The psychology of expandability

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tokend, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Tokend macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2007
    I understand Apple's reasoning in dropping the ExpressCard slot in 15" MBPs. One percent is a small number.

    However, in using said reasoning, they dismiss an important factor that this particular consumer takes into consideration when shopping: how expandable is the computer?

    Laptops, in general, don't have PCI slots, and have only 2 RAM slots. The one, general purpose facility laptops have for incorporating current or future technology is a laptop expansion slot, be it yesterday's PCMCIA or today's EC/nn.

    As a buyer, this is important to me. I may not know what I want to use an expansion slot for, but I like knowing that it's there. For the first couple of years with my current laptop, I had no PCMCIA cards, so I would have counted in the 99+% of people who were not using it if I had been surveyed at the time. Even so, I would not have bought the laptop if it hadn't come with such a slot.

    Today, I have several cards that I use with this laptop: A firewire port; USB 2.0 ports; wireless/N and wireless/G adapters; and a multi-card reader. Other than USB 1.1, none of these features were available on the original laptop. I probably extended the life of this laptop by several years, precisely because I was able to add to its capabilities through an expansion slot.

    I didn't know what turns technology would take when I bought the laptop, and I didn't begin using the expansion slot right away. Nevertheless, the availability of such a slot, that is, the possibility of general expansion, was, and remains, extremely important to me.

    Apple asked users "How many of you use your EC slot today?", and got results, they say, of less than one percent. If Apple were to do another survey, and ask users and potential buyers "How many of you value the possibility of future expansion?", I'd bet they would get a much larger number of positive responses.
  2. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000


    Nov 14, 2008
    This has sorta been beatn to death. No need for a new thread.
  3. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    they could have asked "Do you use an ExpressCard slot"
    or "Do you want an ExpressCard-less macbook"

    yes its psychology. people actually like that choice are being made for them, but tend to complain when it happens. because if they made that choice they had nobody to complain to
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Honestly, laptops are made for portability and simplicity. With USB and FW ports on there, you've got enough to do a few things. Take a look at the board and it would've been EXTREMELY hard to put anything else in. I also totally get Apple ditching that slot when 99 percent of the people would rather have a card reader. As much as I love my SuperDrive, if 99 percent of people wanted a toaster oven there instead, APple would insert a toaster oven.

    I'm still waiting for Apple to hear us on Blu-ray, but that company otherwise seems to really listen to customers.
  5. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    i'm glad i have the expresscard slot. I don't have a use for it now but i think it will certainly come in handy in the future. USB 3.0 expresscard maybe? :)
  6. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    I had a G4 Titanium Powerbook with a PC card slot for many years. This laptop had built in USB 1.1 ports. At the time I bought the laptop, I was very happy with USB 1.1. However, as I accumulated USB 2.0 peripherals later, in particular a new iPod that only synced through USB, I was happy to have the option of adding USB 2.0 to my laptop via a PC card. Similarly, people who buy this new crop of MBPs may be wishing they could take advantage of USB 3.0 when it comes out... but there appears to be no option to do so with Apples removal of the expresscard slot.

    LOL... I should note that I currently have a first generation unibody MacBook, the one without firewire or expresscard slot. Thus, I seem to defy my own logic. :)
  7. Dale Cooper macrumors regular

    Dale Cooper

    Sep 20, 2005

    Dropping the EC slot that 1% < used for a SD reader that 50% (wild guess of course, but ALOT of people have digital cameras/camcorders with SD cards) will use seems like a total no-brainer. And it probably helps make room for other stuff as well (larger battery?).
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    On one hand, I'm very pleased that I have a late 08 MBP because I have an expresscard slot, but on the other hand, I've never used it, on this computer or my prior laptops that had one as well.

    I do think could have been an advantage if devices came out that fully utilized it and worked. Its well documented that the esata cards don't work with the MBP's expresscard slot.

    Yet while the majority never would use it, I think replacing it with an SD card reader is a little confusing. Many professionals have cameras that use CF cards not SD. Even on point and shoot SD isn't a complete standard.
  9. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    ive talked with a guy and he said hes going to search for a refurb. because he wants to use UAD Xpander... and he has a camera.
    and he says he doesnt bother to take the SD out and he just connects it via USB.
    you cant connect UAD Expander via USB: you can a camera.

Share This Page