Backlit Keyboard...Revisited

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by iRun26.2, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    OK, I know I wasn't the only one who was very disappointed that Apple dropped the backlit keyboard from the new MBA models. Did anyone buy one anyways, gambling they might not miss it as badly as they thought they might? Please comment (mentioning the model you bought) on your experience if you were concerned with this issue, yet still bought one.

  2. super tomtendo macrumors 6502a

    super tomtendo

    Aug 29, 2009
    Honestly, who cares about a backlit keyboard... I never use mine... I know how to type without looking... If you dont than you shouldn't be using a computer.
  3. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    that is the stupidest comment i've ever heard.
  4. jw6961 macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2010
    I bought the 13", 1.86GHz, 4GB of ram...

    I've been using a Powerbook 12" G4, so the backlit keyboard isn't something I was used to in the first place. It would have been nice to have it, but not a deal breaker for me.
  5. iRun26.2 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    Well, I'm glad it wouldn't be an issue for you but for me (and many others) it does matter. I AM a touch typist but there are times when I'm typing in the dark (in bed while my wife is sleeping) and I need to push a 'function key'. I don't use them often enough to have their position memorized. Having a backlit keyboard is very useful in this instance.
  6. Shadnic macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    I had a laptop with a backlit keyboard once and despite thinking it looked cool, I never turned it on. It never helped me type because I look at the screen when I type, not the keyboard...and it also uses a little bit of energy. Definitely wasn't worth the "cool" factor.

    Since I'll be using the air as an ultra-portable, keeping battery life at a maximum is key, and although a backlit keyboard wouldn't draw too much energy, the fact that I personally would gain no real benefit from it does not make me miss this feature at all.
  7. iRun26.2 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    Originally, I considered it a 'deal breaker'...I was simply going to not buy the new model and just use my original MBA until they brought the backlit keyboard option back.

    I've went to Best Buy and the Apple Store recently to check out the new MBAs and I've really been impressed with the new 11.6" model. I'm very tempted to try to live without the backlit keyboard (and, of course, there's really no guarantee that Apple will ever add it back in on a future revision either).
  8. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    I don't see why it's such a huge deal. The key backlighting always reflected off the display in an annoying way anyway. There are bumps on the keys to indicate F and J, and anyone born in the past 40 years should be able to figure it out from there.
  9. re2st macrumors regular

    May 2, 2007
    San Jose, CA
    Sheesh.. somebody had a bad halloween night.

    Some people do need to type in the dark, college kids in dorm rooms with roomates, those who need to work in bed without having to keep his/her spouse awake. And you WILL notice this missing backlight, especially for the first two rows (all those F keys, and the number/symbol keys). You kinda need to look at them to be able to tell which key is which.

    I personally, thankfully, don't have to type in the dark very often. But I do feel for the OP.

    Maybe you want to find some alternative solution, like those glow in the dark keyboard stickers? Just Google it, and you'll find some.
  10. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    Some of these responses are just ridiculous and people should stop being so defensive. Ask yourself this:

    Can you manage without your cell phone, GPS navigation, etc? Sure, that's the way it was for many people a decade ago and definitely long before then.

    Would you be willing to give up these things and go back to the way it was?

    That's what I thought.
  11. bchreng macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    For those of you who only type stuff using the keyboard, it's all well and good. Backlit keyboards make a difference for me when playing games and my fingers aren't on the little bumps on the F and J keys.
  12. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    I love it, Jobs takes away a feature everyone used to coo over, and because Jobs took it away, now backlit keyboards are "no big deal."

  13. maceleven macrumors 6502

  14. ingramLee macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2010
    New York, NY
  15. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    the keys on the 11" MBA are incredibly reflective. I still miss backlit keys fiercely, but in practice, it's not an issue.
  16. idonotliketostu macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2008
    I agree, they seem to be more reflective than the one's on my macbook pro.
  17. Hellishness macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    So I take it the first time you used a computer...dammit no use arguing nevermind.
  18. MiBook84 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2008
    Malmö, Sweden
    I can also touch type and seldom look at the keyboard very much but actually I think I do look at it sometimes just to position my hands and fingers right. Last night I was working on a PC in the middle of the night without any light sources and it was almost impossible to hit the right key. Perhaps it was just a problem then since I am not familiar with that computers key-layout but I really like to be able to catch an eye on the keyboard every once in a while.

    Do you guys remember thoose silly usb-lights for brighting up your keyboard? I don´t want that, but I either dont want to tilt my screen forwards everytime I need to find the right keys.

    Its sad that Apple removed the backlit keyboard but I guess they had to do some kind of compromise for the "thin-ness".
  19. CiccioAtSea macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2010
    Principality of Monaco
    Fully agreed ;)
  20. aussie.damo macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2006
    It's comments like these that make it hard to own Apple products. People who hate Apple read rubbish like this, hear attitudes like yours and assume we are all like that.

    Would it really be that difficult for you to respond in a courteous manner? If you don't find the lack of a backlight a problem, good for you, the OP would be (I'm sure) happy to hear it. It's not necessary for you to belittle someone who has a different opinion, especially not on a forum.

  21. sinophilia macrumors regular


    May 7, 2008

    Actually I never had a laptop with backlit keyboard and I try to avoid using a computer in complete darkness (not good for your eyes you know!). I once used a MBP with backlit keys and I found this bluish light quite annoying. Plus it didn't seem to turn off by itself in daylight so you have to remember to do it. On the MBA it's probably due to thinness and battery life concerns.

    I guess backlit keyboard is very useful for somebody, but I don't understand how it can be a deal breaker. You can still try to use an ear-light.
  22. nicoplanet macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2009
    Hey guys,

    Any informations about those reflectives keys? I wonder what's this about...
    When you say reflective, is it really usable in dark? Is it still working when the screen is at minimum brightness for example?

    Need more info on this! :D
  23. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2009
    While I have no problem typing without looking at the keyboard, sometimes I lie down with the laptop beside me on the bed / couch and type with one hand. Also, I do the occasional programming where you need to type weird characters that you might not even be sure where on the keyboard they are, or where you need to press 3+ buttons at the same time. Or, when gaming on a laptop it's usually some fingers on the arrow keys and the other hand on the trackpad - then you suddenly need to hit a key asap not to die :) Things like this is why I love a backlit keyboard - it just makes you able to use the keyboard smoothly in any lighting conditions. I'm sure going to miss it on the MBA (mine is arriving in a few days). I hope the reflectiveness is enough to get by.
  24. catdog02481 macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    It'a a big deal. I still went ahead and got the 13.3" 256/2.13/4
    I miss it at night and also when i go back to my mbp.
    I think there is a market for a low-profile side lighting led light that would plug in to one of the usb ports and shine very faint light (like thinkpad light). It could be flush and even allow the lip to close, kind of like one of those tiny bluetooth or mouse wireless adapters that has a prism mechanism to reflect light onto the keyboard.
    Then would be case closed.
  25. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    I've been using laptops without a keyboard light for over 15 years, oddly I can still do it now ;)

    Backlite is a nice to have, not a requirement. :rolleyes:

    PS: I do have the feature on my other MB and it's nice to have. But, that's all it is - nice to have.

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