Backlit Keyboard Coming Back to the MacBook Air [Rumor]

Backlit Keyboard Coming Back to the MacBook Air [Rumor]

Image courtesy of zanoii on Flickr

Apple’s next-generation of MacBook Airs are expected to launch alongside OS X Lion as early as this week, and in addition to the latest Sandy Bridge processors and Intel’s high-speed Thunderbolt technology, the new models could boast a backlit keyboard.

Of course, the first three iterations of the MacBook Air already packed a backlit keyboard, a feature present in Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup, but it was stripped away with the release of the current generation in October of last year. According to an AppleInsider report, however, backlit keyboards are coming back:

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 omission of a backlit keyboard from the current MacBook Air line was a bemusement to many when the notebook was first announced. One industry watcher even suggested it was “planned obsolescence” on Apple’s part, according to AppleInsider — purposely saved for the next-generation.

  • chromey

    Dare to dream. If they have the backlit kb I’ll be picking up an 11.6 the second they go on sale.

  • lwdesign1

    I’m thinking the removal of the backlighting on the keyboard in the previous MBAir was simply an effort to reduce the power-consumption for maximum battery life. The new Sandy Bridge processors are even more efficient, allowing Apple to add the backlighting back in while still keeping battery life high. I have a 2010 17″ MacBook Pro but I love the lightness and instant-on of the Air, so I may get one of the 13″ models for light use when the MBPro would be unnecessary.

  • poppa1138

    love the backlit keyboard on my Macbook..

  • Jordan Clay

    The backlit keyboard, IMO, just adds a higher quality feel.  If you are going to be dropping that much on an 11″ netbook, it needs a backlit keyboard.

  • ElVox

    “higher quality feel”? Uhm…that one I need explained. I mean…I understand wanting a backlit kboard if you don’t know how to type and have to try to do it in the dark and need to see the keys…but…higher quality feel? that one I don’t get.

  • VasquezCP1

    Really? You don’t understand that backlit keyboards are a higher end feature on most computers? And that any laptop costing over a thousand dollars should probably have one? What exactly does he need to explain?

  • Zoe_RILLA

    keep dreaming…it won’t have it

  • Iphoneication

    I’m hoping that there is a backlit keyboard, I’ve been holding on to my late 2009 macbook air for j use this reason. well that and it has 120 gig hard drive,, I’m hoping the 128 gig solid state drive model goes down in price,, thats my hope,, 

  • dagamer34

    It’s so tempting. I already have a 2011 15″ MacBook Pro and an iPad 2, but there’s something about that 11″ Air that so inviting for it’s use (and it’s the cheapest Mac laptop there is).

    Again, tempting.

  • appledrunk

    I enjoy the feature on my early 2008 MacBook Pro and and hope Apple does bring it back to the Air.

    http://appledrunk.com/new-macb

  • Iphoneication

    if the new macbook air has backlit keys, i better get on selling my 2009 mb air lol,,, 

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  • chromey

    you were saying…

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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