Double your MacBook’s hard drive with quick ‘one-click upgrade’


The tiny TarDisk Pear slides into your MacBook's SD card slot and doubles your storage almost instantly.
The tiny TarDisk Pear slides into your MacBook's SD card slot and doubles your storage almost instantly.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverage LAS VEGAS — The makers of a tiny new device called the TarDisk Pear promise to permanently double your MacBook’s hard drive space in a matter of moments.

Simply slide the Pear into your MacBook’s SD card slot, run a quick setup (called “pearing”), and your hard-drive capacity will be permanently doubled.

“Pear is a one-click option for upgrading,” TarDisk’s Pierce Schiller told Cult of Mac at CES 2016.

If you’ve ever maxed out your hard drive, you know it can be a nightmare that requires tons of file-juggling. The TarDisk Pear is a quick flash-storage fix that doesn’t require a lot of thought or effort.

The device’s unibody aluminum frame slides into your MacBook’s SD card reader and stays there forever. (Technically, you can remove it, but the card reader won’t work like it previously did, so … there’s really no point in pulling out the Pear.) It sits flush with the MacBook body so nothing protrudes.

How does it work?

“Magic isn’t a good enough answer, right?” Schiller said, laughing.

The short answer is TarDisk Pear makes under-the-hood tweaks that trick your MacBook work like its hard drive got instantly doubled. Buffering, and migration of files you use most often, mean your Pear-ified MacBook runs like normal, only with more space, he said.

Schiller said they’ve sold thousands since launching in October and, despite a few tech-support wrinkles that have since been ironed out, customers have loved the easy instant upgrade.

The devices reportedly hold up wonderfully in demanding tests — “We haven’t had any failures, and we’ve really driven these things,” Schiller said — and TarDisk now offers easy one-click backup to cloud storage for people concerned about losing precious files.

So far, the only ones who have expressed anxiety about permanently disabling their MacBook’s SD card reader as a result of the upgrade have been photographers, who use the slot to transfer image files. Schiller’s recommendation for them is to carry a USB card reader.

The 128GB TarDisk Pear retails for $149. The 256GB model costs $399. It’s not the cheapest upgrade, but if you’ve been regretting not going for the larger hard drive ever since you bought your MacBook, it’s a quick way to ease your remorse.

P.S. And of course the TarDisk crew are Doctor Who fans — install the Pear and your MacBook is instantly “bigger on the inside,” Schiller said.

  • MadeInNY

    Is the installation reversible? If I were to nuke and pave my mac with a fresh OS X install would I now be able to use my SD card as it was originally designed? Is the mod software or does it magically update the hard/firmware?

    • A.N.

      According to the website “Although the Pearing process is permanent, there may be instances where you need to remove your TarDisk in which case you can follow the un-Pearing process”

  • Disqusdmnj

    I’m just not sure I understand the advantage… why not just add a good/fast card as a secondary drive, and use up the space that way? I have a 2014 iMac with only 250GB on the SSD, because a foot away is a 4TB MyBook in a RAID setup. External or secondary drives seem to accomplish the same thing as expanding an internal, no?

    • United States of Bonerland

      It looks like the “killer feature” here is that it turns your existing hard drive into a hybrid SSD-SD drive, kind of like how the fusion drive works. Some users will just want the simplicity of more storage space and not worry about whether a file is on an external drive. Still a pricey upgrade – thanks, Apple, for setting a high-price precedent on additional storage space in your computers!

  • Joe Ridler

    I think it’s because it makes your MacBook act like there is a single upgraded hard drive instead of the memory card and internal drive.

  • Nick Engle

    I love my Transcend card! All of my work stuff is on there and backed up to the cloud. I’ll take that extra $200 for the extra second it takes to save something to that folder.

  • Joe Ridler

    I’ve got a small gripe with the claims that it “doubles your hard drive capacity” but this is only true if you have a 256 GB or smaller drive. I have a 500 GB and they don’t make a 500 GB version.
    Marketing claims… it only has to be kinda right I guess.

    • :)

      It’s only true if you have a hard drive. It doesn’t double your SSD storage, so you’re shit outta luck if you’ve upgraded from your HD…

  • bdkennedy11

    That sounds familiar.

  • scott ronan

    I have a 1tb SSD in my MacBook Pro so it doesnt really doiuble anything. Now if they have a 1tb option that I would beinterested in

    • Ninian

      Not doubling, but your computer would become one of the only Retina MacBook Pros in the world to have 1,256 GB of internal HD :P

  • Mimi

    Does it work with an air and a pro too. The author keeps saying macbook. But the air has such a small HD. Is it firmware for only macbook’s?

    • Ninian

      I think it should work with any MacBook that has an SD slot, don’t see why it wouldn’t