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I have a separate wooden board on top of my desk that covers the desk's entire area. (The board is made of nice wood, making the desk look more classy than it actually is. :)

I'm thinking about tilting the board a tiny bit (maybe 15°) to make it more suitable as a drawing area. About like this:

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Is it safe to operate a MacBook (in my case a 15" MBP, no SSD) on such a titled surface on a permanent basis? I'm mostly thinking about possible damage to the hard drive or other components that are designed to work in a (more or less) perfectly horizontal position only.

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Yep. A non-issue. Hard drives aren't affected by tilt. You can run them upside down, on their side. Doesn't make a lick of difference. They only succumb to shocks. –  cksum May 4 '12 at 12:09
    
Should be fine unless it slides off! –  0x7fffffff May 5 '12 at 10:17
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2 Answers 2

Yes, as long as your MacBook Pro is steady (not moving constantly), it should work fine.

All movable parts in your Mac (hard drive and superdrive) are well encapsulated in their cases and won't be able to move much.
The only problem I would think of is gravity (...) since it will somehow force your disks and hard drive to be in a flat position, but the case around those parts is very tight and won't allow the items to move.

If you work on a 15° angle, you won't suffer much from it. And neither will your Mac.

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Gravity doesn't force the disk in a flat position. As a matter of fact in vertical position there's slightly less stress on the disk. Anyway these stresses are so small that they are of no practical importance. –  bdecaf May 4 '12 at 12:23
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It shouldn't harm your mac in any way so. At my workplace my Macbook is tilted. The only problem I can foresee is that since it's a wood base and there's no holes it may cause the macbook to overheat ( this is the worst case scenario). My workplace has a titled setup that tilts the mac to keep it cool. Tilting your laptop is good because it prevents overheating and its better posture for your hands.

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The ventilation holes of a MacBook Pro are mostly in the display hinge and ports, but not on the flat surface. The plank is an equivalent to the table you're working on, so it should be save. –  Michiel May 4 '12 at 12:14
    
True, I forgot about that. I work with a Macbook, or a Dell and the Dell gets so hot it has to be titled 24/7. –  Monstr92 May 4 '12 at 12:17
    
You should stick to your Mac :) –  Michiel May 4 '12 at 12:22
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