I have used iMac or Mac Pro for my Desktop system for the past 5 years but now consider replacing them with MacBook Pro Retina in desktop environment. The reason is mostly because I don't like bigger screens; 11 ~ 13inch for mobile and 15 ~ 21inch for desktop is the best combination for me. Also, I prefer the amalgamation of keyboard and trackpad as seen in the MacBook line.

However, I wonder there are any disadvantages of using MacBook Pro as desktop. Especially, because I have to open the laptop and run the system for the whole day/week/month, which is the way I have used Mac Pro or iMac, I'm worried how it influences the internal battery.

Is there any serious risk - e.g. increased chance of breakdown, or explosion or ignition for the worst - of letting MacBook Pro to run the system permanently, keep connecting it always to the AC adapter, and rarely shut down the system? Or does it just lead to the exhaustion of the battery life?

For your information I use 13' MacBook Pro Retina in mobile environment. I just want to use 15' MBP Retina as desktop and won't use it outside of home.


I want to handle my Mac much like President Obama does, which is the most comfortable posture for me...

enter image description here

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    Explosion or fire is unlikely, but the battery would wear out quickly and you shouldn't expect good battery life after a few months of usage like that. You could let it discharge and recharge at least one time a month to try and make things a bit better but in the end the heat will kill it anyway.
    – user56648
    Jan 2, 2015 at 12:26
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    Frankly, the newer non-user-serviceable batteries no longer suffer from the issues typically identified as "battery memory". I keep my 2012 MBPr plugged in constantly, my cycle count is 119 yet I still regularly see 6+ hours of battery life. Jan 2, 2015 at 14:58
  • I don't mind it losing battery life because I would never remove the plug and carry with it, but I'll discharge/recharge it constantly, thanks.
    – Blaszard
    Jan 2, 2015 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


You really hasn't stated you workflow but here is my thought:

The main disadvantage to me in this scenario is total cost by which I understand less powerful CPU/smaller screen for more money and also higher risk of getting into problems with GPU since it is the most failure prone component in notebooks as we see for years. And don't forget that a cup of coffee can cost as much as new Logic Board, Topcase and Labor.

For this scenario why don't you look at Mac Mini (preferably older 2012 Server QuadCore one with Intel HD4000) and as small monitor as you like? Or a smaller iMac with integrated Iris Pro and Quad i5? If you are so keen on Keyboard and trackpad being together look at Magic Wand and that trackpad is bigger than in Macbook.

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    There is no small monitor that makes me attracted; no longer do I want to use FHD display and the smallest high-definition display comes from Dell 23.8', which is too bigger to me. As to Magic Wand, no, I want to work in a "Obama-style" (check out the image I added). Thank you for your answer though.
    – Blaszard
    Jan 3, 2015 at 4:55
  • As to the spec/cost, I actually used the highest-spec 2012 MBPr and was highly satisfied even after the consideration of the extravagant price. I want more RAM (possibly 32GB), though.
    – Blaszard
    Jan 3, 2015 at 5:00

Every developer at our company uses a 15" retina MBP (16GB RAM) as a desktop. They're fantastic, and the battery doesn't suffer noticeably. Several of us run two external monitors as well.

At night we close the lids and put them in a secure room.

The only drawback is network share drives, which seem to need reconnecting each morning, which is a pain if you were working on a file from the network share, but that may well be a network problem at our end.

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