So, do you use the keyboard backlight?

Do you use the keyboard backlight?

  • Yes, all the time

    Votes: 59 46.8%
  • Yes, sometimes

    Votes: 52 41.3%
  • No, never

    Votes: 15 11.9%

  • Total voters
    126

-Ryan-

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
1,579
109
Just wondering whether or not people actually use the backlit keyboard? I've had several Macs with backlit keyboards and I've never felt the need to use it because I never find myself looking at the keyboard. Seems like a waste of battery to me unless you can't touch type.. Plus, it's not very good for the eyes to be using a computer in the dark anyway. :confused:

Other views?
 

Disc Golfer

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2009
582
0
The backlit keyboard is very annoying if you're trying to use your computer in the dark (the using-computer-in-dark-bad-for-you issue aside, gmafb) because with the glossy screen you can see the lit up keyboard reflected on the bottom few inches of the screen, obscuring what you're trying to look at. You'd think most people would be beyond hunt-and-peck typing these days anyway what now that everyone Needs A Computer for some reason. Hell I had a required typing class back in school, and it was on typewriters, so I know most other people took a typing class as well. I also don't like how the backlight lights up the areas between the keys more than the little letter it's trying to light up. It's better than the backlight on the powerbook though, which exists but actually makes the keys harder to see than if you were just squinting through the dark at unlit keys.
 

WHM

macrumors regular
Feb 5, 2008
190
1
South
Just wondering whether or not people actually use the backlit keyboard? I've had several Macs with backlit keyboards and I've never felt the need to use it because I never find myself looking at the keyboard. Seems like a waste of battery to me unless you can't touch type.. Plus, it's not very good for the eyes to be using a computer in the dark anyway. :confused:

Other views?
When I am sitting in my cosy chair watching TV with the lights on dim...it comes in handy to me....
 

dan5.5

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2008
296
2
i use it all the time when its dark, just at the first or second level. Just enough to see the keys.
 

iPhysicist

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2009
1,313
918
Dresden
The backlit keyboard is very annoying if you're trying to use your computer in the dark... [zipp]
You can turn it off all time - even in the dark. I do so when watching movie on it. BUT back to the reflection thing; How is the angle of your screen because if I use my MBP in the dark I usually position the screen in an angle where nothing is reflecting.

Rwgards :)
 

iHateMacs

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2008
651
22
Coventry, UK
It's just there for when it's needed. You are not forced to have it on. Steve Job's doesn't come round and hand deliver a writ if you don't have it on.

It can be useful. I have a silver keyboard and at certain levels the back light can make the keyboard harder (sometimes impossible) to see than normal.

Like any tool, use it when it's required.
 

tkboss88

macrumors member
Dec 23, 2009
51
0
i love the backlit keyboard. i can type without looking at my screen but i still use the computer all the time when i'm in the dark. you could turn off the backlighting if it annoys you that much or you could turn it up just one click so it doesn't reflect on the screen. it's just nice to be able to look at the keyboard in the dark. also it looks pretty cool =D
 

vant

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2009
1,231
1
It's there if you need it. You can shut it off with ease if you don't.
 

kalibar

macrumors newbie
Jan 2, 2010
9
0
It's absurdly useful; people who are confused about its utility "because they can touch type" drive me nuts. Nobody uses the backlit keyboard for looking at the alphabet letters when composing text, but it's absurdly handy for making sure you're hitting Command+Q/Command+W/Command+F or whatever other keyboard shortcut you're trying to do. I don't know about you guys, but my muscle memory for hitting a key when I'm holding a modifier down is pretty weak compared to my touch-typing muscle memory.

And the volume, brightness, and Exposé keys? Forget about hitting those with perfect accuracy in the dark, unless you're just really in tune with your laptop's key locations.

How many cellphones are out there without backlit keys? (Excluding touchscreen-only phones obviously, since they're always illuminated). Truly mobile technology should always light up the inputs in low-light conditions.
 

DJ90

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2010
64
0
once i get the updated MBP's imma use by it showing it off to my friends:cool: heh heh
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,831
30,346
Boston
If I'm using the MBP in my living room, then yes, I make sure the keyboard backlight is enabled, otherwise I leave it off. With black keys, it quickly becomes difficult to use the keyboard w/o the backlight in some low light situations.
 

OutSpoken

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2009
883
91
UK
Yes, I use it all the time...well I actually have it set to auto light sensor, so comes on when needed.

I find it extremely useful since I don't touch type, and the times when Ive used my laptop at night with the lights off...I'm reminded why I didnt go with the older unibody Macbook without backlit keys.
 

GekkePrutser

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2005
941
206
Barcelona, Spain
I use it a lot when watching tv series in bed. I can touch-type, but usually all I want to do is just hit a key to turn the volume up/down, skip back 10s, stuff like that. It's very hard to just hit a single key in the dark. When you're in a proper touch-typing position it's easy but I'm not going to sit up to press one key.

I used to use my netbook for this, and I was always squinting at the keyboard. The MBP's keyboard light is SO much better.

I also have it on during the day sometimes. Not necessary per se but it looks cool :)
 

Alvi

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2008
1,202
307
Mars
It's very useful in the dark, you could basically use the screen glow to illuminate the keys but this is much better visibility
 

silverite

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2010
14
0
Yes! it is a really handy feature!

When I am streaming a tv show/movie on my laptop at night. I keep the backlight up by one or two notches. Just at a minimum. Ive never noticed a reflection - but it could be due to how I have the screen tilted. It is pretty useful - so I can find the buttons a lot easier. And browse the web easier at night - especially if I make a spelling/typing mistake when typing - at least its easier to go back and actually see the proper buttons when needed - though I usually do all right without looking at the keypad a lot of the times as well :)
 

mjwman

macrumors newbie
Feb 5, 2010
12
0
ooh

I did not know I had illumination and I have had it 3 years!
I have just joined this forum and learned something already!

I set it to come on but it hasn't yet. Maybe I need to restart>
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,140
13,983
I did not know I had illumination and I have had it 3 years!
I have just joined this forum and learned something already!

I set it to come on but it hasn't yet. Maybe I need to restart>
It only turns on if the ambient light sensor says its dark enough to need it.
 

M-5

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2008
1,088
87
I can touch-type as well, but I always have the lights on, because I don't know all the numbers/symbols/function keys reflexively. I don't use them very often, but why not just have the light on? It looks nice, and how much battery can it really waste? I bet it's negligible.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,140
13,983
I can touch-type as well, but I always have the lights on, because I don't know all the numbers/symbols/function keys reflexively. I don't use them very often, but why not just have the light on? It looks nice, and how much battery can it really waste? I bet it's negligible.
When on full blast, which is really far too bright anyway, it seems to cut the battery estimate down by 20 minutes. On 1-4 bars, it has no effect, right where I keep it.:)