New Macs: do you want a card reader?

All the podcaster/bloggers in the Mac world are always talking about how they want card readers brought back. Does the average user care about including a card reader on future macs? Specifically an SD reader.

In 20 years of Mac use, I have never needed one. Even when I had a big camera, it used Compact Flash, so the SD reader wasn’t any use to me. I always figured Apple knew that very few people used them, so that it was not worth it, but maybe it was just Jonny Ive wanting to remove everything?

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My pro camera (Canon 7D Mark I) still uses Compact Flash. So, unless it’s a Compact Flash reader (which it won’t be…) I don’t care.

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And here I was thinking my Olympus OMD E-M1 (released in 2013) was old…

It still is a great camera, just doesn’t compare well to those devices released in the last 2 years.

UI-wise, yeah. I miss many of the niceties coming with modern gear. But, quality wise, it’s still perfectly fine.

The day I upgrade, I will directly get to a wi-fi capable model so I guess the card reader won’t make any difference either…

card reader not needed or wanted. have a USB one and never use it. use the space for more battery.


Speaking solely for myself and with complete understanding that others see it differently and feel strongly about it: I don’t whether or not they include a card reader as long as including one doesn’t negatively impact other aspects of the computer.

What I absolutely don’t want to see back again is USB-A. I think that Apple’s steadfast refusal to include it on any notebooks is the only reason that we’re seeing the widespread adoption of USB-C as a connector type, and with it (in many cases) Thunderbolt 3+


No interest in a card reader. It’s easily adapted to USB-C. I also like that disappearing card readers have been forcing camera makers to improve wireless transfer.


I use the SD card slot on the iMac very occasionally to offload pictures from my camera, but when I do, I really appreciate it’s there.
Having said that, If only one extra port is possible, I think a HDMI port would be more useful than a card slot. Lots of uses like external monitors, TV and projectors for presentation.

Hey all. FWIW, I’m still using a 2015 MBP (with SD card slot) and I use the slot everyday to take photos or videos from my DSLR. Have plans to buy an M1 16" MBP when it comes out and although I’d prefer the slot it won’t matter so much at all to me.

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I used to enjoy the SD card slot on my 2014 MBP, but over time, if it wasn’t inserted in the most exact precise way it wouldn’t work. My precise, I mean, I would need to push it all the way in, then pull it slightly out for it to connect and display. In the end I purchased a small portable one that has a bunch of different slot sizes. This is much easier and I am so used to it now. There are enough workflows to accommodate what I need now and the changing technology. Keep in mind, when it comes back, it comes back with probably a higher price tag than buying one separately.

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My previous MBP (15" 2011) had an SD card reader, USB3, and Ethernet of which I used, but I had to buy a dongle for for HDMI. I replaced it with a 2019 16" MBP, which did not have an SD card reader, USB3, or Ethernet (or HDMI) so I bought a single dongle that gave me SD, USB33, Ethernet, and HDMI.

I would imagine that any future MBP I buy would still need a dongle, if only for HDMI, so I really wouldn’t need a built in SD reader.

This gadget (thanks again @JohnAtl) adds a SD slot and a MicroSD slot, along with USB-A and -C sockets, to the front of an iMac.

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I think CompactFlash is way less common in DSLRs than SD(HC/XC). I’ve had SD-based cameras for 14 years, recently bought a Zoom audio recorder that uses MicroSD, and I know there are many video cameras that use SD. There are also Raspberry Pis. SD is a common standard, which I would think explains why it existed on laptops until recently.

So yes, I use it, reasonably often, but I’m not fussed either way. At the moment I have a dock for use with my M1 MBP which includes an SD reader, plus I have the USB-C Apple dongle (which I actually got for the iPad Pro that was replaced with the MBP) and even the Lightning one for my iPad mini, so I’m well covered.

If I’m mobile, carrying a tiny dongle is no fuss as it is dwarfed by the collection of charging bricks and cables and such I will have anyway.

Next time I buy a computer, an SD slot will not be a factor in model choice. But if it has one, I will use it.

I’ve paid for several SD card slots in various Macs (there is a cost to include them), but never used them.

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I have a Sony NEX-7 that uses SD cards. I find it easier to import pictures via usb cable than digging out the SD card. To remove the card I have to open the battery compartment, remove the battery, remove the SD card, then insert it into the computer. For the cable it’s just flip open the side cover and plug in the mini usb cable. Haven’t pulled the card out for a few years.

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I use SD cards in my camera, but I’ve always thought a dongle was the way to go for this as it is not a widespread use case and as others have mentioned, not even all cameras use it.

SD cards have mostly been supplanted by wifi and other techs for transferring general files.

Really, what I would want is

  • more buses for USB and enough space between the ports to let me use USB-A to USB-C adapters.
  • mic/headphone
  • LAN on a desktop machine (does it have to be too bulky for a notebook?)

My 2017 iMac has an SD card slot on the back, which is not very convenient. To remedy this, I have a Satechi Clamp Hub that reads SD cards, among other things, from the front. Works great.

I’d love an SD card slot on a MacBook Pro.

I know, you and @MacSparky inspired this thread. :slight_smile:

This may be a strange view, but I do not want a card reader messing up the lines of my MacBook Pro. I’d prefer just the 4 USB-C ports. And I’d rather have the Esc Key + TouchBar over a row of useless function keys too. Aside from the butterfly keyboard, I like the design of the 2016 MacBook Pros!

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