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Slabtop: they are cutting laptops’ heads off! Do you know why?



It is a trend that has been growing especially on second-hand equipment sales platforms. The slabtop is a headless portable computer. In other words, with the screen and cover removed, similar to home computers from the 80s. But why are people cutting their heads off laptops anyway?

Slabtop: they are cutting laptops’ heads off! Do you know why?

Reasons for creating a slabtop include converting laptops faults on usable laptops, taking advantage of good prices on laptops with damaged screens.

To use a slabtop, you need to connect it to a compatible external display, either through wired connections to a monitor or augmented reality glasses, or through wireless solutions like the AirPlay.

A slabtop is a headless portable computer, with Macbooks popular choices for this type of conversion. A headless computer generally refers to a computer that is designed to be used without a monitor. Typically this involves remote access software or a text-based interface like SSH. Servers are typically designed to be headless, but headless machines may rely on a monitor from time to time, such as when troubleshooting.

In the context of a slabtop, headless simply means that the built-in display (and the cover housing the display) has been removed.

The result is a slab computer that houses all the components in the base. This is not much different from 80s home computers like the Commodore Amiga or Spectrum where the keyboard was the computer.

This board contains virtually everything needed for a computer to function, including the motherboard, processor, RAM, and GPU. It also has a battery inside, a keyboard and a trackpad on top and connectivity through built-in ports. All that’s missing is the screen and webcam.

Why bother with a headless laptop?

Although laptops typically require some type of screen to be useful, it doesn’t have to be the built-in screen. Perhaps the most obvious reason to opt for a laptop without a screen is that you have damaged your laptop screen and don’t want to spend the money on a repair.

Source: Reddit

In the case of a MacBook, these repairs can be expensive, especially through Apple. It may be possible to find a second-hand replacement, but you’ll probably have to buy a full laptop to access it. For non-MacBook models, repairs may be cheaper, but replacement parts may be difficult to find.

If all that’s damaged is the screen, your laptop probably still has a lot of life left in it.

Even if it doesn’t have an HDMI or DisplayPort output, your laptop can almost certainly output a video signal using a USB-C dongle or similar.

The other reason to cut off the head of a laptop is that you might be tempted to grab a bargain. Many laptops with damaged screens are available on second-hand markets at drastic discounts. A laptop with a broken screen can still be a perfectly good computer. If you can get around the damage, you might even be able to get one for free if you’re lucky.

Instead of lugging around the dead weight of a broken screen, turn that laptop into a project and remove the screen entirely. You’ll be surprised by the feeling of freedom a laptop can give you after removing the heavy screen. It is also essential if you want to use it at a desk or near a screen that is at head height.

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