Sunday, March 19, 2017

Other World Computing

by Bayle Emlein
As CES 2017 got underway in Las Vegas, Other World Computing CEO Larry O’Connor was delighted to show off OWC’s latest products. For nearly 30 years, Other World Computing has built a solid reputation on quality products. You’ve got to be reliable to last that long in this industry.

For nearly two decades OWC has been making memory support for Apple/Macintosh computers. Because they’re so forward-thinking the Apple products just beg for a bit more: a bit more memory, faster external storage, USB ports. OWC enables users to upgrade to current standards without having to invest in a whole new machine every 2 years or paying today’s premium prices for four years worth of memory growth.
If you’d really rather have a Macbook, or your job mandates one but doesn’t provide it, look at the Thunderbolt 3 dock for the current generation of Macbooks. It adds 5 USB 3.1 ports, S/PDIF lossless audio transfer, FireWire 800 to connect legacy devices, Gigabit ethernet 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, a Mini DisplayPort, Audio In/Out, and an SD Card Reader. Like the docking stations of yore, the Thunderbolt 3 hooks up to larger displays: in this case up to two 4K monitors at the same time. With the ability to add so many peripherals so easily, you’ll hardly notice that in this decade the innards of each model of the Macbook have been glued or soldered in place and cannot be upgraded individually. Unlike your (grand)father’s docking stations, the Thunderbolt 3 is sleek and elegant, matches the Macbook, and becomes a portable part of the system.
Even more forward-thinking, in my opinion, is the OWC  business decision to move more manufacturing back to the main plant in Texas. This choice, made well before the election, was a business choice. It’s easier to maintain quality control and manufacturing integrity when you’re not crossing oceans and borders. It’s also easier to maintain team morale when the team meets and half of it isn’t struggling just to stay awake. And since team morale is a key ingredient in quality control, it’s a key ingredient in the OWC formula. Meeting together is a whole lot easier when everyone is operating is contiguous time zones.
Right now the Thunderbolt 3 is listed at $299.95, with pre-orders due to ship in March available at $279.00. If you have an older Macbook, look at other versions of the Thunderbolt to see if you can update it to meet your needs at a fraction of the cost of a whole new computer.

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