, for those of us who like to listen to music, watch TV shows and movies and the like on the computer.

On the SD card omission, I understand it. Smartphones have replaced cameras as the dominant way people shoot photographs, so in Apple's thinking, who needs the SD card slot anymore? Well, I do. My best photos are taken on cameras, and I love having the SD card slot not just to import photos, but trade files in the office when we work on projects together.

If I were to buy one of these new MacBooks, I'd have to start dragging around a card reader, like I used to a few years ago, before SD card slots became so prevalent on laptops.

The big selling point of the new Macs is something called a TouchBar, a smartphone-like strip that replaces the current function keys, which we use to lower and raise the volume, or screen brightness.

Now, you can do fun things like add emojis to your e-mails, from the TouchPad, buy stuff with Apple Pay and click the TouchPad to confirm, and operate high-end programs like Final Cut Pro for video editing and Photoshop.

Sounds fun, and I look forward to trying them.

But owning one of the new Macs? Using touchscreen at the top of the computer would never trump having the extra slots for me. I can live without it.

My iMac desktop has four USB and two Thunderbolt slots, and all six are in constant use.

I hope the computer lasts me the rest of my life.