MicroSD Rant

Maxx Power

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2003
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I personally find the SD reader on the 2013 MBP very useful. I use it with a BaseQI-type adapter that allows me to have up to a maximum of 512 GB of extra storage. Of course it is not fast, but I just put my multimedia stuff on that drive. It sure beats having to carry a spare external drive.
 

duervo

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Feb 5, 2011
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Every single microSD card I’ve bought have come with both an SD and USB-A type port adapter. SD adapter for use in devices that need it (ie: cameras) and USB for those devices that have those (ie: for use with the USB-C to USB-A dongle that Apple sells.)
 
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jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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Now that I've gotten a chance to play with MicroSD on a Windows laptop, I can't help but wonder: WTF was Apple thinking by not putting a MicroSD slot in the newer MacBook Pro? The cards are so tiny that I think it is unacceptable that they omitted it.

Is it just me?
A MicroSD has limited utility. An SD slot is much more useful since you can always get an adapter for microSD to SD, but you cannot go the other way. Also, a lot of cameras use SD cards.
 

theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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and USB for those devices that have those (ie: for use with the USB-C to USB-A dongle that Apple sells.)
Yes, because needing 2 dongles to plug in a MicroSD card is better than one, or none... OK, so direct USB-C to SD card adapters are available.

Plus, all those neat little 128GB "JetDrive" SD cards that fitted flush with the old rMBP/MBA models if you needed to supplement the internal SSD storage were really inconvenient... for Apple's bottom line.
 

jerryk

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Plus, all those neat little 128GB "JetDrive" SD cards that fitted flush with the old rMBP/MBA models if you needed to supplement the internal SSD storage were really inconvenient... for Apple's bottom line.
The "jet drives" were way too slow for me. 30 MB/sec writes is what I used to get. That is tough to take when the SSD in a 2017 unit does 2,500 MB/sec
 

theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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A MicroSD has limited utility. An SD slot is much more useful since you can always get an adapter for microSD to SD, but you cannot go the other way. Also, a lot of cameras use SD cards.
Yes, I'd vote for SD rather than MicroSD - unlike other dongle situations - @duervo did actually have a point when they said that MicroSD cards often come with =individual SD adapters - and are easier to handle in that form. However, I guess the counter argument is that MicroSD could easily be squeezed into the smallest of laptops.

However, that's kinda the problem with the new MacBook Pros - too much emphasis has been based on thin'n'light and not enough on versatility (or at least the kind of versatility that doesn't need expensive TB3 devices). Many of us would rather have had a slightly larger machine with things like USB-A ports, SD/MicroSD (or both!) DisplayPort and/or HDMI, Ethernet...
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The "jet drives" were way too slow for me. 30 MB/sec writes is what I used to get. That is tough to take when the SSD in a 2017 unit does 2,500 MB/sec
...but the typical use case of a Jet Drive would be to offload something like your media collection that only saw infrequent updates, and free up SSD space for applications that needed it.
 

jerryk

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...but the typical use case of a Jet Drive would be to offload something like your media collection that only saw infrequent updates, and free up SSD space for applications that needed it.
No doubt that is the case for some. For me I have multiple datasets I work with and bringing one from slow storage to fast storage was taking too much time. So I went for the bigger drive when I upgraded, and will do the same when I buy my next system. Spending a few hundred more is worth it for me.
 

Robnsn2015

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Original poster
Jul 12, 2015
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But didn't Apple omit both SD and MicroSD from the new MacBook Pros? If so, what was the point of doing that?
 

jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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But didn't Apple omit both SD and MicroSD from the new MacBook Pros? If so, what was the point of doing that?
I am sure Apple studied the situation. For me, I usually just copy images from cameras/phones SD cards via USB or Wifi. So with fast USB 3 ports I have only used the SD card slot on my 2015 MBP 3 or 4 times in 2 years. It's removal is not a big deal for me.

And as I pointed out, they are just too slow to be a way of extending storage for my use.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
I have an SD slot on my current 15" 2015 MBP and I never use it.....if I have gone out and taken photos with a digital camera, when I come home I remove the SD card from the camera and stick it into a USB SD card reader and transfer my images to the computer that way. As for storage of valuable files/folders, etc., I use an external hard drive or external SSD.....
 

mcpryon2

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2008
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Pft, it's a MacBook "Pro," where are the SDI and XLR inputs/outputs? They've abandoned the pro market.

Seriously, though, I'm used to adapters for equipment and it's really not that big of a deal to me. Though true dongles, like the iLok, are seriously annoying. I can understand why people are miffed at no SD slot since it's so widely used, so it's probably more than just the OP who miss it.
 

duervo

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Feb 5, 2011
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Pft, it's a MacBook "Pro," where are the SDI and XLR inputs/outputs? They've abandoned the pro market.

Seriously, though, I'm used to adapters for equipment and it's really not that big of a deal to me. Though true dongles, like the iLok, are seriously annoying. I can understand why people are miffed at no SD slot since it's so widely used, so it's probably more than just the OP who miss it.
To be clear, the OP was talking about a lack of a microSD slot, not the removal of the SD slot.

Macs have never had a microSD slot.
 
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theluggage

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No doubt that is the case for some. For me I have multiple datasets I work with and bringing one from slow storage to fast storage was taking too much time. So I went for the bigger drive when I upgraded,
...so, its not for you - fine - although it sounds as if it gave you a "better than nothing" solution until you upgraded.

I have an SD slot on my current 15" 2015 MBP and I never use it.....
"You never use it" doesn't mean that "nobody else ever uses it".

Pft, it's a MacBook "Pro," where are the SDI and XLR inputs/outputs?
...and where's my 20mA current loop interface? How am I going to connect my Teletype 43 with the paper tape reader?

OK, you were deliberately being facetious but lets remind ourselves why - SDI is unencrypted digital video that would probably incur the wrath of Hollywood if included on a "prosumer" machine costing less than $5k, both use hulking great connectors that are too big for even a 2015 rMBP to accommodate and both are likely to go hand-in-hand with other requirements (e.g. for XLR, high quality DAC/ADC and preamps for XLR in/out with the accompanying gain controls, monitoring facilities - plus the Mac would probably need to pull 48 Volt phantom power out of its hat), so most potential users are already using external USB/Thunderbolt boxes from the likes of Black Magic or Focusrite. Also, since the whole point of XLR is low noise, there's a strong argument for having the analog circuitry outside the computer in its own box. So, yeah, while I'm sure that there are people out their who'd love a pair of XLR sockets in their MacBook, there's a long list of justifications for not including it it beyond "Random user says they don't personally need it."

There's a spectrum between "USB-C/TB3 ports only" and "don't forget the MIDI, IEEE488 and S-Video". Apple has gone for one extreme end of that spectrum - and been very frugal with the number of USB-C ports (which now have to do everything, including connecting the charger) to boot. On a 2016+ MBP - connect the charger, plug in your SD/MicroSD reader and.... on the nonTouchbar MBP you're out of ports, on the better models you've used up half your ports, and so you're shopping for a dock/hub (either an expensive Thunderbolt one or a cheaper USB-C one with major bandwidth limitations).

To be clear, the OP was talking about a lack of a microSD slot, not the removal of the SD slot.
...but keeping the SD slot would be a pretty good solution for microSD users since microSD to SD adapters - if you didn't get one bundled with the microSD card - cost about $1/shot and (unlike other dongles) actually make the cards easier to handle.
 
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Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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duervo wrote in reply 16:
"To be clear, the OP was talking about a lack of a microSD slot, not the removal of the SD slot.
Macs have never had a microSD slot."


Just wondering, but what laptops (non-Mac) are out there with microSD slots?
I'm going to guess, "not many".
Full-sized SD card slot, that's a different story.

This thread is a "straw man" argument.

OP:
Stop grumbling and do what the rest of us do:
Buy a USB3 SD card adapter (some have microSD card slots as well).
 
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jerryk

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...so, its not for you - fine - although it sounds as if it gave you a "better than nothing" solution until you upgraded.
Never was OK.

I gave up on the SD cards and bought Samsung T3 and T5 drives with SSDs. 500 MBs/sec was much better! And you can detach them and put them in a safe place to ensure you don't lose the data.
 
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duervo

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Feb 5, 2011
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duervo wrote in reply 16:
"To be clear, the OP was talking about a lack of a microSD slot, not the removal of the SD slot.
Macs have never had a microSD slot."


Just wondering, but what laptops (non-Mac) are out there with microSD slots?
I'm going to guess, "not many".
Full-sized SD card slot, that's a different story.

This thread is a "straw man" argument.

OP:
Stop grumbling and do what the rest of us do:
Buy a USB3 SD card adapter (some have microSD card slots as well).
To name a couple vendors, the Surface Pro has one, and some ASUS products as well (like the Zenbook Flip series.)
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Never was OK.

I gave up on the SD cards and bought Samsung T3 and T5 drives with SSDs. 500 MBs/sec was a much better! And you can detach them and put them in a safe place to ensure you don't lose the data.
That's what I use, too, for supplementary files and for backing up my files and folders. Keeps a lot of stuff off my computer's internal SSD and yet provides me the quick access to my data that I might need, and in a much more flexible and safer format. Also makes it easier to transfer files from one machine to another, even when one machine does not have an SD slot.
 
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Robnsn2015

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 12, 2015
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To name a couple vendors, the Surface Pro has one, and some ASUS products as well (like the Zenbook Flip series.)
Many newer Dell Latitude ultrabooks and Lenovo Thinkpad ultrabooks have microSD. If those ultrabooks can have them, why not Apple's? I can almost understand Apple's argument for removing the standard SD if they think those cards are too big for their slim and sexy new MacBooks/MacBook Pros, but I still don't understand why they couldn't at least put in microSD.

Don't people have a problem with needing a dongle for EVERYTHING?
 

BananaX

macrumors regular
May 24, 2017
112
36
Having USB C in MacBook or even MacBook Air is acceptable. I personally don't use SD at all. But, Pro version should have at least a SD reader for those people work with cameras every day. Maybe in 2020 we can have all USB C, but a 2016 laptop with USB C only is a bit sad. I wonder how much money Apple made from selling dongles.
 
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