Can you add backlit keyboard later?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Specifically to the 15" 1ghz Powerbook model?



I would normally have included it, but it's not a BTO option in the Special Deals section.

Do I just pop into an Apple dealer or store to get it swapped? Is this a big procedure?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Nope, you can't, and yep, I bet it is. Lots of fiber optics under there.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Nope, you can't, and yep, I bet it is. Lots of fiber optics under there.



    Damn! I guess that brings me to the question of whether a $369 savings is worth not having a brand new vs. refurb. and no backlit keyboard.

    Decisions, decision!
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Am kinda hijacking a thread here, sorry, but I'm just wondering - is it possible to swap the keys around on the backlit keyboards? I use Dvorak, so would want to rearrange the Qwerty keyboard to that if I got one... (Am planning on buying either 12" or 15" in Jan)



    Don't some of the refurbs have backlit keyboards on...? Or are all of the refurbs just standard configs, and you're looking at the non-SD one?
  • Reply 4 of 18
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    On the topic of adding the backlighted keyboard later: Don't forget that along with the backlight coming on, the light sensor relays information to dim the screen in lower light. Because that's the case, it seems that there's a lot more to the fiber optics and light sensor than just a swappable keyboard.



    I don't know how the keys are attached on a backlighted keyboard, so I have no idea if you could switch them around.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    when i got my ilite they offered an insert for lighting keyboards do a google search for ilite and see it
  • Reply 6 of 18
    the backlit keyboard (English and Western Spanish versions) is a $69 add-on to the base Al15"



    $69.



    I've seen one removed, and the whole unit appears sealed on the underside,

    but IIRC, the ambient sensors and lighting are all internal to the keyboard,

    so in fact it _should_ be possible to upgrade it later.



    You cannot add it to earlier models (ie: Tibook), or to the 12 (yet, mebbe by next rev)



    I'll confirm with an authorized tech on Friday, if you can wait that long.

    Will also ask about keypull/swap.



    EDIT: NOT Possible
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mike Peel

    Am kinda hijacking a thread here, sorry, but I'm just wondering - is it possible to swap the keys around on the backlit keyboards? I use Dvorak, so would want to rearrange the Qwerty keyboard to that if I got one... (Am planning on buying either 12" or 15" in Jan)



    Don't some of the refurbs have backlit keyboards on...? Or are all of the refurbs just standard configs, and you're looking at the non-SD one?






    It's not likely, but maybe, one of the big differences with the alubook and the Tibook is that the keyboard on the AI is VERY solid, and it isn't really designed to be removed.



    whereas, the TIbook keyboard could fairly easily be removed, because I think you had to remove it to upgrade RAM or whatever.



    at anyrate, it would be a much greater task to rearrange the keys, and even then, I wasn't aware that you could change Key mapping in OS X to accommodate a totally different system, how do you do it? 3rd party software?
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wrong Robot

    It's not likely, but maybe, one of the big differences with the alubook and the Tibook is that the keyboard on the AI is VERY solid, and it isn't really designed to be removed.



    whereas, the TIbook keyboard could fairly easily be removed, because I think you had to remove it to upgrade RAM or whatever.



    at anyrate, it would be a much greater task to rearrange the keys, and even then, I wasn't aware that you could change Key mapping in OS X to accommodate a totally different system, how do you do it? 3rd party software?




    '



    Get with the program. . . Apple has built in Dvorak support through the International Preference Pane, though it's not at the driver level so some apps get quirky.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    oh, cool I didn't know that.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    The iLite looks like an LED that gets plugged in through USB... Not quite as elegant as a backlit keyboard, is it?



    Dvorak; a Mac friend of mine was the one who got me to switch to Dvorak, so you can definately have it on a mac... Although I'd expect that OSX does the same as Windows in some places with it - some parts of the system don't support it. Most notably the logon screen in Windows...
  • Reply 11 of 18
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    the company that makes ilite also makes a light to be added to your keyboard, if i find the link i'll include it



    found it but i think its for the ti book

    http://mikegyver.com/page3.html
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Apple suggests psuedo-confirmed, sort of



    EDIT: incorrect conclusion. new info says NOT possible... see later post.



    bold emphasis by me



    Quote:

    Two light sensors located under the speaker grills measure the amount of ambient light in your environment. Based on these measurements, the PowerBook G4 (17-inch) or PowerBook G4 (15-inch FW 800) computer can adjust the display's brightness and turn on the keyboard's illumination.



    Therefore... the PowerBook has the Ambient Light Sensors built in to the main unit.

    Fiber backlit keyboard optional, and therefore upgradeable after the fact.



    I'll still confirm Friday, but it looks like no refit is required other than the new kb.



    EDIT: updated answer is NO upgrade after the fact.



    [Note: there are some people reporting issues with the backlit kb.]
  • Reply 13 of 18
    I would avoid trying to do this by yourself and just pay a little extra for a new one. Seems like too big of a hassle to me.



    OT:

    I think the backlit keyboard is cool and all...but why? Do ya'll look at the keys when you type? That's what the two raised dots on the keyboard are for, landmarks so you don't need to see the keys. I don't quite get it, but I would get the backlit keyboard if I ever got a PB, it's just too cool to go without.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    The 12" with BLUE lit keys would look sweetass mcsweet.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Quote:

    Note: Not all PowerBook G4 (15-inch FW 800) models include the backlit keyboard and ambient light sensor. To determine if your model includes these features see if the F8, F9, and F10 keys have the ambient light sensor icons printed on them.



    So I'm guessing they only put the sensors in when you order the keyboard with it. Which makes sense really - why bother putting sensors in each and every one? It's unnecessary mass in the laptop, and unnecessary costs to Apple.. That was from the same page as in curiousuburb's post, BTW.



    Issues with the backlit keyboard? What sort of issues?



    I agree, Aquatic - I want the 12" to have the backlit keys too...
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mike Peel

    So I'm guessing they only put the sensors in when you order the keyboard with it. Which makes sense really - why bother putting sensors in each and every one? It's unnecessary mass in the laptop, and unnecessary costs to Apple.. That was from the same page as in curiousuburb's post, BTW.



    I'm not saying that you're wrong, but remember that the sensors are also used to adjust monitor brightness. Has anyone checked whether the screen on non-illuminated keyboard models still gets brighter/darker according to ambience?
  • Reply 17 of 18
    So the tech corrected me.



    Officially NOT POSSIBLE to add backlit keyboard to a model that didn't originally support it.

    Fiber attach points and ALS Sensors need Mobo connectors.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    arent the sensors in the speakers?
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