Backlight really worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ethernet76, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    #1
    I'm getting a 15" powerbook soon, and being a student I'm poor, and don't want to spend money on features that are useless.

    Here's my question. Is the blackight for the keyboard really that helpful? I never owned a laptop, and I know the powerbooks reuse the f1-fsomethingorother keys for brightness, sound, and other stuff. I was talking to my roommate about this feature, and he said, "Oh yeah, there's been a lot of times when I was typing in the dark and couldn't remember where the keys on my keyboard were."

    So I was just wondering if the backlight is useful, or is it just one of the features that you show to your friends in a dark room, or is it something I might use when i'm trying to throw update my college newspaper's website?
     
  2. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #2
    A keyboard backlight is useful when you're working in a dark environment. Other, hardened laptops have had this feature for years now.
     
  3. Zeke macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    #3
    I think it's a really good idea...I think you'll kick yourself later if you don't get it. And if you get the 1.25 and BTO it down from superdrive and 80 GB HD you come down to a very reasonable price for education (something like $150 more than the 1Ghz). When they're that close it seems silly not to get the faster processor.

    Edit: Just checked...it's $250 more as customized...still, seems the better deal (that's what I just ordered).

    2nd Edit: But the 1Ghz only comes with 256 MB of RAM which by any standard isn't enough which effectively brings it's price to $1889 with comparale RAM vs. $2051. A difference of only $162 for (250 more Mhz and backlight).
     
  4. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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  5. ethernet76 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2003
    #5
    You must think I'm rich

    I'm not sure on the 1.25 or the 1 ghz. It's like 100 more I'm not sure, but if it's something crazy like that I'll get the 1.25. If i get the 1.25 the backlight is standard and can't be removed so it's no longer an issue. As for the harddrive 60 gigs is enough for me, I have a pc that I use as a file server.
    As for the Superdrive. I have no need that I see. I have one at home in my iMac - 4 hours away - and one on the computer I use at work. I've burnt a total of 1 dvd and that was only because I couldn't figure out how to get mp3s off the iPod. Neat feature. Not needed though.
     
  6. ethernet76 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Just checked, it's 100 more if you get the backlight and the 2x256 ram on the 1 ghz. You also get built in airport extreme. Worth 89 dollars.
     
  7. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

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    Western Hemisphere
    #7
    The backlit keyboard is only worth it (IMHO) if you frequently use applications which require the use of convoluted shortcut keys (cmd-opt-k for example) which may require you to move your hands to and from the keyboard constantly.

    For typing - well, if you know how to type, the letters one the keyboard are frivolous so a light is excessively so.

    It IS handy, but not "worth" $100 to me.

    However, AirPort Extreme IS worth $89 once you get a chance to use it (many campuses now have free hotspots) and another 11 quid for the backlit keyboard - I'd do that deal.

    But, if you're seriously strapped for cash, you will have no problems without either of these options.
     
  8. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    St Augustine, FL
    #8
    The F8 button toggles it off and on and the F9 and F10 buttons control the brightness. As far as its usefulness, it can be if you aren't used to typing in the dark, not to mention it wows everyone who sees it.
     
  9. TheFallGuy macrumors member

    TheFallGuy

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    Aug 20, 2003
    #9
    It turns off automatically when there is a lot of ambient light, like right now sitting in my lighted office. In fact I can't turn it on, not until I turn out the lights.

    As Powerbook G5 mentioned F9 and F10 control the backlight settings making them dim or bright according to your preference.

    Usefulness? That's up to you. But that's really a minor issue. I went with the 15" 1.25 GHz with 60 Gig Hard Drive and Combo Drive. It was well worth it. You get improved processor, airport extreme, more ram for a reasonable price.
     
  10. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #10
    Well personally a lot of my lectures are very dark because the profs show slides. Because of this backlit keyboard would be pretty convienent to have.

    Also, i really like doing my colour corrections in the dark without ambient distortion. I have to keep a small light going so that i can see my keyboard in my room just to make sure i don't accidently use the short cut for close rather then save... LOL

    a backlit keyboard would be sweet... :)
     
  11. cubist macrumors 68020

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    Muncie, Indiana
    #11
    I've got an older powerbook and I wish I had it. You'd be surprised how many areas that seem to have plenty of light are too dark for detail work like reading the keyboard.

    As another poster pointed out, you may have no trouble with home row keys, but it's things like dollar signs, percent keys, command key, keypad keys which have you squinting and hunting around in the dark.
     
  12. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816

    ColoJohnBoy

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    Mar 10, 2003
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    Denver, Colorado
    #12
    Backlit keyboard is definitely worth it, later if not immediately. I take my 1GHz TiBook to classes where the lights are always off, because the prof. does the entire class by PowerPoint or something. It would be extremely helpful. I think I'm developing back problems from sitting hunched over my laptop like that.

    As far as the SuperDrive goes, you can just get the 1.25 GHz model, and BTO with a Combo Drive (That's what I did with the one I just ordered). Also, you can knock a few bucks off the price by getting a smaller hard drive.
     
  13. imbriumink macrumors newbie

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    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    I'm a college student switcher who just bought the new 12" Pbook, and wish I had the option to get backlit keyboard. I probably would have spent the money just for the coolness of it. But if you want to save money, you could always just get a usb light for $20 instead of $90 for the backlit keyboard. If you know how to type, it shouldn't be necessary though. I have a class where all we do watch movies and I'm fine.
     
  14. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

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    #14
    No, if you know how to type. Yes, if you type w/ your index fingers. Use the money for more RAM.
     
  15. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #15
    I would mind getting a backlit keyboard for my desktop :)
     
  16. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

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  17. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #17
    I should really read my post before i hit that submit button ... LOL

    well i guess you figured out what i wanted to say - I wouldn't mind getting a backlit keyboard for my Desktop
     
  18. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

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    Las Vegas, NV
    #18
    usb light option

    I got a USB light from coolerexpress for $5 plus shipping. since I was buying other stuff anyway the shipping expense was relatively negligible. I'd have preferred a white light instead of the blue I got, but for 5 bucks it's good enough. I'd do an even trade with anyone who has a white one and wants a blue one.
     
  19. Archaeopteryx macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2003
    #19
  20. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

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    #20
    apple should have done that with there keyboards with the senors
     
  21. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

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    Jan 8, 2003
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    Western Hemisphere
    #21
    While it might not be terribly useful, Apple's version is 100 x sexier than that thinkGeek link posted. Apple's version is quite well done IMHO, but that wasn't the question...I'm still doubtful about it's usability.

    It boils down to - if you need a usb light - you can spring for the backlit keyboard. Those USB lights drive me nuts and suck up a USB port which would better be used for a PowerMate or my Tablet or both. :)

    It sounds like you got the non-backlit version. You should enjoy it either way! Congrats on the purchase.
     
  22. Archaeopteryx macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2003
    #22
    What I have heard from other places and through no experiance of my own.. I have heard that the mac back-lit keyboards are highly Dim.. to a point that you cant really tell unless you are in a totally dark room... The Think geek one is bright as hell! You can tell its glowing in broad daylight :-D The key layout is crap though.. But then again it has a laptop layout... and so does a laptop.. so I dont think it would matter much to a laptop owner.. Since I havent recived my Mac through the mail yet.. I can say if this keyboard will work on the mac.. though I doubt it...
     
  23. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #23
    My keyboard can be pretty bright if I turn up the brightness myself. Generally it starts out pretty dim, though.
     
  24. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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  25. haiggy macrumors 65816

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    Ontario, Canada
    #25
    Doesn't the brightness from the monitor provide enough light to see the keys?
     

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