Laptops have evolved rapidly over the course of the past decade, coming a long way from dual-core CPUs to 8thgeneration high-speed processors. However, manufacturers haven’t just mainly focused on updating the CPUs of their laptop models. They also greatly improved design usability, and one such improvement is the integration of a backlit keyboard.
Laptops with lighted keyboards (i.e. backlit keyboards) continue to be very popular, and 2018 has seen various laptop models with such a feature. The reasons why a laptop with a backlit keyboard has rapidly gained popularity among users around the world are as follows:
- Works Well in Dark Environments: Imagine sitting in the dark playing your favorite video game on your laptop. You can’t see the keys very well, which ruins your game. Lighted keyboard laptops can help you avoid these problems, and it looks cool to use an ASUS laptop with keyboard light while playing in the dark;
- Accurate Typing: Even if you aren’t in the dark, but instead working in a well-lit environment, the laptop keyboard light feature can still improve typing accuracy. Different colors are integrated under various sets of keys, making it easier for users to identify the right ones. It also lets you customize the colors according to the sets of keys you use;
- Aesthetically Pleasing: This is the single biggest reason laptops with backlit keyboards are quite popular, both for young and older users alike. LED keyboard laptops are pleasant to look at, especially if their backlight colors match their case. Many gaming laptops come in red and black colors, and so its keys are also black with red light underneath the keyboard, which enriches the visual appeal of the laptop.
Now that you know the main reasons behind the popularity of laptops with lighted keyboard, let us look at some of the popular laptops with keyboard light. In conclusion, the best laptop with a backlit keyboard on this list is the ASUS VivoBook. Read on to learn why.
Laptops with Backlit Keyboards Reviewed
#1: Apple MacBook Pro MNQG2LL/A
- 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
- Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
- Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
- Intel Iris Graphics 550
- Mac OS Sierra; 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory
MacBook units continue to be very popular, most likely due to its newest models with sleek designs and ultra-fast processors. Recently, Apple has launched its Apple MacBook Pro MNQG2LL/A, which comes with a backlit keyboard.
With a unique design and a backlit keyboard coupled with high specifications, this laptop costs more than others with similar designs and backlit keyboard, but this continues to be a popular choice among many users this 2018.
The 2018 model is suited for professionals and casual users alike because of its high resolution (2500 by 1600 HD display), which makes this unit highly recommended for watching movies and songs.
Moreover, it is integrated with a bright LED keyboard laptop whose white-colored keyboard LEDs blend well with silver and space gray designs launched in 2018.
What I Like
Its backlight keyboard is no doubt among the top reasons to choose this laptop. However, this isn’t the only factor that makes this laptop a good choice for users.
The fast processor built into this model also makes this unit a favorite choice among students and professionals alike. It has an Intel Core i5 processor, which is available in both 7thand 8thgeneration releases.
Moreover, the HD display of this laptop is supplemented by its Intel Iris Graphics 550 which provides an optimum user experience for watching HD movies in the dark. To ensure this, 8GB RAM is bundled with this model, which is normally more than enough to play high-quality videos and run popular games.
What I Don’t Like
No doubt the backlit keyboard of this laptop is an enticing feature. However, a few other things integrated into this laptop are not quite at par with other latest models.
For example, it’s Intel CPU is a Core i5 7thgeneration model, which might soon become outdated because of the rising popularity of 8thgeneration releases for laptops, as well as the growing rumors about 9thgeneration units. The 8thgeneration version of this laptop is quite expensive for many users and doesn’t come with a keyboard backlight.
An Intel Iris Graphics 500 is this unit’s integrated video card, which isn’t as good as having dedicated GPUs for retail users from NVIDIA and AMD. And, many latest laptops are bundled with 16GB RAM, and some even come with 32GB RAM.
Pitted against those models, MacBook Pro falls short, in terms of overall performance, making this laptop unsuitable for compute-heavy tasks and extensive 3D graphics rendering capabilities.
#2: ASUS ZenBook
- 13.3 inch anti-glare FHD 1920 x 1080 Display, wide view 170 degrees with Windows 10 Pre-installed. Display: IPS technology
- Latest 8th Gen Intel i5-8250U 1.6 GHz Processor (6M Cache, Turbo up to 3.4GHz), Fast storage and memory featuring 256GB SATA 3 M.2 SSD with 8GB LPDDR3 RAM
- Extensive connectivity with Micro HDMI
- Sleek and light weight 2.6 pounds aluminum body for comfortable portability. Battery Up to 12 hours web browsing
- Built-in fingerprint reader with one-touch login via Windows Hello feature
The ASUS ZenBook is among the smartest models released by this leading manufacturer. This laptop has a remarkable backlit keyboard, which is equipped with technology that can automatically sense whether its LED lights should be activated or disabled, depending on ambient lighting.
Moreover, the brightness and colors of its LED lights can also be altered, but the white light nicely complements the silver body of this laptop.
ASUS ZenBook comes with a lot of features, which aren’t usually present in one laptop. Underneath its good looking backlit keyboard churns a fast processor that’s supported by integrated HD display graphics technology, making this unit suitable for watching movies and playing popular games in any sort of environment. The 2018 model comes bundled with Windows 10 and has additional features like a fingerprint reader.
What I Like
ASUS laptop keyboard light is clearly superior to the MacBook Pro’s backlit keyboard. This unit from ASUS has brighter LEDs, which can be adjusted according to the needs of the user.
Moreover, it comes with sensing technology, which automatically enables the keyboard backlight whenever it detects certain levels of darkness.
Moreover, this laptop’s CPU is an Intel Core i5-8250U, the latest processor of this generation. It has turbo technology, which can boost the speed of the processor up to 3.4 GHz.
This unit weighs 2.6 lbs. due to its lightweight design and comes with Intel HD graphics, supplemented by a 1920 x 1080 anti-glare HD display. All of these are available for a reasonable price, relative to the prices of the other models in this list.
What I Don’t Like
The auto-sensor technology of its keyboard backlight, which got a lot of hype from ASUS during their campaign for the ASUS ZenBook, turned out to be nothing more than just a normal feature, many users claim.
They also said there were many instances without the need for the sensor to decide when to activate or disable the backlight. In fact, many users kept the backlight open even in well-lit conditions.
Moreover, the biggest let-down of this laptop is its integrated graphics. This is an Intel HD graphics card, which is suitable for light to moderate purposes, such as watching videos and playing popular games.
However, the full potential of its 8thgeneration Core i5 CPU can’t be realized unless used for compute-heavy and 3D graphics rendering tasks, which an Intel HD graphics card won’t be able to do.
Also, its processor is integrated with turbo technology, which can boost it up to 3.4GHz. However, its basic speed is just 1.6GHz. Coupled with this is the 8GB RAM, which is low by today’s standards when it comes to the latest laptop models in the market.
#3: ASUS VivoBook
- Latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8GHz (Turbo up to 4.0GHz) Processor
- 17.3" Full HD Wide View display with 72% NTSC color gamut and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB discrete graphics for flawless visuals
- Slim 16.2" wide, 0.8" thin and portable footprint.Maximum RAM Supported: 32.00 GB; Battery: 42 Whrs 3 Cells Battery
- 16GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD storage combo; Ergonomic backlit keyboard with number pad
- Comprehensive connections with USB-C (Gen1), USB 3.0 Type-A, USB 2.0, HDMI, & headphone/mic ports for every device
Alongside its ZenBook, ASUS launched its VivoBook. This has far more advanced features than the ZenBook. VivoBook has remarkable features suitable for compute-heavy tasks and 3D gaming. An LED keyboard laptop, many users claim this model is among this year’s most advanced laptops.
Along with a backlit keyboard, ASUS VivoBook comes with the latest generation (8thgeneration) Core i7 CPU, making this model one of the fastest units in the market today and definitely a contender for the best-backlit keyboard laptop in this list.
Moreover, unlike other laptops mentioned before, this laptop has advanced dedicated graphics, which complements its HD screen. These features make it a popular choice for laptop buyers of 2018.
What I Like
ASUS VivoBook has a Core i7-8550U CPU, an 8thgeneration processor with automatic boost technology that can speed up to 4.0GHz when required. This makes it the fastest laptop on this list.
Moreover, it has 16GB RAM, which can be upgraded to 32GB later on. This is the maximum limit of the latest laptops this year. These RAM resources, combined with an ultra-fast processor, make this laptop fit for buyers who want an optimal user experience without lag.
Moreover, this laptop comes with a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050 video card, easily placing this unit at the top of this list. GTX series graphics cards are super-fast.
So, ASUS VivoBook’s processor, graphics card, and RAM are suitable for users who regularly play 3D video games on an HD screen, which this laptop also provides.
Apart from its built-in features, this laptop has a high-quality ASUS laptop keyboard light. This has steadily gained popularity among a lot of users because its design seamlessly blends with the body of the laptop.
There are several steps of brightness for this laptop’s keyboard light, and its integrated colors can best suit the Star Gray color of this ASUS 2018 laptop model. Also, this unit is lightweight and has a sleek design, making the laptop suitable for people looking for some oomph in terms of overall look and feel.
What I Don’t Like
An issue for some users with this laptop is its more expensive price, compared to others on this list. This model is almost twice the price of the ASUS ZenBook.
Moreover, it weighs twice as much as this other model from ASUS (almost 5.1 lbs.). This is a nuisance for users who need to regularly carry their laptops around, which can also increase the likelihood of accidental falls and the like.
This laptop also comes with just 256GB disk storage space, which can be very limiting as opposed to the data storage space available with the other units in this list.
- It is on the expensive side
- It is also heavy so carrying it isn’t all that easy
- Storage is slight lesser so you will need to backup data often
#4: Acer Aspire E15
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1GHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display
- 8GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory, 128GB SSD & 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi |Backlit Keyboard | USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port | Fingerprint Reader
The Acer Aspire E15 has been a trending laptop model because of its flexibility to provide quality output in various environments. An earlier model from the same manufacturer, the Core i3 model, has been the top trending laptop on Amazon, and this latest model has raised the bar even higher when it comes to performance.
This laptop works well for business use, as well as for gaming and running other demanding software. The overall look and feel of this unit are effectively enhanced by its backlit keyboard.
Acer Aspire E 15 comes with a Full HD display, powered by a dedicated MX 150 Graphics card. It has an 8thgeneration “U”-category processor, among the fastest laptop CPUs in the market today. This 2018 model has a shiny black color with a lighted keyboard, along with a pre-installed Windows 10 OS. All these things for a reasonable price, making this unit one unique and affordable laptop with a backlit keyboard.
What I Like
This unit comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, which is usually found in the most advanced laptops in the market this year. This CPU has a base speed of 2.5GHz which can go all the way up to 4.1GHz through its turbo boost technology. This is generally more powerful than any of the other laptops with backlit keyboard models on this list.
Supplementing this CPU is 8GB DDR4 RAM resources, upgradeable to 32GB and 4GB DDR5 VRAM tops. Similar combinations of these RAM resources and the latest generation of Intel processors are rarely found in laptops at around the same reasonable price points.
Moreover, the dedicated video card that’s equipped with this laptop is an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti. This is an advanced and faster version of the GTX 1050. Many users claim that the performance of this graphics card is similar to the NVIDIA GTX 1060.
Such a graphics card can run 3D video games or compute-heavy applications on moderate to high-quality settings. To enhance the user’s experience, this graphics card is complemented by the 15.6-inch Full HD IPS Display, making this laptop suitable for gaming as well as business purposes.
What I Don’t Like
The issue for many users, especially gaming fans, is its graphics card. Even if the NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti, just like the GTX 1050, is a state-of-the-art graphics card, it probably won’t take too long before this video card becomes outdated, especially with new releases hinted at by both NVIDIA and AMD mid next year.
Keep in mind that laptop GPUs are constantly updated by the top manufacturers in the industry. This means the GTX 1050Ti might be unsuitable for users who plan to use it for 3D gaming and compute-heavy purposes for the next 3 to 5 years or so.
Although the overall appearance of this laptop with keyboard light can compete with many of the latest models out there today, some users claim that it can’t compare to Apple’s MacBook Air, which they claim is on a different level when it comes to visual design.
The Acer Aspire E15 2018 has a matte black color. Also, this unit isn’t as slim as the others in this list, and weighs around 5.3 lbs, making this model unsuitable for those who like to carry their laptops around.
Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Best Laptop with Backlit Keyboard
Buying the best laptop with a backlit keyboard is a slightly challenging task. This is because you need to consider several things in a laptop and not just its backlit keyboard before you can find the right one for your specific purposes. Found below are some of the most important things that you need to consider.
One of the toughest choices to make while buying a laptop is to decide on the best processor version, how many cores and threads it has, and it’s model family. However, among all the factors, processor version, generation, and its family matter the most when it comes to buying a good laptop, especially for compute-heavy and resource-extensive tasks.
CPU speed matters a lot as is also among the most important factors to consider when choosing a CPU. A good processor generally has a base speed of at least 3.2 GHz or higher, especially by today’s standards. A speed of around 3.7 GHz is decent enough. If you want to look at these things in closer detail, then go here.
For 3D gaming and compute-heavy tasks, it’s likely to be a drawback if you choose a laptop with integrated graphics. For these specific use cases, you’re recommended to get a unit with a dedicated video card.
Many gamers claim that NVIDIA produces some of the best dedicated video cards for this purpose. Others say AMD also offers high performing dedicated graphics cards for 3D gaming and the like. NVIDIA also manufactures more powerful video cards than its retail models, but these are designed for enterprise and academic use like scientific modeling, which means these can be quite expensive for a retail user.
As for compute-heavy tasks like crypto-mining, AI (artificial intelligence) modeling, and software development or testing, a lot of users also say that NVIDIA produces powerful dedicated video cards for these purposes. However, some users claim that AMD has the most power-efficient dedicated graphics cards for crypto-mining.
In these specific use cases, the VRAM (video RAM) of a dedicated video card is also an important specification to factor into your decision. 3D graphics rendering and compute-extensive processes require faster I/O (input/output) workflows than what you can get if you use an SSD or an HDD for this purpose.
This is why your laptop must have a graphics card with high VRAM if you intend to use it for any heavy tasks. A dedicated video card with 4GB VRAM and above is generally sufficient for light to moderate compute tasks, while one with 8 to 12GB is ideal for heavier tasks. For more in-depth knowledge about the subject matter, you can go here.
RAM stands for random access memory. Now, what’s random here is the fact that the operating system and applications of a laptop, along with its CPU and GPU, uses your RAM resources when required. Because multiple software applications and firmware tools need to use your laptop’s RAM resources depending on what you’re currently doing, this means it’s like those technologies are randomly accessing your machine’s RAM.
And, since they only use your laptop’s RAM resources to temporarily store data that they’re required to have much faster access to from time to time, this data is regularly deleted by the same programs to free up RAM resources. If those technologies use your permanent storage devices like your SSD or HDD for this purpose, then it’ll speed up the wear and tear of those devices.
Generally, 2GB to 4GB is sufficient for light to moderate tasks. However, if you intend to use your laptop for compute-extensive and 3D gaming-related tasks, then you’re recommended to go with a model with 8GB RAM, especially units that can be expanded up to 32GB.
Backlit Keyboard Features
Backlit keyboard features can optimize the way you use your laptop. This can give you a quicker and easier time using your laptop keyboard, especially if you have trouble finding the right keys from time to time due to bad lighting conditions and the like. You’re also advised to look at laptops that have a good backlit keyboard if you have problems with your eyesight. These can help guide you towards the right keys, and can also reduce the strain from your eyes when you try to find these keys in the dark.
Some laptops have extra features for their built-in backlit keyboard. Some are equipped with auto-sensing technology. This is where a sensor detects the current lighting conditions of the environment. Based on its default settings, which you can customize in most laptops, it’ll automatically activate or disable some or all of the LED lights underneath your laptop keyboard.
Laptops with Backlit Keyboards FAQs
Q1: Why does a backlit keyboard have multiple colors?
Multiple colors help most users to quickly and easily distinguish different keys. Plus, it adds to its overall look and feel.
Q2: Can the brightness level of the backlit keyboards be adjusted?
Yes. Most laptops do come with the option to control the brightness of the keyboard backlight. Some models with backlit keyboards allow users to deactivate all or some LED lights. You can also choose to have it activated during the entire time that you’re using your laptop.
Q3: Do backlit keyboards significantly affect the overall look and feel of new laptop models?
Yes and no. There are laptops with backlit keyboard models that are seamlessly packaged as a beautiful portable device, keyboard LED light color and all. Some units don’t considerably affect the overall appearance of the laptop even if some of its backlit lights don’t match the colors of its case and other components. However, there are of course instances where mismatched colors and designs can be an eyesore.
Q4: Do laptops with lit keyboards cost more?
Yes. A laptop without a backlight keyboard is generally cheaper. That’s because the manufacturer needed to put in ore components like LED lights for their models with backlit keyboards.
Q5: My laptop is changing colors and they are odd. What do I do?
The laptop’s control panel has the option to adjust the colors of the keyboard, which you can use to solve this problem.
ASUS VivoBook beats all other laptop keyboard backlit models in this list because of its superior built-in features and flexibility. If you prefer the overall look and feel more than hardware performance and speed, then Apple’s MacBook Air might be the ideal laptop with a backlit keyboard for you.
Remember, this list consists of backlit keyboard laptops that were released this year. Even though these aren’t all the laptops with backlit keyboards available this 2018, especially considering that most laptops today have backlit keyboards, these have been hand-picked as among the best this year.