I've been using my early 2014 MBA in clamshell mode connected to an LG Flatron monitor via VGA with no issue. I recently started using HDMI (using this Amazon Basics dongle). I used this with no issue at my folks' house with no issue over the holidays but now back home I'm getting lots of connectivity issues. Here's the rundown:

  • HDMI Clamshell: Lots of connectivity issues. Web browsing is nigh undoable
  • HDMI Dual Screen: The connection gets better when I open the laptop but is still spotty to the point of frustration
  • VGA Clamshell: Some connectivity issues but not horrific
  • VGA Dual Screen: No connectivity issues
  • No External Monitor: No connectivity issues

What could be causing these issues? Is it Comcast sucking? Does the laptop being closed block radio waves? I don't know much about wireless networks. I would appreciate some help in troubleshooting this.

  • Another thought: maybe a HDCP compliance issue? – Tomulent Jan 4 '17 at 1:14

It's not so much there's an issue with WiFi while in clam shell mode, is where the laptop is positioned while in clam shell mode.

The WiFi antenna is located in the display assembly itself, so when it's open, you are in effect "raising the antenna." When closed, you are "lowering the antenna" to a flat position which will affect reception.

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There is a possibility that a poorly shielded HDMI cable/adapter will cause WiFi interference. However, given that you experience the problem while in clam shell mode is indicative of placement.

Consider getting a "[vertical dock][2]" for your MBA so that the antenna is "raised."

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  • You seem to be correct. Position affects connectivity most. Add too that Comcast is always worse near the bill date. – Tomulent Jan 4 '17 at 3:22
  • Mine has the same problem and it doesn't seem like a position issue. When the laptop is open I get 100+ mbps, but when it's closed, I only get 1~10 mbps (which is orientation related, best orientation I get 10, worst I get less than 1, but no orientation can get anywhere near when it's open). When I go from clamshell back to open, the wifi speed won't just go back, I have to release DHCP and reset wifi to go back to normal speed. – LWZ Nov 26 '18 at 0:22

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