Skip to main content

This bizarre MacBook Pro mod is a DIY enthusiast’s dream

Purchasing a new Mac can be expensive, but some enterprising souls have apparently found a way to buy into the Mac ecosystem for less. It’s all thanks to a clever MacBook Pro mod — although it’s certainly not for everyone.

The concept comes from leaker DuanRui, who shared a couple of images on Twitter. The pictures show someone using the lower half of a MacBook Pro minus the display — in other words, the keyboard, trackpad, and Touch Bar remain intact. This is plugged into an external monitor, creating a weird Frankenstein’s monster of a desktop setup that must have Steve Jobs rolling in his grave.

A person using the lower half of a MacBook Pro without the display.
Image credit: DuanRui Image used with permission by copyright holder

DuanRui claims that “more and more people” are creating this bizarre hybrid creation as an alternative to the Mac Mini. Apple’s smallest desktop Mac is also its most affordable (starting at $699), but that’s still a fair wad of cash. For some people, finding a working second-hand MacBook Pro base sans monitor might be a cheaper option.

Apple is expected to launch a high-end Mac Mini at its Peek Performance event today. With the current top-of-the-line Mac Mini priced at $1,099 and the new version likely costing at least this much, you might feel that’s too expensive if you’re looking for a small-scale desktop Mac.

DuanRui goes on to list a couple of other reasons someone might opt for such an extreme solution: “Not only does it have a trackpad and keyboard, but it also has better speakers,” they explain.

Ultimately, though, it’s a bit of a strange solution if you want to save space but don’t fancy a Mac Mini, since all modern MacBooks can be run in “clamshell” mode — with their lids closed — which lets you stash them out of the way behind your monitor. Add in one of Apple’s Magic Trackpads and you get the same excellent speakers and trackpad as the strange creation highlighted by DuanRui, without the hassle of a DIY job or finding one for sale.

Still, there’s no doubting it’s an unusual and intriguing solution. If you’re willing to get your hands dirty (or look for someone who has done the hard work for you), you might find it’s a good alternative to buying a Mac Mini — even if the rest of us steer clear.

Editors' Recommendations

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
The Dell XPS 15 has one major advantage over the MacBook Pro
The screen of the 2021 MacBook Pro.

It's no secret that 15-inch laptops (and bigger) are the powerhouses of portable computing. They're used for gaming, content creation, video editing, and serious work.

Two of the best laptops are the Dell XPS 15 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16, each of which recently received updates to faster CPUs and GPUs, but otherwise remained mostly the same. Both are excellent laptops that offer great performance, outstanding build quality, and excellent input options -- but which one is right for you? Well, if it comes down to price, the XPS 15 the much more affordable option. That alone will make the decision easy for some people.

Read more
Apple’s Vision Pro may help your eyesight in this genius way
A person tries on an Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset in an Apple Store, with an Apple employee alongside them.

There are still a ton of mysteries surrounding Apple’s Vision Pro headset, and one of them is how the device will work with prescription lenses. A new patent might have shed some light on that, and it reveals a pretty remarkable idea from Apple.

According to the recently published patent (number 20230258944), the Vision Pro could use lenses made out of liquid instead of glass. This would apparently allow them to be highly customizable, allowing you to fine-tune them to perfectly match your prescription and your vision needs. After we learned that the next Vision Pro could send you on a mood-altering trip, it’s another instance of Apple envisioning a wacky idea to elevate its headset.

Read more
MacBooks could finally get Face ID to boost your security
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk.

Apple is working on bringing its Face ID authentication system to MacBooks, in what could be a major move to boost your Mac’s security. That’s according to a newly granted patent (number 11727718) that describes the benefits of Face ID and how it could be added to Apple’s laptops.

In the patent, Apple explains that computers are capable of a great deal of different tasks, and many of them can involve storing or handing over your sensitive information -- information that should not fall into the wrong hands. To stop that from happening, some form of authentication system (like Face ID) could be implemented into laptops to toughen up their security.

Read more