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How to upgrade your MacBook Pro 13″ 2019 to a 2020 Model for free (Not Clickbait)

So last year, I bought myself a new MacBook Pro 13-Inch 2019 Model in April 2019. My MacBook Air served me well, but it was time for an upgrade because I was getting more into programming, and I just needed the extra power.
Later this year, during quarantine, I upgraded my Home Office setup by getting a 49-Inch ultrawide monitor. It was the DELL U4919DW monitor to be specific. The great thing about it was that the monitor had an integrated USB-C docking station. I could now power my MacBook and transfer the video with just one cable plugged into it. This setup should look super clean.
After the new monitor arrived, I plugged my MacBook into it, but to my surprise, it just gave me a 3840x1080px resolution. That resolution was just horrible on that ultrawide monitor. I thought maybe some settings on the monitor were wrong, or I had to do some settings on my MacBook. Because officially, the 2019 MacBook should support up to 5K [read the specs]. After some digging, I found an Apple support forum post about the problem [read the post]. It seemed that you needed a MacBook with a dedicated graphics card to drive this monitor. But 13-Inch MacBooks don’t have dedicated GPUs. The other option would be, buying an external GPU, but I wasn’t willing to spend another 800CHF (about 800USD) for an eGPU. Mainly because my MacBook should support this monitor.
So I tried all the suggestions of the forum, really hacky stuff, but it never worked. The only workaround that worked for my was using the Picture-by-Picture (PBP) mode. This way, the 49- Inch monitor behaved like two 27-Inch monitors, but I also had to plug in two cabled into my MacBook to make it work. This setup wasn’t satisfying to me. And to add injury to insult, the MacBook seemed to work with the monitor when you installed Windows. So it was a driver problem and not a hardware problem.
I was upset with Apple, and how they dealt with the situation, the 5K support worked fine if you bought an LG UltraFine 5K. But the UltraFine is in the same price range as the Dell monitor but only 27-Inch big.
So I decided to call Apple support and get help with the monitor. I told them that my MacBook didn’t output the correct resolution on my new monitor. The tech support made me do the usual NVRAM and SMC reset. After that didn’t work, the support investigated for a bit until he came back and said that he didn’t know what the problem was. I told him about the forum post, and the most likely cause for the problem is a bad driver from Apple. He said I should wait for an update from Apple. I told him that the post is open since the end of 2018, and I don’t think that Apple will fix the problem.
So I asked for a full refund of the already one-year-old MacBook. He asked me where I bought it. I said in the Apple online store, and then he directed me to the right number to call to return my MacBook. I called them, and to my surprise, they let me return my MacBook for a full refund. With the refund secured, I ordered the freshly released MacBook Pro 13-Inch 2020 with the new 10th Gen. Intel CPU, which should support the monitor’s full resolution. I ordered the new MacBook with 32GB of RAM; the previous one only could go up to 16GB. The total was 100CHF (about 100 USD) less than the refund, so I saved money and got a free upgrade.
After the new MacBook arrived, I plugged it into the USB-C of the monitor, and it displayed my desktop at its full glory with a 5120x1440px resolution.
And this is how I got a free MacBook upgrade after a year of using my MacBook.

PS. In the forum, some people mentioned that they tried the same thing as me, and it didn’t work for them. I figured that the people it didn’t work for purchased their MacBook not directly from Apple, so Apple refuted their refund.

About the Author

Hello my name is Loris Scandurra and I am an engineer and project manager based in Switzerland. I write about issues I encounter during my work and other stuff that would be useful or entertaining to document. If you want to write me an E-Mail do so at ls@lorisscandurra.com

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General

My first blog post

Welcome to lorisscandurra.com! This is the first blog post on my new website. This blog is here to document the everyday issues I encounter during my work. This blog should help engineers solve some of their problems and help me remember the solutions I found in the past. I might also post some posts that are out of context about stuff I find interesting or entertaining.

I wanted to use this blog post to introduce myself better. My name is Loris Scandurra, but you can just call me Loris. I am an engineer and project manager. For the past 10 years, I worked in the IT sector, where I solved problems ranging from client/server engineering to front-end/back-end development. But my interest in technology and science began a lot earlier than that. In elementary school, I would enjoy math and physics classes. As soon as I started reading, my favorite books were history and science-related.

After elementary school and high school, I started an apprenticeship as a system engineer. It took me some time to find a position as a system engineer. There were only a few openings and a lot of people interested. But I managed to land an apprenticeship position that opened the gates to the IT world for me. In the beginning, I was overwhelmed by it and even thought that I wasn’t adequate for the job. But after the first year, I managed to wrap my head around it and enjoyed my work. In the third year of apprenticeship, I excelled as a student. I got the highest grade consistently for the entire year. I also participated in the national championship for engineers called SwissSkills, where I got in 5th place (not really what I was aiming at). I competed the following year again and got in 1st place (finally reached my initial goal).

I successfully finished my apprenticeship and started university, where I pursued a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Technology for four years. During my studies, I was working almost full-time as a system engineer. I switched the company I was working for after the first year of university to a more customer-facing company away from an internal IT department. At the new company, I made a lot of experience regarding customer interaction and system engineering for a wide variety of stakeholders with different backgrounds and expectations. In the last year of my studies, I changed the company again to a small consulting company where I worked as a project manager.

Taken on my trip to San Francisco

Two years later, I quit my job as a project manager and went a month to California to experience the west coast lifestyle. I really enjoyed California, I visited Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. I really liked it there and their way of living (maybe I am doing a blog post on that in the future). After returning to Switzerland, I was a little lost and didn’t know what to next, I didn’t want to do the same thing I did before, I wanted to learn and experience new things. So I applied to the Apple Developer Academy in Naples. While the application process was running, I worked as a front-end engineer at a small developer office in Zurich. I was simultaneously working for a digital retailer where I helped with infrastructure issues and updating old infrastructure.

In August, I received the confirmation that I was accepted at the Apple Developer Academy in Naples and that it would start at the end of September. So mid-September, I went off to Naples to search for an apartment for the next nine months. I found a room in the center of Naples, which was well connected with public transport there. At the academy, I learned a lot about working in a diverse team with developers and designers (a more detailed look behind the scenes of the academy coming soon). I am still attending the academy until the end of June. Still, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I am back in Switzerland.

And now we reached the present from here on I can’t narrate in detail what’s going to happen. But my ambition to learn and collect more experience in the IT sector is still hungry for more. My plans for the future are to start my own startup and try new things with customers who are willing to take risks and be innovative.

If you want to contact me for any inquiries, do not hesitate, below my contact details:


About the Author

Hello my name is Loris Scandurra and I am an engineer and project manager based in Switzerland. I write about issues I encounter during my work and other stuff that would be useful or entertaining to document. If you want to write me an E-Mail do so at ls@lorisscandurra.com