Backlit keyboard transplant?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by justaregularjoe, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. justaregularjoe macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2008
    I've heard many people trying to decide between the Alu Macbook models, and heard "...$400 for .4 GHz, 90 GB disk space, and 2 backlights for a keyboard...". I have already decided on the 2.0 model and intend to buy it before Christmas, but bells went off in my head when I saw ..." 2 backlights for keyboard..."

    Then I thought "OH Snap!! Can I just pick up the parts from and carefully put them in?"

    Anyone have any ideas?

    I realize it may be a while before anyone is too keen on doing this
  2. hmai18 macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2008
    Is it really worth the hassle to void your warranty?

    Do you really need the backlight? If you can touch type, what's the point? The screen throws down enough illumination to see your keyboard in dim situations anyway.

    When they released the MB with the backlit keyboard, I considered getting it for about five seconds, but then realized that in the three years I owned my iBook, I never once found that I wanted backlit keys.
  3. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Why do you want it. I've had a computer with a backlit keyboard for almost three years and I have only used it once just to try it out. It doesn't really help with typing unless you hunt and peck, in which case you'd still get enough light from the screen to see what you're doing. After you end up paying for the parts and losing your warranty, you may as well just have spent the extra $300 and got the faster computer with the backlit keyboard and larger drive.
  4. justaregularjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2008
    Good points. I also realized that it would just hurt battery life. I was just thinking about getting used to the new Keyboard
  5. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    I can't touch type, at least not in the traditional way. I have to look down once every few words, and my fingers aren't in the "correct" places.

    I had a powerbook g4 without a backlit keyboard, then a macbook pro with one. I absolutely love the backlit keyboard. My living room is fairly dim (low, warm lighting), my classrooms are dim (they use projectors), and I use my mac in bed sometimes (working late with a gorgeous woman sleeping beside me, so no lights on), and I fly pretty often (family everywhere in the world). All these times, I used to tip the powerbook screen down breifly in order to see the keys, then back up. The macbook pro's backlit keyboard was a huge upgrade for me. If it were possible to add keyboard backlighting to my powerbook, I would have done it myself.

    It's not though. The ambient light sensors are on the logic board under the speaker grills (at least they are on my MBP), so unless you want to micro-solder, or replace the entire logic board, it's a no-go.
  6. Harmless Abuse macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2008
    You can always try using a USB light. They're about $5 and would illuminate your keyboard in low-light situations if you really need it.

    I'm all for modding, but a backlit keyboard seems gimmicky in order to lure people into the higher-end model of the MacBook, or get them to just jump up to the MBP. There's no justifiable reason to charge $400 more for a few minuscule upgrades you could do on your own for about $75 minus the slight CPU increase.
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Well they did move the light sensors to the side of the webcam. Also they use the ambient light sensors for the screen brightness anyways.

    But you still can't just replace things; even if you did, you'd have to buy the whole top case, which is more than $400.
  8. Battlefield Fan macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

    Mar 9, 2008
    you do realize that it would only shorten the battery by like <5 mins every time
  9. PeterQC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2008
    The ambient light sensors is on the screen, on the side of the iSight on the new Macbook. The 2.0GHz as it, too. It would be an hard upgrade, but I'm sure is can happen, since the leds are part of the keyboard itself. You will need a new 2.4GHz upper case (without the logic board diskdrive, etc.) which is around 65$ at an Apple Store shop. You can try, you can't do any harm if you are careful anyway. And by the way, the keyboard can be turned off if it's unused but It can't under windows.
  10. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Well first off the keyboard barely eats battery life as it's a fiber optic backlit keyboard. I'm not sure what you meant by "2" backlights. You can't just install a backlight since it's done by fiber optics.
    I also disagree with some of the posters that say that the screen will provide light, that's BS. You literally have to tilt the screen 3/4 to the keyboard to provide enough light. It throws the light horizontally, not vertically so it can't provide any light to the keyboard without tilting it very low.
    Also the keys with special symbols, punctuations and the keys that for volume, brightness, expose and the keys for iTunes/Quicktime playback are not something the most astute typist can memorize.
    Do yourself the favor and just get the top Macbook with the backlit keyboard, it's only $300 extra.

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