While turning cheap hardware into Mac OS X-equipped 'hackintosh' machines is nothing new, one modder is attacking things from another perspective - and turning a Macbook Air into a keyboard-form-factor machine.

Spotted over on MacStories, the MacBook Air Project is the brainchild of modder Bart Reardon, who decided to create an Eee Keyboard-alike from Apple's slimmest laptop.

Designed to hide its internal workings beneath a numberpad-less Apple keyboard and a Magic Trackpad, the nearly-all-in-one - the device lacks the in-built secondary display of the Eee Keyboard - the mod dispenses with the screen and creates a small, slim, Mac - or a bulky Mac keyboard, depending on your perspective - with integral multi-touch trackpad, designed for those who are extremely space-conscious.

Although the project isn't finished yet, Reardon's last update revealed that he was attempting to find room for the Air's battery in the build - which, if successful, would give him an small form factor PC capable of running for six hours away from the mains. Coupled with a wireless display connection to a big-screen TV, Reardon could have a device that will make him the envy of Mac owners evermore.

Reardon does admit that the finished device will be "underpowered" by Mac standards, although claims that as the Air would "give a dual G5 PowerMac a run for its money" sees it being handy for "Internet/e-mail [...] maybe as an AppleTV replacement or something."

Interestingly, Reardon has set himself the challenge of keeping the keyboard and Magic Trackpad separable, with the option to de-couple them from the build and use them with any other Bluetooth-equipped machine.

Reardon's progress can be tracked over on his official build blog.

Do you applaud Reardon's aims, or has he just ruined one of the nicest machines to come out of Apple's design labs to create a Frankenstein's monster? Share your opinions over in the forums.

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