Could the New 14-Inch MacBook Pro Finally Have an SD Card Slot?

Apple is reported to be introducing a new 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 processor and an SD Card Reader.

Most editors here at The Phoblographer have Macbooks. More specifically, we’ve got older ones. Hillary and I haven’t upgraded since 2015 because of the lack of an SD card reader. To boot, we haven’t been delighted with any of the PC offerings out there. But reports of a new 14-inch MacBook Pro seem incredibly intriguing. This would seemingly replace the 13-inch option and perhaps change camera bag design for years to come.

Our sources on this are from MacRumors. The new computer is reported to have Apple’s New M1 chip. Photographers I know who’ve used it on Apple’s current laptops are over the moon about it. One even told me that it runs Lightroom faster than any editing machine he’s owned. That’s quite promising!

According to their post, we’re looking at the following possibilities:

  • MagSafe’s return
  • The touch bar removal
  • Thunderbolt ports
  • A headphone jack
  • A possible exit from the dongle life

That last part is fascinating to us. Cable management is one of the stupidest things ever. 

Add into this the addition of the SD Card Reader, and we’d be sold! I’d upgrade tomorrow if I could. My aging Macbook Pro screams louder than a vintage Hoover Vaccum. The hope is that Apple doesn’t wire it in the stupid way they did with the 2019 iMac. That card reader has tons of problems if a lot of USB ports are being used. Further, we also hope that the card reader is fast. 

More importantly, the SD card reader’s return may mean that LaCie will take it out from their Rugged RAID hard drives. I’ve had literally two fail on me in a year. I stopped buying them, but I adored them when they worked. Since then, I’ve just used a Drobo with IronWolf drives. But I also haven’t done major traveling in a while. We’ll see what comes about in the Rugged category soon!

But where Apple could take this even further is with the screen technology. Apple loves to use glossy screens. Sure, they make everything look better. But what about a matte screen that has touch capabilities? I don’t want to use the iPad Pro for editing. But instead, the MacBook Pro could benefit a lot from it. Combine this with all the gestures that Apple has, and you’d have all you need. Of course, you could also keep the touchpad mouse. That’s surely still useful.

A touchscreen would need to launch with a new version of Apple Big Sur. Or, perhaps, it would need to be a completely upgraded operating system. However, editing in Photoshop, Capture One, and even Final Cut could be so much better. To that end, we hope that the display actually is a real 14 inches going edge to edge. The extra real estate space is desperately needed.

Looking further ahead into the future, I think that Apple needs to work closely with camera manufacturers. Imagine if you could beam images from your GFX 100S using AirDrop. Ideally, you’d star specific images in-camera. Then you’d send them wirelessly to the MacBook Pro, organize and edit. That would be insane and wonderful. But we’re really a long way from there. Of course, the megapixel wars will always make this reality difficult to happen.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.