Laptops with an external display output will generally work without the built-in display, and you can usually remove the top cover (either the whole thing, or just the switch/hinge cover above the keyboard if that is a separate part) to access and disconnect the panel’s signal and backlight power cables. Use care, as the inverter for a CCFL backlight (if present) will include a capacitor which can deliver an unpleasant jolt if shorted. It’s been a while since I had to run a laptop this way, but I have known it to work in the past; good luck!
– Lexie 2021-08-26 20:08 UTC
If you want I can look at the broken hinge and see if I can fix it somehow?
– deshipu 2021-08-26 21:07 UTC
Oh, that would be super nice! Let’s figure out a way to meet up via mail? I think we could meet up somewhere and I show you the hinge that I removed and you can take a look. To me, it seems super hard to move and that is why I think it ripped out of the plastic enclosure. Then, if you want, I can either bring my laptop over or you can come over to our place and take a closer look. I don’t have many tools by I have a screwdriver that opens the back of the laptop, at least. 😃
– Alex 2021-08-26 22:17 UTC
In the same boat lately, thinking about building my own handheld around a Pi. Re: MNT, there may be at least one mainboard upgrade in the works: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28325976
– Ariane 2021-08-27 17:58 UTC
I was in the same boat about a year ago. Ended up with a Lenovo 2017 model for a discounted price from a friend ($200 instead of about $400)
These options exist, and for us, we don’t need more juice. My main machine is my desktop and I like it this way (split keyboard, mechanical, ultra wide screen, good sound system) - that’s my work corner. Laptop is for traveling and privacy at work.
Not sure what’s your situation in regards for that, but for laptop, I’d day definitely something refurbished and even used. No need for more...
– JTR 2021-08-27 18:09 UTC
Well, I keep thinking that I want to play games on the laptop but then I never do. So I’d want to run my Perl programs as I work on them, plus a modern terminal emulator, a few shells, Emacs, and the big one, Firefox. Right now we watch movies kn the laptop, occasionally.
My work laptop is a different machine, furnished by my workplace, so no worries regarding the workhorse. I also have an external monitor and a fancy keyboard for it.
Refurbished would certainly seem good enough. My wife’s MacBook Pro we bought over 15 years ago still sees regular use! We ought to replace the operating system On it, however. We can no longer upgrade macOS on it.
– Alex 2021-08-27 21:48 UTC
I’m also in the same boat as you (and Ariane), looking for a new laptop and am also considering the MNT Reform. You mentioning Vikings made me think of Technoethical, but they also seem to be out of stock of refurbished Thinkpads at the moment (I see Taurinus still seem to have X200s in stock but they only ship to the US – though maybe one can get a shipping forwarder).
– Karim 2021-08-30 20:50 UTC
Well, @deshipu managed to glue the hinge back into the laptop and gave it a few more years, perhaps. I guess that means I’m out of the market again. When I told my wife about the various options, she was not impressed by the MNT Reform, that’s for sure. Hopefully I get to wait for another five years and then we’ll see what the computing world looks like.
– Alex 2021-08-30 21:10 UTC
@technomancy wrote a review:
A couple years ago I became aware of the MNT Reform laptop, and it seems like the perfect antidote to the mistakes the entire industry seems dead-set on repeating. It’s a laptop that’s focused on open design with schematics freely available and all parts easily serviceable by the end user. Finding this was like a breath of fresh air; it’s like someone was finally listening to my frustrations. – in which a laptop defies the trends
– Alex 2021-09-10 10:52 UTC