“With the MacBook Pro, Apple discarded the old PC Card slot in favor of ExpressCard/34, a more compact expansion slot that offers greater transfer speeds and an increasing array of uses. The ExpressCard format has a couple of advantages over the old PC Card format,” Jeff Carlson reports for Macworld.
“First, it’s narrower: ExpressCard/34 cards are 34mm wide, compared with the 54mm PC Cards. (ExpressCard/54 cards do exist, but they don’t fit in the MacBook Pro.) ExpressCards also require less power—1.5 volts, compared with 3.3 volts for the PC Card. But their biggest advantage is speed. An ExpressCard passes data to the system at up to 2.5 Gbps; PC Cards supported speeds of only 1.06 Gbps,” Carlson reports.
Carlson covers some of the many ExpressCards available – “it should give you an idea of how you can expand your laptop’s powers” – including a 16GB Solid State Drive, Village Tronic’s ViDock Gfx lets you connect up to three additional displays, and more in his full article here.