Illuminated Keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jns2001, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. jns2001 macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2009
    I have a 13" 4GB, 256 GB SSD, rev. D MBA, with a less than 6 months purchased ACD 27", all that I want from this new version is the illuminated keyboard, do you guys think that it will be a way to retrofit it. That would be just awesome.

  2. jns2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2009
    Would you care to elaborate on your answer?
  3. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    What he said + the keyboard is slightly different.

    //If you have a lot of late night "sessions" - you could always get a USB light ;)
  4. jns2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2009
    My late night sessions are on the plane, in and out overseas. The USB light is an option, but it is one more thing that I need to carry.
  5. Resist macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    The best solution would be to sell your Air and get the new version. There is no way make happen what you want, other than buying a new Air.

    I have been holding off a purchase of the Air in hopes Apple would backlight the keyboard, so I am very pleased.
  6. JLatte macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2005
    San Diego
    You can still probably resell it for a good price. If the illuminated keyboard is really important to you, that's about your best option.
  7. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    What didn't you understand about no? You can't retrofit.
  8. jns2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2009
    I wanted to know what were the roadblocks for the retrofit not to work.
  9. PaulWog, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2011

    PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011

    How about you take your Macbook Air into the Apple store and have an Apple Genius tell you why.
  10. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    That's a perfectly reasonable question to ask. As you probably know, tower computers (Mac Pro, the classic PC desktop etc) are easy to mod, but laptops are harder.

    It's still possible to mod laptops, and with mac laptops, people have installed different coloured glowing logos, swapped the optical drive for a second HDD or SSD, retrofitted fingerprint scanners or different wifi cards (that was a while ago) etc.

    Retrofitting a lighted keyboard into a MBA is a lot harder. The MBA is insanely small, almost everything in it is custom designed and made, and very tightly fitted together.

    It's possible that the illuminated keyboard is slightly thicker, or a different shape, so the other components have been shuffled about to make room for it. Also it requires a special power connector, which your MBA is not likely to have.

    Don't let me put you off though. If you have electronics skills, there's nothing to stop you purchasing an illuminated keyboard as a spare part, and disassembling your MBA to try to install it. The iFixit guides are a good help.

    Another option is to wait for someone else on the internet to do it, and post a guide to how to do it. Given the level of interest in the MBA, if it's possible, no matter how crazy, someone will do it.
  11. ravic macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    If you are crazy modding types with ridiculous soldering skills then you might be able to.

    Keyboard and touchpad are integrated into palmrest on macbook airs

    Here is a sample

    We do not know yet how apple changed the design. So the new palmrest/keyboard might not even physically fit (most likely this will be the case).

    So you might have un-glue/rip the keyboard out of the new palmrest, retrofit to the other palm rest and split the connector cable and find some 3.3v and GND lines on the motherboard and solder the backlit cables there. Forget the brighness control.

    I am sure someone on the internet will try this. Or may be we will have a better idea when ifixit rips it apart. Are you still interested?

    I actually have soldered stuff onto the motherboard before on other computers. But i have chosen sell my current Air and buy the new one. :)
  12. KillerTree macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2008

    There sure are a lot of asshats on the MacRumors forums.
  13. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2005
    on the other hand, dark plane rides sure are an opportunity learn typing without looking at the keyboard.
  14. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    Also most planes have a light above the seats, you could use that, bright enough for most situations
  15. MayaTlab macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Tring to upgrade your older MBA is likely to cost more than the difference made by selling your current one and buying the new one.

    One of the reasons for that is that MacBooks are built upside down. All the components are fixed to the upper chassis (where the keyboard is). If you mac was built like IBM's Thinkpads it would have been in theory less expensive.
  16. Mobius 1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2011
  17. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    I'm not sure, let me check the Apple web site.

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