Headless 'SlaBook Pro,' or 'MacStein,' lives on with external monitor [Setups] | Cult of Mac

Headless ‘SlaBook Pro,’ or ‘MacStein,’ lives on with external monitor [Setups]


It lives! A
It lives! A "SlaBook Pro" is a screen-less MacBook Pro hooked up to an external monitor.
Photo: UsedBee4306@Reddit.com

Ever wonder what to do if you damage your laptop’s screen? If you have no insurance or warranty coverage, is it simply time to lay that laptop to rest? No. Not necessarily. The rest of that laptop’s body can be reanimated like the creature from Frankenstein — only more productive, as you would expect from a Mac whose time has not yet come. Call it a “SlaBook” or maybe “MacStein.”

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Redditor UsedBee4306 demonstrated as much in their post, “SlaBook Pro.” When you first see the familiar-yet-not hardware in the photo, there’s definitely a “wait, what the hell?” moment. You don’t have to remove a MacBook’s display panel to run the machine with an external monitor, but it’s kind of cool.

“Looks like an old Atari computer,” one Redditor said. “Amiga vibes,” chimed in another.

As one appreciative commenter declared, “I’m going to save this post. From this day forward, if I ever see picture of a MacBook with a broken hinge or screen and the question how to fix it, I’ll just share the link to this post. I love it!”

SlaBook Pro

UsedBee4306, whom we’ll just call Bee, described their effort in a straightforward way. They saw a tutorial on iFixit.com.

“It’s a matter of a few screws and cables, simple,” they said, while also admitting that they lifted the term “SlaBook” from another Reddit post. They used a USB Wi-Fi adapter to connect the screen and a Bluetooth USB adapter to connect the Magic Mouse, they said. That way, they don’t have to rely on Ethernet for connectivity for anything that needs the screen assembly to work, they noted.

And their MBP’s screen had apparently died a slow, flickery death. “Well [it’s] a quick way to get rid of epilepsy from the MacBooks display, as it was flickering,” Bee said. Maybe they just put it out of its misery and chopped it off like limb with a festering wound.

Bee indicated they actually intend to fix the laptop. This Frankenstein monster is simply an interim step so they can keep using the computer. They’re waiting to get a connector before reattaching the display panel.

Easier to do with older MBP models

Bee’s 15-inch MacBook Pro dates back to 2008, a fairly old model that’s relatively simple to work with. Newer ones are a bit more complicated.

“2017 MacBook Pro’s are 20+ screws before the display is off. Quite a bit more than they used to be,” a commenter said.

“Oh well I did the same to the 2011s and now the ’08s, very simple process at least on the old models,” Bee replied.

But their 2008 MPB is “quite slow with all the upgrades,” they added.

“This is sacrilege, right?” asked a commenter, seeming to pick up on the Dr. Victor Frankenstein-playing-God-and-creating-an-abomination vibe.

“Maybe haha,” Bee replied.

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.