Why would someone remove the screen from their MacBook?

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Does the title of this article sound a bit, well, unbalanced for you? Why would like Has anyone removed the screen from their MacBook? The new MacBooks have awesome appears, and if you haven’t want to screen on your Mac, surely you would have bought a Mac mini or a Mac Studio, right? But while it may sound silly, deleting the screen from a MacBook is a practice that’s gaining traction, and the idea isn’t without merit.

I admit the thought came to me using my MacBook Pro connected to an external display, with the laptop directly in front of me and the monitor directly behind the laptop. I liked being able to use my MacBook’s trackpad and keyboard on a taller screen, but I had to raise the height of the monitor dramatically to keep my MBP’s display from blocking the space of the bigger screen. This got me wondering: what if there’s no MacBook display in the way? What if I had the same keyboard and trackpad layout in front of me, with a screen at normal height behind?

It turns out others had similar thoughts and put them into action. Umar Shakir of The Verge recently wrote of his experience using a “decapitated” MacBook Air, which he dubbed a “slabtop”. He seems to have had a great time using his keyboard-trackpad-computer hybrid, connecting it to external displays both with a cable and wirelessly, taking the device to parties, and using it to play Drawful.

Besides giving you a keyboard and trackpad, another fun benefit of this method is the sound: Apple’s MacBooks, especially recent iterations, have much better speakers than you’ll find built into something. like a Mac mini, which means the slabtop is an ideal portable setup when you want something that literally sounds better than the competition.

There are other examples in the wild of people who have either removed the screen from their MacBook or bought a device that had already been decapitated. Here are some use cases for Twitter:

Most of the time, removing the screen from a MacBook does not affect any of its processes. However, you’ll lose wifi on any MacBook with a wifi card built into the display hinge, but this design seems limited to 2008-2010 MacBook Pros. And since those models have Ethernet jacks, you’ll have always have a way to connect to the Internet.

But is it worth it? Removing the screen doesn’t exactly enhance your Mac with extra features (and it takes away the one great feature that makes it a laptop). But going the “slabtop” route makes your machine look different atmosphere: Instead of the same laptop as everyone else, you have a futuristic Mac inside a keyboard and trackpad. You can plug it into a monitor during work hours, wirelessly connect it to a TV from your couch for comfortable computing or streaming, and generally have something unique compared to most other Mac users.

A vibe probably isn’t reason enough to separate your perfectly functioning MacBook from its perfectly functioning display. I mean you can, but I think the slabtop is better suited to specific contexts. If you break your screen, for example, you might consider removing it completely so you can continue to use the computer’s innards without paying to have it repaired or buying an external keyboard. If you’re looking for a desktop computer, you can get a cheap but powerful MacBook with a broken screen. The wrong screen will bring the price down considerably, even if the internals are solid.

How to remove the screen from your MacBook

For Shakir, who removed the screens from his personal MacBook Air M1 as well as his cousin’s 2009 15-inch MacBook Pro, creating his slab wasn’t much of a problem. However, it helps that he was an Apple Store Genius and already fixed over 100 screens during his time there.

For the rest of us, it’s important to exercise caution. If you want to go this route, identify your MacBook model and search for a reputable screen removal tutorial. iFixit is my go-to for repair guides, so check to see if they have one for your specific MacBook model, as the process is definitely not the same for all models. If you want to turn your MacBook Air M1 into a slab like Shakir did, you can follow the instructions from his article on The Verge.

If you can’t find a guide for your MacBook model or prefer an overview video, YouTube should be your next stop. Once you find a video that looks like what you need, watch it a few times to make sure it looks legit and to understand the steps you need to take before you get to work.

[The Verge]