Backlit Keyboard to Return in New MacBook Air?

Photo of original MacBook Air by kimb0lene

The backlit keyboard will reportedly be making a return to the MacBook Air with the new 2011 models that are quickly approaching release. The seemingly minor feature omission for the 2010 MacBook Air has generated a good bit of backlash on Apple's own support forums.

AppleInsider claims that the imminent MacBook Air refresh will bring back this popular feature:
According to people familiar with the matter, backlit keyboards will join the string of hardware enhancements planned for the new 11.6- and 13.3-inch notebooks, which are also expected to adopt high-speed Thunderbolt ports, an upgrade to Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture, and possibly high-speed 400MBps flash memory.
The backlight provides illumination to the keyboard in the dark (as pictured above). The feature is also present in all of Apple's current MacBook Pro notebooks.

The MacBook Air is expected to be released soon with part numbers already leaked on Monday. Apple is rumored to have delayed the MacBook Air release until OS X Lion was ready and shipping.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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111 months ago

Waste of battery life to me.

You can turn it off if you don't want to use it.
Rating: 42 Votes
111 months ago
It's the little things that count :D
Rating: 29 Votes
111 months ago

That circuitry still adds to inefficiency.

I'm surprised you are not also arguing about the extra weight.

The "inefficiency" will be negligible.
Rating: 24 Votes
111 months ago

I'm surprised you are not also arguing about the extra weight.

The "inefficiency" will be negligible.

The .1% it could've added to battery life and performance would've have made his day! How could you be so insensitive?!
Rating: 21 Votes
111 months ago
Wow! These newest Airs are going to sell like hot cakes!

Not that I have ever bought a hot cake, nor do I really know what a hot cake is? fact most of my favourite cakes are cold ones.
Rating: 15 Votes
111 months ago
Queue the 'I-don't-need-it-because-I-can-type-in-the-dark-so-no-one-else-should-either' know-it-all in 3... 2... 1...
Rating: 12 Votes
111 months ago
Yes! That'll make these things sell like hot cakes even more!
Rating: 12 Votes
111 months ago

hmm .. many people crazy about this backlit keyboard. Said that it would be useful on dark room although they can get the light from display itself.

That's not even close to getting the same result.
Rating: 9 Votes
111 months ago

And you know this how?

First, you don't even know for sure that the feature will be available (rumor).
Second, now you're stating how it will work. :rolleyes:

Um, because all previous backlit keyboards on MacBooks has had the option to disable the backlight?
Rating: 8 Votes
111 months ago

Typical Apple. Remove a feature only to bring it back in future updates touting a major selling feature. This trick is getting old.

It was stupid of Apple to omit it in the first place.

As has been stated before: 1) offer feature X. 2) omit feature X in next release. 3) re-introduce feature X and tout it as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

So they could sell more rev E MBAs and persuade those with Rev D MBAs to buy yet another MBA. This is normal Apple strategy.

This conspiracy theory is getting pretty ridiculous. Wasn't the revision where they dropped the BLK the same revision where they also brought the price of entry down to $999? When you're working with margins that thin then I'd imagine the odd luxury has to go. Now that they've established production of the new form factor and have probably recouped enough of the initial development cost, they can now probably afford to re-introduce the BLK whilst keeping the price point the same.
Rating: 7 Votes

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