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Last active October 13, 2023 04:06
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The SlabBook Pro™

Does your MacBook have a broken screen? Buy a monitor instead of a new computer, and chop off the screen.

In September of 2021, the screen on my family's 2016 MacBook Pro went kaput. This was right in the middle of the pandemic when we used it all the time, and we didn't want to spend money on a new laptop! Here's a photo of the screen:

the broken screen

The screen would only work when it was almost completely closed. I did my best to fix it but the cable that connected the screen had somehow ripped and was unfixable. I decided that instead of buying a new computer, I'd just remove the screen! After a lot of careful work, I removed the WiFi antenna and unscrewed the hinges of the screen itself. Here are some photos of the process and the antenna (ignore the sweatshirt I just used it as a soft surface to work on):

the dirty SlabBook the WiFi antenna

I then reinstalled the WiFi antenna, put the back plate back on, plugged it into a monitor, and booted it up. It worked! Apparently, Apple's software registers external Thunderbolt monitors as the "internal" display if there isn't one hardwired. This means that the native resolution of the monitor is supported and that everything works just like a normal screen would (even alternative boot modes and such).

the finished SlabBook Pro

In the end, I was able to save my family thousands of dollars and got to learn how the internal wiring of a Mac works! I was able to successfully reassamble the computer and we still use it today.

The SlabBook Pro in use

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