The backlit keyboard is one of those nifty features that seems obvious in hindsight – which is why Apple curiously chose to release the 2010 MacBook Air without one. The masses have apparently voiced displeasure with Apple’s decision and users can expect the company to implement a backlit keyboard in the 2011 MacBook Air models according to a recent report from AppleInsider.
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.
New MacBook Air models, complete with Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt support, are expected to be released within the next two weeks. Interestingly, it wasn’t that long ago that rumors of a black MacBook Air model began making the rounds on the blogosphere. This mythical black MacBook Air model was supposedly going to be a high-end version of the Air draped in black anodized aluminum. Subsequent reports, however, relayed that the coating process resulted in aesthetic issues (too much oil absorption) that didn’t meet the high standards of Steve Jobs who decided to abandon the idea – at least for now.