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Backlit vs non backlit keyboard, is there a tactile difference?

W530/W540/W550 series specific matters only
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marlinspike
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Backlit vs non backlit keyboard, is there a tactile difference?

#1 Post by marlinspike » Fri May 25, 2018 7:23 pm

I see conflicting posts. Once and for all, is there a difference in the feel of the keys on the backlit and non backlit keyboards on the W530?
T60 2007-7JU (15" Flexview, has a T60p mobo for the v5200, 4gb ram, changed HDD w/7200rpm 100gb, T7400 2.16ghz Core 2 Duo)
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Re: Backlit vs non backlit keyboard, is there a tactile difference?

#2 Post by Cigarguy » Fri May 25, 2018 7:29 pm

To me "no" while I'm sure others will say "yes". You are asking how something "feel". Impossible for me to say how something feels for you.

It really is hard to provide an answer as it is subjective. Similar to whisky, cigars, ice, and a billion+ other thing it's personal preference. Only way to know YOUR personal preference is to use/do it for a while and find out what works for you. If it works for you it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

With subject such as this one there will NEVER be a definitive once and for all.

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Re: Backlit vs non backlit keyboard, is there a tactile difference?

#3 Post by marlinspike » Fri May 25, 2018 7:31 pm

Well, the question I'm asking is not that subjective. I don't mean the feel in pressing the keys. I mean the feel of the keys themselves. Is one textured like the old keyboards and the other not, or are they the same in that regard?
T60 2007-7JU (15" Flexview, has a T60p mobo for the v5200, 4gb ram, changed HDD w/7200rpm 100gb, T7400 2.16ghz Core 2 Duo)
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Re: Backlit vs non backlit keyboard, is there a tactile difference?

#4 Post by Cigarguy » Fri May 25, 2018 7:36 pm

Try it and find out. As I said to me, it "feels" no different.

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Re: Backlit vs non backlit keyboard, is there a tactile difference?

#5 Post by ThinkTwinki » Fri May 25, 2018 10:39 pm

There's a noticeable difference (although there's more than just "backlit vs non backlit," since there's different manufacturers).

I really like the non-backlit keyboard. It feels like a step up from the classic "clown keys" keyboard.

The classic keyboard is a joy to type on. There's virtually no travel and I can keep my wrists on the palm-rest, while maintaining a high WPM count and comfort. But they're clown keys. They jiggle and wiggle and I feel like one of them's gonna spring out of it's socket and launch into my face, like a clown with a spring-loaded pie.

Wait that's an aside.

If you've ever tried a "modern" laptop with chiclet keys, the backlit board is closer to that, while the non-backlit board is closer to the classic keyboard.

The backlit keys feel cheap. I find myself accidentally key-pressing upon travel, because of the too soft mechanism.

And I just noticed you were talking about the more modern keyboards, not the W530. Darn sleep deprivation.

Anyway, yeah the backlit keys usually aren't too great. Their keycaps and mechanisms are thinner and more fragile than their non-backlit counterparts.

Edit: Dang again. You were asking about the keycaps themselves. Yes, they're made from a different polymer so light can pass through.

marlinspike
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Re: Backlit vs non backlit keyboard, is there a tactile difference?

#6 Post by marlinspike » Fri May 25, 2018 10:50 pm

ThinkTwinki wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 10:39 pm
There's a noticeable difference (although there's more than just "backlit vs non backlit," since there's different manufacturers).

I really like the non-backlit keyboard. It feels like a step up from the classic "clown keys" keyboard.

The classic keyboard is a joy to type on. There's virtually no travel and I can keep my wrists on the palm-rest, while maintaining a high WPM count and comfort. But they're clown keys. They jiggle and wiggle and I feel like one of them's gonna spring out of it's socket and launch into my face, like a clown with a spring-loaded pie.

Wait that's an aside.

If you've ever tried a "modern" laptop with chiclet keys, the backlit board is closer to that, while the non-backlit board is closer to the classic keyboard.

The backlit keys feel cheap. I find myself accidentally key-pressing upon travel, because of the too soft mechanism.

And I just noticed you were talking about the more modern keyboards, not the W530. [censored] sleep deprivation.

Anyway, yeah the backlit keys usually aren't too great. Their keycaps and mechanisms are thinner and more fragile than their non-backlit counterparts.

Edit: Dang again. You were asking about the keycaps themselves. Yes, they're made from a different polymer so light can pass through.
You were right about me asking about the W530 though, so very helpful post.
T60 2007-7JU (15" Flexview, has a T60p mobo for the v5200, 4gb ram, changed HDD w/7200rpm 100gb, T7400 2.16ghz Core 2 Duo)
X201

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Re: Backlit vs non backlit keyboard, is there a tactile difference?

#7 Post by ac427 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:21 am

I've just come across this post and never thought there was a difference in feel.

I have a W530 for which i purchased a new backlit keyboard for, i also have an X230 with a non backlit keyboard.

I use both laptops pretty regularly and cannot remember thinking there was any real tactile difference.

I'll have to go and check now.

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