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Dual MacBook Pro Retina Experience: One Defective, One Flaky

End of the year, time to consider next year’s needs, and the Dec 31 “in service” deadline for tax deductibility.

And so I ended up unexpectedly paying for and receiving two MacBook Pro with Retina Display 'Crystal Well' laptops (I had thought that one would miss the end of year cutoff and ordered another to get it in time, intending to return the other). The new model is little different except for its GPU and lightning-fast SSD, but I have plans for my 18-month-old MBPR as a test mule. See the two MBP.Retina models I recommend.

As it turned out, fortune both frowned and smiled. Smiled in that both arrived Dec 31 and frowned in that one was defective.

The computer I had thought to keep turned out to have an entirely flaky problem with any internet connection, particularly a wired (via Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter). So much so that I drove to the Apple Store to get a new Airport Extreme, thinking it was my 5-year-old unit, but that’s another (very good) experience.

Both units were spec'd identically and treated identically in all respects (setup, connectivity, etc), but the bad unit could not make an internet connection over the Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter, or it would make a connection then lose it. I spent an hour or so trying to make it work—heck I do this all the time and I concluded it was defective (I swapped cables, adapters, etc doing all the single-variable things one should do).

Then I popped its cohort out of its box, and lo—it worked perfectly from the get-go and after numerous back and forth switching between two internet connections—zero problems with 2nd unit—it worked the first time and every time. So the bad unit goes back.

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