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The Brilliant Reason People Are Tearing Screens Off Apple MacBooks

A hack that saves you money and a trip to the landfill.


A cracked or otherwise messed up display has sent many a laptop to the e-waste Dumpster in the sky.

Tim Robberts | Getty Images

But a growing trend detailed by news outlet Digital Trends reveals that people are actually seeking out machines with busted displays on eBay and other sites. The reason? For lack of a more technical description, the guts and brains of a MacBook live in the bottom portion of the machine. So by simply popping off the display half and connecting to an external monitor, you can have a working MacBook for a fraction of the price. Digital Trends notes that an M1 MacBook Air with a broken display can be bought on eBay for $400. Compare that to a certified one from Apple that costs $850, and you see why tech-savvy folks with an extra monitor and some cords are giving this a go.

This is not perfect, however. As with any Apple device, once you open it up and start playing Dr. Frankenstein, you void any kind of warranty. And, unlike a fully-functioning laptop, this isn't exactly portable. Your local coffee shop might be less inclined to let you sit there working on your screenplay all day if you have a giant monitor and wires running all over the place. But if your plans revolve mostly around working from a home office, the monetary and environmental savings of rescuing old machines puts this hack in the brilliant category.

Related: Avoid This Major Leadership Blunder That Got Steve Jobs Ousted From Apple

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