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At work, I'm connecting my MacBook Air 11" to a Lenovo L2230x Monitor (aka L2230xwA) to extend my display.
Given that the MacBook Air has no Ethernet connector, today I thought I might put the monitor's USB Port Replicator feature to good use. Long story short, this monitor embeds a USB 2.0 Hub that connects to your laptop through a USB-A to USB-B cable and exposes:

  • 3 downstream USB ports
  • 1 Ethernet 10M/100Mbps port
  • Multimedia ports: audio line-out + microphone-in jack

The 3 USB ports work out of the box, but no luck with the Ethernet port!

In the user's manual (pdf), the steps are simple:

  1. Install the USB Port Replicator driver for L2230x Wide [...]
  2. Connect a standard 10 Mbps / 100 Mbps Ethernet connector to the Ethernet connector on the monitor, and wait until the device is fully configured by the Windows operating system.

So I looked for a driver, but on the Lenovo support page I could only find the USB driver for Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Where could I find a driver to be able to use the Ethernet port?
Or did anyone find a workaround to make use of it on a Mac?

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You should contact Lenovo's tech support or customer service to inquire about compatibility with the Mac platform. –  Wheat Williams Dec 24 '11 at 16:25
    
Called them, they told me I should contact Apple support... –  Marius Butuc Dec 26 '11 at 22:12
    
Marius, believe me, there is nothing that Apple support can do for you in this regard. The person with whom you spoke at Lenovo did not know what he was talking about. It seems that Lenovo has no help for you, then. –  Wheat Williams Dec 27 '11 at 2:22
    
True, it's not Apple's issue, but Lenovo's: regarding what they support and the level of service they provide for their hardware... –  Marius Butuc Dec 28 '11 at 21:41
    
@MariusButuc Curious, did you try and simply add an Ethernet device in System Preferences -> Network? While the monitor is fully connected, open that SysPrefs->Network, click on the + in the very bottom-left hand side, choose 'Ethernet' and give it whatever name you want, and see if it begins to start responding to plugging an ethernet cable into the monitor and all that. Note also if that doesn't work that there are some extended options in Advanced... -> Hardware (tab). –  Jason Salaz Dec 30 '11 at 16:43
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1 Answer 1

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+50

I guess you're chances are very small getting the monitor's Ethernet port working on OS X.
Probably you would need a modified kext - best place to ask would be the hackintosh sites - but you would have to be cautious with every OS X update as that could change the kext and leave you without working ethernet port...

You could however use one of the USB ports on the monitor to connect the Apple USB Ethernet Adapter for ~30$ and you're save.

You'd lose one USB port and 30 bucks, but I'd say it's better than the hacked solution over long time and you have an Ethernet adapter you can take with you, rather than carrying the monitor around ;)

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I'm actually using the Apple USB Ethernet Adapter currently, via one of MBA's USB ports... My utopian plan was to make the monitor's Ethernet port work and return the adapter! :) –  Marius Butuc Dec 22 '11 at 19:37
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