Why no backlit keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jw3571, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. jw3571 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    I really wish the Air hada backlit keyboard as i really think those are cool. Why don't they have one?
  2. MacBook08, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2010
  3. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    Apples greed grows stronger by the day. A backlit keyboard would have been appreciated by many, but reduced Apples profit.

    Result? No contest. Apple prevails. Always.

    The Apple supporters will even advocate for Apple over themselves. So cult like, it's disturbing.
  4. teski macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    To me it is just a coolness factor as you say. I can type without looking at the keyboard so the backlit keyboard did very little for me and I haven't missed it one bit. The only place I find it remotely useful is with the function keys, but it's not like I use them that often. The only laptop I ever had backlit keys was on my MBP and I've managed to work on laptops for 11+ years.
  5. Mabyboi macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I love my backlit keyboard(MBP)... i dont know what i would do without it...
  6. teski macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    Learn how to type? ;)
  7. MacBook08 macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    San Jose, California
    I agree. The backlit keyboard is certainly not a must-have feature.
  8. MasterTick macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2009
    it isn't a must have feature but there isn't a good reason why it shouldn't be included.
  9. theDUB macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2008
    SLT, CA
    I agree with the reduced profits theory. But, I also think the MBA is supposed to be a super minimalist notebook; lightweight & small as possible. Adding extra stuff, like a backlit keyboard, works against that goal.
  10. molala macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (iPhone; Opera Mini/5.0.019802/22.387; U; en) Presto/2.5.25 Version/10.54)

    I can touchtype and never had a backlit keyboard. Still, I hate it when Apple downgrades a product by removing a feature from the next revision, and one which many rely on. It happened with the MacBooks when the unibody MBPs were introduced. But since the 13" MBP is cheaper, not sure what Apple gains by forcing MBA users to consider the MBP instead.
  11. Kornelis macrumors member


    Dec 4, 2010
    Amsterdam, NL
    Yes, I guess they wanted to keep the 11' under 1000 $/€ and also having no backlit keyboard saves the battery.
  12. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2008
    I wonder if it was a tradeoff feature. Did the choice of the new speaker system get in the way of backlit keyboards? Perhaps. While the new speakers do sound pretty awesome, I think for the precise purpose of the Air, the backlit keyboard would probably be the better choice. People don't normally buy an ultra-portable for the sound coming from the speakers. In fact, they usually expect less than stellar sound so that good sound needs to come from the headphone jack as they'll more likely use these things in places where you keep your sound to yourself.
  13. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    Steve knows the only reason you bought a MBA is that you wanted to watch porn, and so the keyboard was of no concern. If you want to do real work, like checking your facebook and then telling your bff "OH MY GOD! LOOK AT THIS!" you can do that on your iPhone.

    -Sent from my massive Sony laptop that has a backlit keyboard.
  14. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2008
    Probably not. Backlights on the Apple products are using LEDs. They consume very low power to operate and also constantly run cool, always. I have enough of those installed around my house to know how they always remain cool to the touch, even while lighting a room.
  15. miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    SSDs are not cheap. Stevie boy wanted to make the Airs really slim and trim and cool -- and cheap. Some things had to go. It is not just just the backlit keyboard, but other little things like sleep indicator LED, battery indicator LED, iSight camera, Firewire, SD slot on 11", iSight camera had to go.

    Nothing comes for free:rolleyes:
  16. foiden, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    foiden macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2008
    iSight camera? But they do have a camera on them. Firewire was never on the Macbook Air. The only thing previously on the Airs that isn't anymore is the Backlit keyboard and perhaps the battery indicator. The new ones added a 2nd USB port, and the 13" adds the new SDcard slot, for the first time on an Air.

    However, the new Airs offer a new more robust stereo sound system built underneath the keyboard. Which offers built-in spacial stereo sound. A vast improvement over all of last year's unibody models that were smaller than the 15" MBP.

    The loss of the sleep light may have been a space decision, as well as a necessity decision. There's no purpose to have a sleep indicator when the machine has no moving parts. The real purpose people used the sleep indicator was to tell when it was safe to pick up and freely move the laptop. Only then were you sure that the internal drives were shut down. Now, you can pick up the unit anytime you want and hold it at any angle without wait, sleep, or shut down.

    Though I think if the decision was between better sound and backlit keyboard, I think they probably should've went with the keyboard. I think that's more important to the traveller. However, if they are seeing this as something to eventually replace the regular Macbook line, maybe I can see the reasoning. I think it's too early for that. This is still the *traveller's* machine. While a lack of backlit keyboard is doable, it is a nice convenience for dark airplane rides. Rides where you definitely don't share what you're listening to via loud speakers.
  17. miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    The new camera is called the "FaceTime" camera and is lower resolution and image quality. I'm not much comparing the new Airs to the old Airs as to the MBPs which are generally move expensive. Although the MBP 13" refurbs are cheaper than the MBA 13" even with aftermarket RAM and SSD upgrades.
  18. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2008
    Well, of course. But the point of the topic really was to compare the new airs to the old airs. The old Airs had backlit keyboards. The differences are obvious when you compare the Air to the Macbook Pro line. Nobody will argue that, nor is it a surprise. I just have my doubts that backlight had anything to do with cost. I also figured, if they could put in those great speakers behind the keyboard, they could also have put the backlighting there.
  19. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Exactly. Just learn to type. I haven't looked at my keyboard while typing since 1992.
  20. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    This is the 99th thread on Apple's elimination of the backlit keyboard feature from the new MBAs. Well, it feels like the 99th. Those of you who had grown to depend on the backlit keyboards on your old MBAs and MBPs justifiably felt betrayed when Apple didn't include it in the new generation of MBAs. On the other hand, those of us who didn't use the backlit keyboard feature simply didn't care. Neither position is right or wrong so what else is there to say?
  21. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Says the guy with a 2010 15" MBP, 27" Apple Cinema Display and an iPhone 4. Oh the irony in your post and your forum name. :rolleyes:
  22. chillywilly macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2005
    Salt Lake City
    While I've been spoiled by my last two backlit keyboard on my MacBook Pros (2.0 Ghz model and unibody 2.66Ghz), I think the minimalist idea of the MacBook Air - especially the 11" model - was to create something slim, light and decent battery life.

    Not that I would mind it on there someday. ;)
  23. bobobenobi macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2010
    So the heat sinks on LED light bulbs are purely decorative? :rolleyes:
  24. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Its scary how the MacBook Pros are the only Apple computers with backlit keyboards anymore... They'd better not get rid of them :mad:

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