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Most of the time, removing a MacBook’s display doesn’t affect any of its processes. However, you’ll lose wifi on any Macbook with a wifi card embedded in the hinge of the display—but that design seems limited to MacBook Pros from 2008 through 2010. And since those models sport ethernet jacks, you’ll still have a way to connect to the internet.
But is it worth all the trouble? Removing the display doesn’t exactly enhance your Mac with extra features (and it takes away the one big feature that makes it a laptop). But going the “slabtop” route does give your machine a different vibe: Instead of the same laptop as everybody 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 just generally have something unique from most other Mac users.
A vibe probably isn’t enough of a reason 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 display, for example, you might consider removing it altogether so you can still use the guts of the computer without paying to get it fixed or buying an external keyboard. If you’re in the market for a desktop, you could pick up a cheap but powerful MacBook with a broken display—the bad screen will drop the price considerably, even if the internals are solid.
For Shakir, who removed the displays on his personal M1 Macbook Air as well as his cousin’s 2009 15-inch MacBook Pro, creating his slabtop wasn’t much of a problem. However, it helps that he used to be an Apple Store Genius and had already repaired more than 100 displays in his time there.
For the rest of us, exercising caution is important. If you want to go down this route, identify your model of MacBook and look up a reputable tutorial for removing the display. iFixit is my go-to for repair guides, so check to see if they have one for your specific model of MacBook, since the process definitely isn’t the same for all models. If you want to turn your M1 MacBook Air into a slabtop like Shakir did, you can follow the instructions in his article on The Verge.
If you can’t find a guide for your MacBook model or you prefer a video walkthrough, YouTube should be your next stop. Once you’ve found a video that looks like what you need, watch it through multiple times to make sure it seems legit and to get a grasp on the steps involved before you get to work.
Why Would Anyone Remove Their MacBook’s Display?
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