MacBook "Closed-Clamshell" Mode

I’m trying to figure out what to get to replace my mother’s dead Mini. Option A is a new Mini. Option B is a MacBook to use in closed clamshell mode with her desktop monitor. She likes the versatility that Option B would give her, but I’ve heard that running a MacBook in closed clamshell mode seriously hinders the performance. This is the computer she uses for work–mainly for email, iWork, and the internet. She doesn’t do anything that is particularly graphics heavy with photos or gaming. Would she notice a performance difference?

Shouldn’t see any heat problems as long as the laptop gets plenty of air. I have mine mounted vertically in a wooden stand I built, much like the book arc stand. I also use a full sized keyboard and mouse. I can’t stand different sized monitors so I keep mine closed all the time.

Thanks for replying. I was hoping to hear from someone with personal experience. I added the arc stand to our shopping list. Mom already uses a magic keyboard and mouse, so I think we’re good there.

I use my MBP in clamshell mode virtually all the time for the past few years. The fan only runs when doing something intensive like converting a video/movie.

I use my MacBook Adorable in closed mode all day at work. It, too, is in an Arc stand. Can’t remember any significant performance issues–I can warm it up running certain software, but the list the OP has above should not pose a problem.

Thanks for all the feedback. We went to the Apple store today with the intention of getting a MacBook. However, once Mom saw the iMac and understood what it was, ie. more than just a big beautiful screen, there was no stopping her. She went with the 27 inch.


Hah love it. The Apple store really is an aphrodisiac.


It is! And now I have inherited Mom’s old monitor, magic keyboard, and touch pad. That’s going to allow me set up my MacBook the way I was planning to do for her and use it in closed clamshell mode at my desk. An arc stand is on the way. This is going to be sweet!