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jw3571
Dec 3, 2010, 11:55 PM
I really wish the Air hada backlit keyboard as i really think those are cool. Why don't they have one?



MacBook08
Dec 4, 2010, 12:37 AM
Ask Steve: sjobs@apple.com

wirelessmacuser
Dec 4, 2010, 12:42 AM
Apples greed grows stronger by the day. A backlit keyboard would have been appreciated by many, but reduced Apples profit.

Result? No contest. Apple prevails. Always.

The Apple supporters will even advocate for Apple over themselves. So cult like, it's disturbing.

teski
Dec 4, 2010, 01:04 AM
To me it is just a coolness factor as you say. I can type without looking at the keyboard so the backlit keyboard did very little for me and I haven't missed it one bit. The only place I find it remotely useful is with the function keys, but it's not like I use them that often. The only laptop I ever had backlit keys was on my MBP and I've managed to work on laptops for 11+ years.

Mabyboi
Dec 4, 2010, 01:41 AM
I love my backlit keyboard(MBP)... i dont know what i would do without it...

teski
Dec 4, 2010, 01:49 AM
I love my backlit keyboard(MBP)... i dont know what i would do without it...

Learn how to type? ;)

MacBook08
Dec 4, 2010, 02:31 AM
To me it is just a coolness factor as you say. I can type without looking at the keyboard so the backlit keyboard did very little for me and I haven't missed it one bit. The only place I find it remotely useful is with the function keys, but it's not like I use them that often.

I agree. The backlit keyboard is certainly not a must-have feature.

MasterTick
Dec 4, 2010, 02:44 AM
it isn't a must have feature but there isn't a good reason why it shouldn't be included.

theDUB
Dec 4, 2010, 02:57 AM
I agree with the reduced profits theory. But, I also think the MBA is supposed to be a super minimalist notebook; lightweight & small as possible. Adding extra stuff, like a backlit keyboard, works against that goal.

molala
Dec 4, 2010, 03:13 AM
Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (iPhone; Opera Mini/5.0.019802/22.387; U; en) Presto/2.5.25 Version/10.54)

I can touchtype and never had a backlit keyboard. Still, I hate it when Apple downgrades a product by removing a feature from the next revision, and one which many rely on. It happened with the MacBooks when the unibody MBPs were introduced. But since the 13" MBP is cheaper, not sure what Apple gains by forcing MBA users to consider the MBP instead.

Kornelis
Dec 4, 2010, 04:27 AM
I agree with the reduced profits theory. But, I also think the MBA is supposed to be a super minimalist notebook; lightweight & small as possible. Adding extra stuff, like a backlit keyboard, works against that goal.Yes, I guess they wanted to keep the 11' under 1000 $/ and also having no backlit keyboard saves the battery.

foiden
Dec 4, 2010, 05:56 AM
I wonder if it was a tradeoff feature. Did the choice of the new speaker system get in the way of backlit keyboards? Perhaps. While the new speakers do sound pretty awesome, I think for the precise purpose of the Air, the backlit keyboard would probably be the better choice. People don't normally buy an ultra-portable for the sound coming from the speakers. In fact, they usually expect less than stellar sound so that good sound needs to come from the headphone jack as they'll more likely use these things in places where you keep your sound to yourself.

netdog
Dec 4, 2010, 05:58 AM
Heat?

JoeG4
Dec 4, 2010, 05:59 AM
Steve knows the only reason you bought a MBA is that you wanted to watch porn, and so the keyboard was of no concern. If you want to do real work, like checking your facebook and then telling your bff "OH MY GOD! LOOK AT THIS!" you can do that on your iPhone.

-Sent from my massive Sony laptop that has a backlit keyboard.

foiden
Dec 4, 2010, 06:00 AM
Probably not. Backlights on the Apple products are using LEDs. They consume very low power to operate and also constantly run cool, always. I have enough of those installed around my house to know how they always remain cool to the touch, even while lighting a room.

miata
Dec 4, 2010, 06:06 AM
SSDs are not cheap. Stevie boy wanted to make the Airs really slim and trim and cool -- and cheap. Some things had to go. It is not just just the backlit keyboard, but other little things like sleep indicator LED, battery indicator LED, iSight camera, Firewire, SD slot on 11", iSight camera had to go.

Nothing comes for free:rolleyes:

foiden
Dec 4, 2010, 06:15 AM
iSight camera? But they do have a camera on them. Firewire was never on the Macbook Air. The only thing previously on the Airs that isn't anymore is the Backlit keyboard and perhaps the battery indicator. The new ones added a 2nd USB port, and the 13" adds the new SDcard slot, for the first time on an Air.

However, the new Airs offer a new more robust stereo sound system built underneath the keyboard. Which offers built-in spacial stereo sound. A vast improvement over all of last year's unibody models that were smaller than the 15" MBP.

The loss of the sleep light may have been a space decision, as well as a necessity decision. There's no purpose to have a sleep indicator when the machine has no moving parts. The real purpose people used the sleep indicator was to tell when it was safe to pick up and freely move the laptop. Only then were you sure that the internal drives were shut down. Now, you can pick up the unit anytime you want and hold it at any angle without wait, sleep, or shut down.

Though I think if the decision was between better sound and backlit keyboard, I think they probably should've went with the keyboard. I think that's more important to the traveller. However, if they are seeing this as something to eventually replace the regular Macbook line, maybe I can see the reasoning. I think it's too early for that. This is still the *traveller's* machine. While a lack of backlit keyboard is doable, it is a nice convenience for dark airplane rides. Rides where you definitely don't share what you're listening to via loud speakers.

miata
Dec 4, 2010, 06:29 AM
iSight camera? But they do have a camera on them. Firewire was never on the Macbook Air. The only thing previously on the Airs that isn't anymore is the Backlit keyboard and perhaps the battery indicator. The new ones added a 2nd USB port, and the 13" adds the new SDcard slot, for the first time on an Air.

However, the new Airs offer a new more robust stereo sound system built underneath the keyboard. Which offers built-in spacial stereo sound. A vast improvement over all of last year's unibody models that were smaller than the 15" MBP.

The loss of the sleep light may have been a space decision, as well as a necessity decision. There's no purpose to have a sleep indicator when the machine has no moving parts. The real purpose people used the sleep indicator was to tell when it was safe to pick up and freely move the laptop. Only then were you sure that the internal drives were shut down. Now, you can pick up the unit anytime you want and hold it at any angle without wait, sleep, or shut down.
The new camera is called the "FaceTime" camera and is lower resolution and image quality. I'm not much comparing the new Airs to the old Airs as to the MBPs which are generally move expensive. Although the MBP 13" refurbs are cheaper than the MBA 13" even with aftermarket RAM and SSD upgrades.

foiden
Dec 4, 2010, 06:38 AM
Well, of course. But the point of the topic really was to compare the new airs to the old airs. The old Airs had backlit keyboards. The differences are obvious when you compare the Air to the Macbook Pro line. Nobody will argue that, nor is it a surprise. I just have my doubts that backlight had anything to do with cost. I also figured, if they could put in those great speakers behind the keyboard, they could also have put the backlighting there.

KnightWRX
Dec 4, 2010, 07:17 AM
Learn how to type? ;)

Exactly. Just learn to type. I haven't looked at my keyboard while typing since 1992.

gwsat
Dec 4, 2010, 10:57 AM
This is the 99th thread on Apple's elimination of the backlit keyboard feature from the new MBAs. Well, it feels like the 99th. Those of you who had grown to depend on the backlit keyboards on your old MBAs and MBPs justifiably felt betrayed when Apple didn't include it in the new generation of MBAs. On the other hand, those of us who didn't use the backlit keyboard feature simply didn't care. Neither position is right or wrong so what else is there to say?

HLdan
Dec 4, 2010, 11:06 AM
Apples greed grows stronger by the day. A backlit keyboard would have been appreciated by many, but reduced Apples profit.

Result? No contest. Apple prevails. Always.

The Apple supporters will even advocate for Apple over themselves. So cult like, it's disturbing.

Says the guy with a 2010 15" MBP, 27" Apple Cinema Display and an iPhone 4. Oh the irony in your post and your forum name. :rolleyes:

chillywilly
Dec 4, 2010, 11:24 AM
While I've been spoiled by my last two backlit keyboard on my MacBook Pros (2.0 Ghz model and unibody 2.66Ghz), I think the minimalist idea of the MacBook Air - especially the 11" model - was to create something slim, light and decent battery life.

Not that I would mind it on there someday. ;)

bobobenobi
Dec 4, 2010, 11:43 AM
I have enough of those installed around my house to know how they always remain cool to the touch, even while lighting a room.

So the heat sinks on LED light bulbs are purely decorative? :rolleyes:

mrsir2009
Dec 4, 2010, 12:16 PM
Its scary how the MacBook Pros are the only Apple computers with backlit keyboards anymore... They'd better not get rid of them :mad:

foiden
Dec 4, 2010, 01:39 PM
So the heat sinks on LED light bulbs are purely decorative? :rolleyes:

Never seen them on tiny bulbs. Which I figured is all you need for the keyboard. Still, I have no real issue with not having the backlit keyboard. This actually more than replaces my Macbook and old gateway, and those didn't have it either. Just stating what I think more people may have wanted, as a feature, if the choice was for better audio speakers and backlight. Just because of the nature of where the Air would get the most use. Though I will comment that the new speakers are nice. They actually beat my old gateway laptop speakers and those were nicely visible.

SPEEDwithJJ
Dec 4, 2010, 02:58 PM
I think a lot of people "overlook" one thing on the keyboard layout on the new MBAs.

IMHO, adding the keyboard backlights will also mean a "redesign" or adding an extra button to the top row (the one that contains the function buttons) simply because in this revision of the MBAs, the "Power" button has been moved onto the top row of the keyboard. Therefore, right now, there is only 1 empty slot left on the top row. With the keyboard backlit options, you'll need 2 buttons. One for brightening the keyboard backlights, one for dimming the keyboard backlights.

So do you think Mr. Jobs (given his obsession with "perfectness") is going to allow the addition of one more button to the top row of the keyboard while in the process of doing that, shorten the width of those buttons to accommodate the extra button & thus deviate from the "perfect" layout of the keyboard? :rolleyes:

JoeG4
Dec 4, 2010, 03:00 PM
Or they could just not put brightness buttons on the keyboard :P

mrsir2009
Dec 4, 2010, 03:07 PM
I think a lot of people "overlook" one thing on the keyboard layout on the new MBAs.

IMHO, adding the keyboard backlights will also mean a "redesign" or adding an extra button to the top row (the one that contains the function buttons) simply because in this revision of the MBAs, the "Power" button has been moved onto the top row of the keyboard. Therefore, right now, there is only 1 empty slot left on the top row. With the keyboard backlit options, you'll need 2 buttons. One for brightening the keyboard backlights, one for dimming the keyboard backlights.

So do you think Mr. Jobs (given his obsession with "perfectness") is going to allow the addition of one more button to the top row of the keyboard while in the process of doing that, shorten the width of those buttons to accommodate the extra button & thus deviate from the "perfect" layout of the keyboard? :rolleyes:

Why must they have those buttons on the keyboard anyway?

gri
Dec 4, 2010, 03:49 PM
I think a lot of people "overlook" one thing on the keyboard layout on the new MBAs.

IMHO, adding the keyboard backlights will also mean a "redesign" or adding an extra button to the top row (the one that contains the function buttons) simply because in this revision of the MBAs, the "Power" button has been moved onto the top row of the keyboard. Therefore, right now, there is only 1 empty slot left on the top row. With the keyboard backlit options, you'll need 2 buttons. One for brightening the keyboard backlights, one for dimming the keyboard backlights.

So do you think Mr. Jobs (given his obsession with "perfectness") is going to allow the addition of one more button to the top row of the keyboard while in the process of doing that, shorten the width of those buttons to accommodate the extra button & thus deviate from the "perfect" layout of the keyboard? :rolleyes:

One button is fine, could bring up a little on top window with a slider that regulates the brightness...

I think the main point is that the MBA was the front rider in innovation. The new one in a way still is (SSD), in some ways it is just catching up (2 USB ports, Stereo speakers) and in some it is going backwards (BL KB). Innovation yes - but at the cost of going backwards in some others? I like and sometimes need the BL. (And spare me the "Learn to type comments", so stupid.)

gwsat
Dec 4, 2010, 04:22 PM
Why must they have those buttons on the keyboard anyway?
The obvious answer is that there is no necessity for having a dedicated key to control keyboard backlighting intensity. After I read the suggestion that the lack of such a button would preclude including the feature in the MBA, I had to look at my MBP's keyboard before I remembered that it even had such a control. One wonders just who should be rolling one's eyes at whom.:)

chrono1081
Dec 4, 2010, 04:31 PM
It most likely has to do with either not enough space, or something regarding battery life. Conspiracy theorists like the one above think otherwise though.

gothamm
Dec 4, 2010, 05:23 PM
It most likely has to do with either not enough space, or something regarding battery life. Conspiracy theorists like the one above think otherwise though.

No one here knows, but it is most likely due to reducing costs. The "space" issue is highly unlikely, as the backlit keyboard has been successfully implemented in the macbook air over 2 years ago. Also, battery life is highly unlikely, because the lighting simply does not consume much power at all.

Skika
Dec 4, 2010, 05:24 PM
I think a lot of people "overlook" one thing on the keyboard layout on the new MBAs.

IMHO, adding the keyboard backlights will also mean a "redesign" or adding an extra button to the top row (the one that contains the function buttons) simply because in this revision of the MBAs, the "Power" button has been moved onto the top row of the keyboard. Therefore, right now, there is only 1 empty slot left on the top row. With the keyboard backlit options, you'll need 2 buttons. One for brightening the keyboard backlights, one for dimming the keyboard backlights.

So do you think Mr. Jobs (given his obsession with "perfectness") is going to allow the addition of one more button to the top row of the keyboard while in the process of doing that, shorten the width of those buttons to accommodate the extra button & thus deviate from the "perfect" layout of the keyboard? :rolleyes:

This gave me think why they didnt get rid of the eject button as the Air has no optical drive. And you cant use it to eject disks or anything else.

gothamm
Dec 4, 2010, 05:26 PM
I agree. The backlit keyboard is certainly not a must-have feature.

"must-have" eh?

.5 inches thin...not "must-have"
under 3 lbs...not "must-have"
isight...not "must-have"
multi-touch...not "must-have"
high rez screen...not "must-have"

;)

InsanelyApple
Dec 4, 2010, 05:31 PM
"must-have" eh?

.5 inches thin...not "must-have"
under 3 lbs...not "must-have"
isight...not "must-have"
multi-touch...not "must-have"
high rez screen...not "must-have"

;)

Nothing is really required besides plug-in, motherboard, RAM, and a hard drive. Not even a real OS with a GUI. (Yep, back in the days of DOS.)

ScottFitz
Dec 4, 2010, 06:11 PM
I'm in the market for a new laptop to replace my first generation MBA. The no backlit kb thing took the new one out of the running. I'm approaching 50 and my yes aint what they usd to be. it'll likely be an MBP now.

mrsir2009
Dec 4, 2010, 06:20 PM
The obvious answer is that there is no necessity for having a dedicated key to control keyboard backlighting intensity. After I read the suggestion that the lack of such a button would preclude including the feature in the MBA, I had to look at my MBP's keyboard before I remembered that it even had such a control. One wonders just who should be rolling one's eyes at whom.:)

Yes, if its controlled automatically there is no need for those buttons. I didn't even know what they were for till they were mentioned just now. I thought they were contrast or something like that.

MacBook08
Dec 4, 2010, 06:35 PM
This gave me think why they didnt get rid of the eject button as the Air has no optical drive.

It does if you buy an external one.

MacBook08
Dec 4, 2010, 06:49 PM
"must-have" eh?

.5 inches thin...not "must-have"
under 3 lbs...not "must-have"
isight...not "must-have"
multi-touch...not "must-have"
high rez screen...not "must-have"

;)

The MBA would lose much of its function, as well as its purpose, if these features and characteristics were done away with. The MBA doesn't lose anything from lacking a keyboard that lights up.

Anyway, I've heard it's bad for your eyes to stare at a screen in the dark. If you need a lighted keyboard, when it's not dark, you've got problems. If you need to look at the keyboard at all when you type then you won't be getting much done anyway, so do something about it. Learn how to type. Aging eyesight is not an excuse for a skilled typist. (By the way, this part's not necessarily directed to you, gothamm.)

3goldens
Dec 4, 2010, 08:26 PM
still whinning about this?
Just is not a factor for me anymore, I love my MBA!

lilo777
Dec 4, 2010, 08:28 PM
I'm in the market for a new laptop to replace my first generation MBA. The no backlit kb thing took the new one out of the running. I'm approaching 50 and my yes aint what they usd to be. it'll likely be an MBP now.

Or Dell Adamo. Those do have backlit keyboard.


still whinning about this?
Just is not a factor for me anymore, I love my MBA!

3goldens on Oct 26, 2010:
I don't give a good god dam about the battery life, I want a backlit keyboard!

You are a really a glass half full kind of guy :D

archurban
Dec 4, 2010, 09:01 PM
simple. if you want that, you need to pay more. plus, it's no macbook pro 15inch or 17inch. you don't need fancy function. that actually kills your battery life.

hcho3
Dec 4, 2010, 09:01 PM
Money is the reason why. What else could be?

lilo777
Dec 4, 2010, 09:02 PM
simple. if you want that, you need to pay more. plus, it's no macbook pro 15inch or 17inch. you don't need fancy function. that actually kills your battery life.

Can I pay more and get backlit keyboard on MBA? I can on Dell Adamo.

Mabyboi
Dec 4, 2010, 10:54 PM
Learn how to type? ;)

Exactly. Just learn to type. I haven't looked at my keyboard while typing since 1992.

I can type flawlessly without looking at the keyboard, i just feel like its alot nicer to have the backlit, i may have over exaggerated with what i said, but its still something great to have.

chrono1081
Dec 5, 2010, 03:33 AM
No one here knows, but it is most likely due to reducing costs. The "space" issue is highly unlikely, as the backlit keyboard has been successfully implemented in the macbook air over 2 years ago. Also, battery life is highly unlikely, because the lighting simply does not consume much power at all.

Yes but look at the internals of the new macbook air, they are quite different. Sure cost may play a part but I really think it was a space issue more than anything. I doubt Apple would throw away one of their most loved features without a really good reason.

MikePA
Dec 5, 2010, 04:12 AM
The real question is, "Will anyone post information or opinion that wasn't mentioned in the bazillion other threads about this same topic?" I know, maybe if enough people who are Search challenged start a new thread on this, Apple will add the backlight feature to their next rev and even send everyone else a light you can mount on your forehead that'll light up the keys.

Mac32
Dec 5, 2010, 05:44 AM
Come on people... There is only one answer, and that is ... MONEY.
Since this is the first version of a new design, Apple wants to maximize their revenues with the new MBA, and still keep the price reasonable. One way to do that is to exclude certain "extras" like LED lights and back-lighted keyboard. Also by putting the back-lighted keyboard back in when they release the next version of the MBA, more people will want to get rid off their old MBAs and get the new model. It's all about the bottom line.

ikir
Dec 5, 2010, 06:14 AM
Apples greed grows stronger by the day. A backlit keyboard would have been appreciated by many, but reduced Apples profit.

Result? No contest. Apple prevails. Always.

The Apple supporters will even advocate for Apple over themselves. So cult like, it's disturbing.

Ah ah ah, MacBook Air have much lower profit than older one, SSD by default cut a lot of profit. MacBook Air is custom made and it have a lot of developing costs. Backlit keyboard would have been a problem because costs and space. You really don't know anything about producing hardware. Next generation maybe will have it because: it will cost less to produce and they will save space with newer components.
If any defending apple choice is marked as fanboy or advocate... easy win for you.

You dislike Apple strategies? Buy something else you think has good value for money or innovation, we have choice.

MatLane
Dec 5, 2010, 06:15 AM
Apple wanted to try and keep the price as low as they could. Having that backlit keyboard would of upped the price even more


then people would of moaned they are too expensive...it's hard to win on this one

MikePA
Dec 5, 2010, 08:02 AM
Come on people... There is only one answer, and that is ... MONEY.
Since this is the first version of a new design, Apple wants to maximize their revenues with the new MBA, and still keep the price reasonable. One way to do that is to exclude certain "extras" like LED lights and back-lighted keyboard. Also by putting the back-lighted keyboard back in when they release the next version of the MBA, more people will want to get rid off their old MBAs and get the new model. It's all about the buttom line.

Good post, wirelessmacuser. I always thought registering more than once wasn't allowed.

Great spelling, too, or, more likely, 'butt'om line was a Freudian slip.

nickcassell
Dec 5, 2010, 09:26 AM
I have the MBA-B SSD. Nada backlit prevents me from ordering this newest one. I'll wait awhile but this Rev D took so many months more to show up than predicted that another year may go by. Apple loses, I lose.

nfl46
Dec 5, 2010, 10:14 AM
I'm not sure, but if it is a deal breaker, there's always the MBP or old Air.

chillywilly
Dec 5, 2010, 10:45 AM
It most likely has to do with either not enough space, or something regarding battery life. Conspiracy theorists like the one above think otherwise though.

Battery life would be more of a concern than anything, IMO.

chillywilly
Dec 5, 2010, 10:46 AM
I'm not sure, but if it is a deal breaker, there's always the MBP or old Air.

I had to look it up on Everymac.com to see that the previous MBA did have a backlit keyboard.

Halon X
Dec 5, 2010, 11:00 AM
I love it how everyone with an opinion feels they know for certain the reason(s) why Apple didn't put a backlit keyboard in the new MBA's.

chillywilly
Dec 5, 2010, 12:03 PM
I don't think any of us are "certain", just stating our thoughts on why there's no backlit keyboard.

n1tut
Dec 5, 2010, 01:13 PM
Incredible. "IT DOES NOT HAVE A BACKLIT KEYBOARD"

You knew this when you bought it. The reason does not matter, that is what you have got.

What is the point of discussion as to whether it should have one?

tut

wordoflife
Dec 5, 2010, 01:43 PM
Its scary how the MacBook Pros are the only Apple computers with backlit keyboards anymore... They'd better not get rid of them :mad:

Wow I just realized that. I guess they want to make the difference between Pro and "other" Macbooks.

chrono1081
Dec 5, 2010, 02:12 PM
Good post, wirelessmacuser. I always thought registering more than once wasn't allowed.

Great spelling, too, or, more likely, 'butt'om line was a Freudian slip.

Nice catch!

I shouldn't comment though since I already got warned for something I posted in this thread. :o