Backlit Keyboard Swap From Previous Generation?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by TheAllStar, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. TheAllStar macrumors member

    TheAllStar

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    #1
    I'm excited about the re-vamped MacBook Air, and am considering a 13" model. Much to my dismay, no illuminated keyboard anymore! I understand keeping certain options only for the Pro to encourage upgrading, but this one may be a deal-breaker.

    Since the keys are the same style, would it be possible to take off all the keys, swap out the board underneath and replace it all with the backlit counterparts from the older MacBook Air? What all would be involved?

    Thanks!
     
  2. 3goldens macrumors 68000

    3goldens

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #2
    sure why dont you give it a try and report back to us!
     
  3. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #3
    Ya, that sounds like a great plan. Or you could just hit it with a sledgehammer, that would be faster. :rolleyes:
     
  4. TheAllStar thread starter macrumors member

    TheAllStar

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    #4
    Replaced my white MacBook keyboard when I spilled cream soda on it... wonder if the MBA swap would be as easy.
     
  5. orpheus1120 macrumors 65816

    orpheus1120

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Malaysia
    #5
    AFAIK you need the ambience light sensor and other hard/softwares to get the backlit keyboard to work properly. Hack that too? lol

    I will say it's too much timed and effort wasted.
     
  6. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #6
    Evil, man. Just evil

    Ha!
     
  7. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #7
    The way that the unibody designs work, you would have to take everything else out of the case from the bottom. The batteries, speakers, logic board, fan, etc. would all have to come out probably to even be able to see the keyboard.
     
  8. TheAllStar thread starter macrumors member

    TheAllStar

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    #8
    Sledgehammer idea doesn't sound so bad anymore...
     
  9. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    I doubt this will work. Assuming you don't need the light sensor and can rely on the keyboard controlling the brightness you would still need to power the keyboard. Unlike the earlier 13" unibodies where the board is the same between the one that did and did not have the backlit keyboard, AFAIK there isn't anywhere to plug the keyboard in without soldering.
     
  10. TheAllStar thread starter macrumors member

    TheAllStar

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    #10
    Apple refurb section has the older ones... biggest caveat for my needs is the mono speaker, the new one probably has way better sound with the stereo speakers, how big do you think the difference will be? Never heard the speakers on a MBA...
     
  11. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #11
    I doubt its anything to write home about. Honestly, on an ultra portable, I would rather take a good mono speaker than two mediocre stereo speakers. Your best bet on either is to pick up a good travel speaker.
     
  12. epictempo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #12
    How about lighter keys?

    When I had the white macbook, seeing the keys wasn't a big problem. Then I switched to the unibody MB (w/o backlit black keys) and couldn't see squat. Now the air will have the same problem.

    I'm looking for ways to make the keys silver (like the old pros).
     
  13. TheAllStar thread starter macrumors member

    TheAllStar

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    #13
    I miss the silver, I miss the backlighting, I miss the concave, gapless keys. Sigh.
     
  14. alexalas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #14
    For me, backlit is a dealbreaker. :mad:
    I'll wait for the next revision :(
     
  15. M87 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 18, 2009
  16. Steven in VA macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    #16
    Are the posts in related threads true, that even a Rev D revision can't bring back the backlit keyboard, that the new profile won't accommodate it? Man, I am so disappointed. Why would they take such a big step backwards?
     
  17. Madgenius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    #17
    Don't try it. The MBA keyboard is not really meant to be tampered with. There are very (I stress very) small screws and parts sealed with glue. You will never get it back on right. When the MBA has any keyboard issues apple replaces the entire top case. Even they know not to mess with it.
     
  18. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #18
    It isn't going to work, so don't waste your time. There are LEDs that connect to power through the logic board, and the new one isn't going to have the connections... UNLESS, perhaps Apple built it in to take advantage of us "fans" who will buy again when they make an incremental update and just bump the case with some feature like that.

    It definitely seems just like the marketing tactics used with the FW removal from MBs. Apple got a lot of people to update there just for a FW port. Same thing with anti-glare displays. The list goes on and on.

    I suspect we get the LED-backlit keyboard with the next update, and even though I am incredibly happy with the current MBA I will upgrade because I have more Apple love than brains.
     
  19. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #19
    So do I. So do I. *reminisces*
     
  20. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #20
    Don't forget the power button is ON the keyboard now, it's not on the older ones.
     
  21. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #21
    It's not the keyboard itself that needs switched. If I remember correctly, don't the lights sit under the keyboard and aren't even attached?

    This is really too bad, as it's such a simple deal that Apple shorted us... wasn't nice or polite, but they are in business to make money. The best way to make Mac users upgrade is to give them a feature they want, as otherwise their Macs would work for way too long and they wouldn't upgrade.
     

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