A desktop made of Air

Deskbook Air Guts

[Bart] managed to get his hands on a Macbook Air for free. The catch was that the monitor hinge was broken and the laptop wasn’t in too great of a condition. Rather than scrapping it or using it as a cake cutter, he decided to turn it into a keyboard PC. By removing the internals he was able to fit all of the components with minimal modification. [Bart] has added a few things to make it a functional desktop, such as integrating a USB hub under the the keyboard and fitted the keyboard with a Magic Trackpad. As with any great hack, the project is still in progress, and we can’t wait to see the final touches as it comes together.

Comments

  1. donw35 says:

    how cool, I started with a Commodore 64 way back, looks like this type of keyboard PC has a place in the market again.

  2. Gert says:

    He says the main problem is going to be cooling the system. I bet there are some Hackaday listeners out there that know simple solutions.

  3. Water says:

    He should use water cooling.

  4. homb says:

    It all survived inside the laptop, so he can’t need too much to cool it. maybe when he’s got no duct tape and a shell with more perforations in it things wont be so bad

  5. A Mac hack! I love this! I am absolutely by no means an Apple fan, but hacks like these are few and far between. It’s good to see such a sexy hack done with a relatively expensive computer.

  6. jeditalian says:

    free is hardly relatively expensive..
    lol jk i know what u mean.
    that thing is way sexier than the laptop i got for 5 bucks.most likely better too

  7. marshall says:

    it would be nice to see wireless video on here !!

  8. M4CGYV3R says:

    How is it that something like this makes it to Gizmodo 3 days before Hack-a-Day?

    *Enter smarmy picture and comment about this being an Apple II clone 30 years later here*

  9. Asuraku says:

    Cooling:

    1. Encase the whole thing in acrylic.
    2. Make a mineral oil proof port extension plate. (The damned stuff is awesome for submersion cooling, but will seep down your wires and cables)
    3. Add a low power (DC) compact fishtank pump.
    4. Remove the fan and cover, but not the sink.
    5. Place input and output of pump accordingly.
    6. Fill with mineral oil.
    7. ???
    8. Profit!

  10. gregman_1 says:

    Would have been a hundred times cooler if put into a C64 or Ti99 case.

  11. sean says:

    shoot, if I would’ve known that this was Hackaday worthy I would have uploaded my build of this forever ago. I did the same thing… macbook motherboards are great because they’re so tiny.

  12. D_ says:

    Looks a little rough sure, but it’s a bit silly to criticize a work in progress someone publishes to the web. I’m not sure we will see a resurgence of “keyboard computers”, because the really never went any where, but we call them netbooks or laptops. For a desktop, an all contained int the monitor with a separate keyboard make the most sense. Especially if a secure wireless keyboards are available

  13. octel says:

    @M4CGYV3R
    “smarmy”

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

  14. dext0rb says:

    this is an interesting idea. i’ve got a macbook pro that is on its last legs and i’ve been thinking of modding it in some way.
    1. make a new acrylic case for it; make it look like a macmini

    2. do something like this post

    3. put it inside a C64 (cant decide breadbox or white)

    …leaning towards C64 case and reusing the keyboard as USB input.

  15. Hitek146 says:

    “How is it that something like this makes it to Gizmodo 3 days before Hack-a-Day?”

    LOL. Yea, I knew when I saw this on ModMyI this morning before I submitted it here that this was probably old, but I hadn’t seen it before, so I figured I’d let them know about it, and then let them decide to post it or not. I am not an apple fanboy either(the only iProduct I own is an old iPhone 2G I built for free from 2 other broken phones), but this project looked pretty sweet… :D

  16. the_woz says:

    Leave the C64s and TI-99s alone, nothing you can cram inside it’s cases would be in any way better or cooler than the original hardware ;)

    Also those hideous flat apple keyboards remind me more of the Timex 2068 or the Mattel Aquarius rather than the (by today standards) excellent keyboards of the C64 or TI-99

  17. Hitek146 says:

    ^Yea, I was just setting up one of these new all-in-one Macs with the wireless keyboard and mouse, and the keyboard actually felt like an old-school Apple IIc keyboard! Talk about going back to basics…

  18. Srek says:

    This is hardly a hack that he takes apart a laptop and puts it to the table and btw stop this profit? nonsense. Theres no profit in most of these hacks on the site.

    1, take apart a laptop
    2, spend a lot of time thinking of how to cool it
    3, ???
    4, wasted a lot of time

  19. hunnter says:

    I think i can safely say this for everyone:
    ^(Srek) WHOOSH
    That picture isn’t the hack, that is what it looks like inside the new case.

    Example of the cover(s). The keyboard and magic trackpad are the top.
    The position can also be switched which i found really sweet.

    The numerous mods that will be done to it, as well as additional hardware added, such as a USB hub, all make it.
    Go to the site. They are soldering stuff in to it Soldering an already existent board makes it hacking, regardless of how simple it was. It is against the use-cases that the device was built for. (more-so in the case of Apple, they are completely against others opening their stuff these days)

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