Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > illuminated keyboard

illuminated keyboard
Thread Tools
Pierre B.
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Feb 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 09:40 AM
 
Several owners of the new aluminium powerbooks (mostly the 15") report that the F-key row is not illuminated like the rest of the keyboard. So, I would invite all powerbook owners (15" and 17") to post here their experience with the illuminated keyboard and/or to take some pictures of the keyboard when possible.
     
iDaver
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 09:47 AM
 
I'm relatively unimpressed by the whole thing. I'll let you know during the next blackout. That's probably the only time I'll ever use it. Even then, it'll be unnecessary. Since the keys are light in color, with dark letters, they're much easier to see in the dark, illuminated by the display, than the keys on the TiBook. Nice gimmick though.
     
CrackedButter
Forum Regular
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: 51st State of America
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 10:05 AM
 
Its a pity you cannot remove it from the PB while ordering it, instead you would have to go with the 15" with a 1Ghz processor...sucks sometimes because i would like the 1.25 WITHOUT the keyboard...saving me more money.
"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not and add what is uniquely your own." - Bruce Lee
     
iDaver
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 10:21 AM
 
Originally posted by Pierre B.:
Several owners of the new aluminium powerbooks (mostly the 15") report that the F-key row is not illuminated like the rest of the keyboard.
Every letter, number or symbol on every key is illuminated, including the F-keys.
     
brainchild2b
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Basement
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 10:53 AM
 
Wait if I order the 1 ghz model 15' AI I won't have an illuminated keyboard?
     
docholiday
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 10:57 AM
 
Originally posted by iDaver:
Every letter, number or symbol on every key is illuminated, including the F-keys.
Same here. I use the feature in the classes with the lights often out/dimmed b/c of the prjectors.
     
Crusoe
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Globetrotting
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 11:00 AM
 
Originally posted by brainchild2b:
Wait if I order the 1 ghz model 15' AI I won't have an illuminated keyboard?
You can opt for it from the Apple Store for circa $68 more but it's not standard.
If a group of mimes are miming a forest and one falls down, does he make a sound?
     
Daniel Bayer
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Here
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 11:01 AM
 
My new 17 is pretty well evenly lit, the F row is the darkest of the lot.

I think the illuminated keyboard is for low light, not average.

I would not be using it much outside of flights, but I remember how badly I wanted one on my 400-ti when on a flight from L.A. to New Zealand, they just kill the lights and expect everyone to go beddy-bye...bullshite!
"I'll take a extra layer of ram on that
gigaflop sandwich mister"
     
SEkker
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 11:36 AM
 
The keys are REALLY hard to see on my PB17. I turned all the room lights off and even let my eyes adjust, screen brightness to minimum, and the glare from the screen made visualizing the keys difficult.

Seems like a gimmick to me.
     
scott brown
Forum Regular
Join Date: Feb 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 11:59 AM
 
they look great to me...
12in PB 867/640/60/SD/AE
17in PB 1.33/1GB/80(5400rpm)
     
brainchild2b
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Basement
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 01:29 PM
 
So for $68 I can get the lighted keyboard on my 1ghz book. I'm assuming this is BTO and I wouldn't be able to walk into the apple store and get this option? I'd really like to get my powerbook this saturday, so I was going to buy it at the Apple retail store. I assume for the lighted keyboard I'll need to order it special through the website?

Since it's only $68 i'm guessing they all have the feature it's just the difference in the actual keyboard. So in theory later on I should be able to replace my standard unlite keyboard with a $68 lite one?
     
brainchild2b
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Basement
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 01:32 PM
 
one other thing, does anyone know where apple put the video of the lite up keyboard? Or does anyone have some pictures they took of the new silver keyboards lite up? I'd love to see some shots in the dark.
     
BrunoBruin
Mac Elite
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Northampton, MA USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 01:35 PM
 
Originally posted by brainchild2b:
Since it's only $68 i'm guessing they all have the feature it's just the difference in the actual keyboard. So in theory later on I should be able to replace my standard unlite keyboard with a $68 lite one?
I wouldn't bet on that. The keyboard requires ambient light sensors as well, and nobody has yet determined if those are built in to all the 15s.
     
brainchild2b
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Basement
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 02:00 PM
 
Anyone work with or know somebody who has the 1ghz version without light and someone who has the lite up one? You guys should try to swap keyboards and see if it works out of the box.

Gotcha, we'll I'd love to find out. I'm guessing they are simply because it's way cheepier to design the units with all the parts. And I'm guessing they wouldn't offer it built to order if the mother board changed up for the different processors. This is what also leads me to believe the 1ghz cpus can be overclocked some if not to the full 1.25ghz
     
iDaver
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 02:12 PM
 
Originally posted by brainchild2b:
Anyone work with or know somebody who has the 1ghz version without light and someone who has the lite up one? You guys should try to swap keyboards and see if it works out of the box.
I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. IMHO, the light up keyboard is just not worth it. It's a cool feature to try once, but I doubt I'll ever use it again unless showing off. It might add to the resale value, but not much. If I get time, I'll take a photo and post it later. One bad thing about the illumination is that if your room light is subdued, not dark, then lighting the keyboard actually makes it harder to see the letters on the keys because the lighted letters look the same color as the keys.
     
machem
Forum Regular
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Great Central Valley
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 02:23 PM
 
Originally posted by iDaver:
I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. IMHO, the light up keyboard is just not worth it. It's a cool feature to try once, but I doubt I'll ever use it again unless showing off. It might add to the resale value, but not much. If I get time, I'll take a photo and post it later. One bad thing about the illumination is that if your room light is subdued, not dark, then lighting the keyboard actually makes it harder to see the letters on the keys because the lighted letters look the same color as the keys.
The keyboard lighting is something I would have paid $70 extra for if none of the 15 inchers came standard with it. It is about 75% "gee-whiz" to me, though once in a while, when the lights are out, my wife is sleeping, etc, it is worth it to have it. I'm not above admitting to wanting or enjoying some keyboard porn.

Mine is perfect, BTW, all keys, including the F row are evenly lit, and very bright. Jeez, I even have to turn down the LCD backlight in a bright room. I'm afraid that airplanes are going to land on me when I use it in a dark room by a window.
     
Toutgood
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: La Capitale
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 02:30 PM
 
By the way, guys, the light from the screen on my Tibook lights up my keyboard just fine in the darkness, thanks to the nice contrast on of the white letters on the dark keys. That said I never really use it in the dark....
     
ae86_16v
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Oakland, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 02:37 PM
 
Agreed, I noticed that when I had my 17", it was awesome for the first two days, after that I have never used it again.

About the F-Key row not being lit up, it could be very simply that the light from the screen out shines those keys. From a typing position, they are a bit dim, but if you look directly on top, they are lighted just as much.

That's another reason why I never use it, since the light from the screen effectively lights up the keyboard as well.
     
brainchild2b
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Basement
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 04:37 PM
 
I work in a blue light network operations enviroment. The backlite keys is one of those little features that you just have to have. It's prefect. While the screen does cast light it's not the same and much quicker when putting your hands back on the keyboard. It's one of those little features that go unused, but when you do use it you USE it :-)
     
xylon
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 05:08 PM
 
Yeah, my keyboard isn't as bright as I'd like it to be. The worst of all are the Function Keys, which are basically not lit. That fact combined with the glare of the screen (the function keys seem to have the most glare) makes it nearly impossible to see the function keys. The rest of the keyboard though works pretty well. When I do take it to class, it's perfect actually, except for the function keys.

^Thanks to sealobo
Viva le ScrollWheel!
     
MacsGalor
Senior User
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Colorado Springs
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 05:17 PM
 
Originally posted by SEkker:
The keys are REALLY hard to see on my PB17. I turned all the room lights off and even let my eyes adjust, screen brightness to minimum, and the glare from the screen made visualizing the keys difficult.

Seems like a gimmick to me.
Did you turn up the illlumination all the way? You may just have it turned down. press the F10 key and make sure it's turned all the way up
     
clf8
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 05:31 PM
 
Originally posted by MacsGalor:
Did you turn up the illlumination all the way? You may just have it turned down. press the F10 key and make sure it's turned all the way up
Yeah, this is definitely something to check. The Fkeys are pretty dim unless you jack up the keyboard brightness. The auto feature still works, it just changes the top end of the range.

I thought it was relatively cheesy when released, but since I've used it there have definitely been times it was appreciated.
-Flowers...
     
mdewberry
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 05:46 PM
 
Hi all,

I own the 15" 1.25GHz ALbook. I have noticed that the back lighting behind the keyboard does a great job of lighting up the four main rows of letters/numbers, however the “outer” rows (function keys, space bar row) are marginally lit at best. The Page Up/Down and Home/End keys are not backlit at all. I have tried adjusting the lighting keys to the maximum setting, but this does not help.

I took it into the Apple store on Sunday, as I am also having an issue with a section of the keyboard being mushy (other keys move when I press a key - there is some play in the keyboard), and they are not sure how it should look. They sent it in to AppleCare to fix the keyboard, so maybe the new one will have an even brightness (it was mentioned on the issue description).

I just cannot understand why Apple would design cool functionality like a backlit keyboard, and then do a subpar job by only having the lighting under the main section of the keyboard - neglecting the outer keys.

I will let you all know when it comes back if it is better evenly lit.

Thanks,
Mike
     
nagromme
Senior User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 05:50 PM
 
Realize that the keys aren;'t meant to light up just to look "neat" when there's sufficient light (from the room, from the screen) anyway.

Like a car's lighted speedometer, it's for total darkness--and in the case I'm sure it looks pretty bright. I say that because I could see the effect a little even in a well-lit store, when I shadowed the keys with my hand and blocked the sensors.

I'd pay extra for this if I got the 1 GHz 15". I'm often working in the dark--while others watch a movie, say--and have trouble seeing my old non-lit keys.

There's a hack to make the keys instantly come on to full brightness when the sensors trigger--which is what they SHOULD do anyway, I think. Like the screen itself, having less than full brightness is OK in total darkness, but in DIM conditions, you need full brightness to make the illumination stand out. It's nice that you can change the key brightness yourself, though.
nagromme
     
pknoll
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 06:40 PM
 
I got the backlit KB option on the 1GHz 15" as an extravagance, but having messed with it over the weekend, I'm glad I did.

The ~ $65 isn't too much for a neat feature that further distances the PowerBook from other, lesser laptops (hehe), and I've found it useful, too.

I'm very pleased that there are keyboard controls for backlight brightness; and in certain lighting conditions it's best for me just to turn it off; the dark letters on light keys is sometimes preferable.

Like a lot of things, though, I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
PowerMac G5 Dual 2.7GHz / 2GB / X800XT
PowerMac G3 400MHz / 896MB
PowerBook G4 1GHz / 1GB
iBook SE G3 466MHz / 576MB
     
iDaver
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 09:59 PM
 
If you read my previous posts above, you know that I'm not a big fan of the illumination feature of the new PowerBook keyboards. It's not very bright and I maintain that since the PowerBook keys are aluminum colored and they reflect light quite nicely, it's as easy to see them under the light of the display as it is with the illumination of the key characters themselves.

Keep in mind the photos below are not scientific and the human eye can generally see much better than a camera, but judge for yourself. The top two photos were taken with keyboard illumination turned on its brightest. The first is with the display at its darkest and the second is with the display at the halfway brightness level. The third photo was taken with the keyboard illumination turned off and the display at halfway level. I attempted to place the camera at the approximate position of your eyes when using the computer.

All this being said, the coolness factor of the illuminated keyboard is high and it would probably add to the resale value of a PowerBook but I don't believe it's a very useful feature. Feel free to disagree.



     
iDaver
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2003, 10:03 PM
 
Looking at my post and photos above, I can see I didn't demonstrate my point very well since you can hardly see the characters on the keys in the bottom photo. Oh well, trust me, you can.
     
cSurfr
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2002
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2003, 08:37 AM
 
Damn you all with your backlit keyboards! I will kill everyone in the world! [/eddie izzard]
I'm so jealous of the pictures above, as I wish my new 12 had that feature. I don't know if I consider it a "pro" featuere or not, but I do wonder why apple didn't make it an option on the new 12's

cs
-How pumped would you be driving home from work, knowing someplace in your house there's a monkey you're gonna battle?
     
nagromme
Senior User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2003, 11:52 AM
 
I think Apple should put that feature in Al-look desktop keyboards that match the G5 towers. Towers don't travel much, but they are used in darkened studios and dark rooms in homes.
nagromme
     
LfGrdMike
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Rochester NY
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2003, 12:25 PM
 
LOL and before everyone was screaming for this feature on the new 15. People were mad taht the 12 didnt have it. Now no one wants it. I have seen it in store, and was impressed. Usefullness well i imagine it is givent apple made it.
MacBook Pro 15" Rev B | 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo | 2GB Mem | 160GB HD | Display 15 Glossy Widescreen Display
iPod Mini Green | 35 gigs of music :-)
HP DV1040us Laptop | 1.6 Pentium M | 1GB RAM | Centrino
     
pknoll
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2003, 02:15 PM
 
Originally posted by cSurfr:
I do wonder why apple didn't make it an option on the new 12's
The ambient light sensors in the 15" and 17" are under the speaker grilles to each side of the keyboard. Since the 12" lacks these, perhaps Apple just hasn't found an elegant/effective place to put them yet?
PowerMac G5 Dual 2.7GHz / 2GB / X800XT
PowerMac G3 400MHz / 896MB
PowerBook G4 1GHz / 1GB
iBook SE G3 466MHz / 576MB
     
CrackedButter
Forum Regular
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: 51st State of America
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2003, 03:43 PM
 
It would seem better considering its smaller screen.
"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not and add what is uniquely your own." - Bruce Lee
     
brainchild2b
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Basement
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2003, 07:55 PM
 
I'm curious if they are there on all 15' new powerbooks now, including the ones who didn't get the lighted keyboard. Can anyone verify if they are under the speaker grill? Pictures anyone?

Originally posted by pknoll:
The ambient light sensors in the 15" and 17" are under the speaker grilles to each side of the keyboard. Since the 12" lacks these, perhaps Apple just hasn't found an elegant/effective place to put them yet?
     
MilkmanDan
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: My Powerbook, in Japan!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2003, 10:16 PM
 
If you're unsatisfied with your new 15in powerbooks, you could always give them to me. The issues with the keyboard don't bother me none at all. None at all!

All those interested in donating a powerbook, please contact me during normal business hours.
     
nagromme
Senior User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2003, 11:14 PM
 
All PowerBooks have transparent keys if you shine alight for them. But I doubt the non-lit ones have the fiber optic strips, the lamps, OR the sensors.
nagromme
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:24 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,