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Why are people ripping the screens off MacBooks?

There’s a bizarre new tech trend gaining traction, and it involves ripping the screens off MacBooks. Well, “ripping” might be a strong word, but people are removing the displays from their MacBooks.

So, why on earth would you remove the display from your laptop? After all, the display is essential to what makes a laptop what it is. But with the guts of the computer in the bottom half, these headless MacBooks have become a cost effective way to make use of an old Mac.

Just do it

— Nicolas Sampré (@nsampre) March 7, 2022

MacBooks can be expensive, so people are saving money by purchasing MacBooks with broken displays but have otherwise sound internal components. You can find an M1 MacBook Air with a broken display on eBay for around $400, and older models are even cheaper. Then you just pop off the screen and connect a display, and suddenly you have a new home Mac setup.

There are drawbacks, though. For one, you will void any kind of warranty by doing work like this, so you will want to either have some experience tinkering like this or carefully follow a guide. You also won’t be able to access recover mode since it only displays on the laptop display on MacBooks. Setting up a wireless display through AirPlay is also a pain, since you will have to connect it to an external display via cable to set it up anyway.

However, the final effect definitely has its appeal. If someone walks into your home office and sees a laptop with no display, they’ll probably take notice. There’s just a certain amount of cool factor to using a MacBook in a way it was never meant to be used. But mostly, it’s a cheap way to get a decent Mac computer — as long as you can supply the display yourself.

Caleb Clark
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Caleb Clark is a full-time writer that primarily covers consumer tech and gaming. He also writes frequently on Medium about…
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