Need Ethernet and VGA at the same time on MBA 2013

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by timpicks, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. timpicks macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2013
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm looking to replace the heavy brick of a PC laptop my company asks me to travel with. The MBA 13" seems like a good compromise of everyday laptop for email/web/documents as well as for traveling, but here's my dilemma:

    When I travel I go to customer locations where I need to present web-based software through a projector. It looks like there aren't any options with the MBA to connect to both an ethernet port AND a VGA projector at the same time, which I absolutely must have in order to do my job.

    I do not want to upgrade to a MBP because I'm looking for a lightweight option.

    Am I stuck?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    From your needs it doesn't seem that the MBA is a good fit. A MBP may be a better fit because it contains two thunderbolt ports to which you can have dongles for VGA and ethernet.
  3. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    hey man I found a solution for you, but this guy deleted the post for some weird reason - because I used the let me google it for you feature.

    I'll pm you.:D

    k just found out it's not allowed, though I learnt about it here.

    Here goes. Good day.
  4. timpicks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2013
    Thanks for the assist! I'm leery of third-party dongles because of potential driver issues, plus I can't seem to find any reviews where people have used them on the 2013 MBA. Still, it seems like a good option to keep an eye out for. Problem is, do I plunk down $1600 on the MBA and hope it works? I guess I can always take the machine back...but still...yikes! :)


    I definitely appreciate that you took the time to answer. My issue with the MBP is that it doesn't solve my problem with weight. As a guy who travels 2-3 times a month, I'm looking to lighten my load. The MBP is way too much of a machine for me, as I already have a beefy home desktop. All I need from a laptop is email/web/documents (Office, PDF). Therefore I actually prefer a non-retina screen in order to get the 12-hour battery life in the 13" MBA.

    I realize that there are lighter PC Ultrabooks out there, but if I can find a combination of adapters (Apple and 3rd party) that I can make work, the MBA is definitely the way to go for me. No disrespect to the MBP of course!
  5. bdrake47 macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2012
    I have used the Apple USB-Ethernet dongle, as well as the Kanex, and Moshi versions. Not a single issue with any of them. No drivers to install, it's Mac not PC. :D

    You just plug them in and they work. The Apple version does cost a bit more than some of the others ~$24, but it is sleek and slimmer than most. If you're looking to travel light, that's a perfect fit for you, and you can pick up that and the VGA dongle when you pick up your new MBA.

    Don't worry, it will work just fine, your situation is exactly what it is designed for and you will not have a single issue with it.

    The only thing I would mention to be aware of with the USB-Ethernet dongles (all of them) is that it does have a separate MAC (not Mac) address of it's own, internally when plugged in. In most situations, this doesn't matter, but if you have some clients that require you to register your device to access their network (whitelisting), then you just need to know that your adapter has it's own ID.
  6. Spectrum, Aug 12, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013

    Spectrum macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2005
    Never quite sure
  7. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Get the Apple USB to Ethernet adapter and use the Thunderbolt port for VGA.

    You'll be limited to 100Mbps with the USB adapter but it works just fine.
  8. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    There's another USB ethernet adapter from monoprice that lets you run gigabit ethernet - you'll be limited to the 40MB/s of USB 2.0, but that's still better than the 10MB/s of 100mb ethernet.

    Not sure if there's a USB 3.0 one out there for the 2012+ Macs...
  9. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Those third party dongles are sure HUGE. Buy a lightweight/thin laptop just to be saddled with more/bulky accessories, yikes.
  10. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009
    I use a USB 3.0 hub with my macbooks and it has worked just fine. The one I have has ethernet, dvi, hdmi and 6 usb ports but you can get just straight USB 3.0 to gigabit ethernet also.
  11. timpicks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2013
    Thanks for this link, I just made the purchase.

    Warning to all: the Apple USB 2.0->Ethernet adapter will NOT work on the Macbook Air's USB 3.0 port. The latest version of OSX (10.8.3?) makes it incompatible. So hopefully this true-3.0 third party connector will do the trick.

    And yeah, I'm buying an ultrabook and carrying a couple bulky connectors. But hey, it's still better than going through the airport with a 5 pound PC! And I won't have to bring a power cord to my meetings, so as far as I'm concerned I'm actually going to be carrying less, not more.

    Plus I'll just look that much more sophisticated... :)
  12. kegler macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2011
    Mine works
  13. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    I recently purchased the Anker 3.0 USB Gigabit Ethernet adapter ($21.99/free 2day Prime shipping) from Amazon. Received it today. Just downloaded the latest driver from the website and it works perfectly...lightning fast gigabit ethernet and my Thunderbolt port is available for either my 27" ACD or Thunderbolt external HD...
    Sweet little device! :D
  14. timpicks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2013
    That's exactly what I'm happy to hear about. While I bought a different adapter, I'm happy to know that the MBA 2013's can connect to Ethernet connections via USB 3.0.

    I don't need 100MB/s for downloads, I only need ethernet for demonstrating web-based software. I can do my downloading via WiFi at home, where I'm not concerned about speed. For work, a USB 3.0 to Ethernet will be fine, as long as I can also have my MiniDisplay to VGA working at the same time. Which I am seeing is no problem.

    I ordered my MBA 2 days ago on the advice I got from this thread. It shows up late next week. It's been 18 years since I was a college kid using a Mac Classic II -- I can't wait to rejoin the Apple faithful!
  15. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    You'll love your new Air Tim!
  16. timpicks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2013
    Thanks so much - I'm quite excited! :)

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