AppleCare Gives Up As MacBook Air Video Problems Persist

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I’ve had my 13-inch MacBook Air since they were first released and although I encountered video problems initially after the plethora of updates that Apple has released the video problems haven’t returned.

The updates included an EFI firmware update, a specific software update for the MacBook Air 2010 model, and the Mac OS X 10.6.5 software update. I even offered not one, but two suggested solutions to try.

These updates and suggested fixes worked for some, but unfortunately they didn’t work for everyone. People are still complaining on Apple Discussion Forums about problems they are encountering when connecting their MacBook Airs to external displays.

I’ll be up front and say that I seldom connect my MacBook Air to an external display. If I did that it would be like tethering an anchor to a feather. So why bother? I mean really it’s so tiny and the internal display is better than the new 13-inch MacBook Pro from what I’ve heard.

I simply don’t use an external display on my MacBook Air. However, in the interest of experimentation I have been using one recently, an old Dell wide screen monitor, via a Mini-Display Port to VGA adapter . So far so good. I haven’t noticed any problems on the internal or external display. I plan on obtaining a DVI adapter to see how that works out.

Although my luck continues for many others their luck has run out. The discussion thread is approaching ten pages long and several recent posts showed me that the problem does indeed persist and Apple isn’t or cannot do anything about it yet.

One user, lbaum, reported that he had “gone through 2 months working on that issue… several calls with AppleCare, software diagnostics tests, trying different monitors and cables, and lately: even a logic board replacement. ” Eventually he said, “AppleCare gave up…” sending him to to another service center for a logic board replacement. His MacBook Air was tested on various displays and the problem manifested itself again, but his 17″ MacBook Pro worked just fine on the same displays. Finally he came to this conclusion:

…it appears to be a general problem with all new Macbook Airs that the external video signal is pretty bad. Some monitors seem to be more “forgiving” and don’t show any problems (in my tests, Samsung, Apple, and NEC worked pretty okay). If you have one of those, lucky you!

Other monitors (in my tests particularly Eizo and Fujitsu) seem to be less forgiving and show intensive flickering. If you have one of those, bad luck! (Unfortunately, at my workplace we only have Eizos). A replacement Macbook Air will most likely not solve the issue for you!

Another user, schallau ends his post with:

I called AppleCare and got transferred to an L2 and they advised me to take it to a genius bar. The guy at the genius bar confirmed with with my MBA and ONE TAKEN FROM THE FLOOR!! He said that we could send it in, but that replacing the logic board wouldn’t likely fix the issue. So, my question is: WHAT NOW? No resolution isn’t acceptable.

I completely agree — no resolution isn’t acceptable and it’s not like Apple wouldn’t offer one. I’m sure they would go as far as to offer a refund or even another computer to replace a defective MacBook Air. Frankly, I’d rather see the problem resolved because I like my MacBook Air a whole lot and I’m not interested in giving it up for one of those boat anchors…I mean…MacBook Pros that Apple sells.

So what do you say Apple? Are you going to fix our MacBook Airs or what? I intend on pressing the issue with Apple this week until I get an answer. In the meantime let us know if you are still experiencing this problem by leaving a comment.