In this in-depth review, we analyze the 10 best backlit keyboard laptops 2021 to help you arrive at the perfect choice to suit your lifestyle.
Does your laptop have a backlit keyboard? About a decade or so ago, only high-end, premium laptops offered keyboards with autonomous lighting, and not many audiences sought this feature when they went shopping.
But as of 2021, laptops with backlit keyboards have occupied a prominent spot in the marketplace, winning people over with the sheer convenience of operation that they offer.
No longer do you need to depend on ambient lighting—natural or artificial—to get the task at hand done; you can type away to glory even in pitch darkness.
The present laptop market offers a sizeable selection of computers with light-up keyboards.
Many of them come with additional features such as ergonomic keyboard design, adjustable controls, and innovatively constructed keys to boost typing comfort.
- More than Just a Fancy Feature: Why You Need a Backlit Keyboard Laptop
- Our Picks: 10 Best Backlit Keyboard Laptop 2021
- 1. Acer Swift 3 (Recommended)
- 2. HP Pavilion x360 14 (Best Convertible)
- 3. Dell XPS 13 9310 (Premium)
- 4. Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Chip (Most Powerful)
- 5. Acer Aspire 5 (Best cheap)
- 6. HP Envy 17 (Backlit Keyboard with Numeric Keypad)
- 7. Acer Swift 5 (Best Lightweight)
- 8. ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA (Best Trackpad)
- 9. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Best Gaming)
- 10. Lenovo Flex 5 (Best 2-in-1)
- What You Must Look for in Laptops with Backlit Keyboards
- Time to Loosen those Purse Strings
More than Just a Fancy Feature: Why You Need a Backlit Keyboard Laptop
When laptops with backlit keyboards were initially launched in the marketplace, they were viewed as glamorous and attractive but, well, rather unnecessary.
Who needed all that fancy lighting on a keyboard when you could simply turn on all the lights in the office? But times have now changed, and computers with backlit keyboards are less an accessory, more a necessity.
Workplaces have shifted from stationary desks to people operating out of homes, public transport, and tents pitched up in the wilderness.
Owning a computer with a keyboard that lets you clearly see all the keys even in dim natural light can be the difference between being a go-getter and someone who can function only by day.
Many backlit keyboards now offer the options of adjusting the brightness and choosing your color scheme—a handy provision to add a dash of customization to your machine.
While such laptops have rapidly become a welcome choice for most audiences, you should certainly consider getting one if:
- You are a gamer: Gaming enthusiasts CANNOT do without a backlit keyboard, preferably with RGB lighting. Not only does it add razzmatazz to the proceedings but it is also a must-have for competitive gaming sessions where seeing your controls can mean all the difference between triumph and loss.
- You are a coder: Computer geeks tend to work at all times of the day and night, particularly if their job demands complicated nuggets of code within atrocious deadlines. Hitting the right key matters tremendously and can protect you from pesky software bugs.
- You are a creative professional: We are talking about writers, artists, architects, designers, and anyone who loves to create. A backlit keyboard is important to let you work uninhibited when creativity strikes, never mind the ambient lighting or lack thereof.
Our Picks: 10 Best Backlit Keyboard Laptop 2021
If you have been on the lookout for the best backlit keyboard laptops to buy in 2021, this is the list of the top available options.
1. Acer Swift 3 (Recommended)
Acer is known for their ultra-thin and lightweight devices and the Swift 3 is one of them.
Not only do you get a sleek device with a magnesium and aluminum chassis, it also features a high screen to body ratio with the latest processors for smoother performance. This ultra-portable device is 2.6lbs in weight and 0.63” in thickness.
Like any other Acer device, even this one features a 14” FHD display with narrow bezels with 82.73% screen to body ratio for sleek visuals without any hindrance. It also comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio for clear visuals.
The Swift 3 also features the AMD Ryzen 4000 Series processors providing with accelerating performance unlike anything else around. But, that is not where it stops, the device also features up to 11.5 hours of battery life for easier work even when you are on the go.
The embedded fingerprint reader in the device allows secure log-ins without any further hassle. As for storage, it features 512GB SSD for storage along with 8GB RAM for memory and high-end performance. The LED-backlit keyboard is another stunning feature of the device that contributes to seamless productivity throughout the day.
2. HP Pavilion x360 14 (Best Convertible)
HP is known for their business laptops and the sleek and premium design.
The HP Pavilion x360 14 is not just an exception with the convertible design but it also features a stunning backlit keyboard that streamlines your performance and productivity even during the night time.
The convertible laptop allows you to work in four different modes for easier work experience without any issues. The 14-inch diagonal FHD IPS display allows the users to have a seamless work experience with crisp and unmatched visuals. It also features 1080p screen resolution with 80% screen to body ratio.
The device is powered by the 10th Gen. Intel Core i5 processor for smoother user experience. It also features the faster bootup with 512GB SSD for storage along with 8GB RAM for smoother memory options.
More than the BIOS recovery, the device also features up to 9 hours of battery life with smoother performance even when you are on the go and don’t have resources to charge your device. It also features the wide vision HD webcam with dual array microphone for staying connected.
3. Dell XPS 13 9310 (Premium)
When you are looking for the best backlit keyboard laptop from Dell, it goes without saying that the Dell XPS 13 9310 is the best available options, hands down.
This 13” device has been designed and manufactured to provide you with an eased experience with precision engineering details unlike anything else.
The combination of the sturdy and stunning materials used in this along with all the minimal footprint is what makes this device a worthy purchase.
It comes in four variants and is powered by up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor and is programmed with up to 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD along with up to 32GB DDR4 RAM when it comes to storage and memory options simultaneously.
4. Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Chip (Most Powerful)
Integrated with the Apple M1 chip, Touch Bar and 20 hours of battery life, the New Apple MacBook Pro is the best when it comes to backlit keyboard laptops from the brand.
The device is equipped with a stunning retina display along with true tone technology that makes your viewing experience nothing you could ever imagine it to be.
The device is powered by the new Apple M1 chip 8-core processors that offer 2.8x more user performance from before.
Pair that with up to 1TB SSD and up to 32GB RAM for even better memory options and you are all set for the tide. The storage options are also configurable up to 2TB or even 4TB SSD, which is pretty amazing.
But, it is the Magic keyboard in this device that stands out amidst the other options. It has a very comfortable typing experience with flair and the optimum security options for a smooth ride.
5. Acer Aspire 5 (Best cheap)
Unlike the other ones, this device is integrated with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor and AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile graphics for an improved user experience beyond comprehension.
The device is also equipped with the standard 15.6” full HD widescreen LED backlit IPS type display for vivid colors and crisp resolution unlike anything else. It also has a screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, which is the standard best option.
When it comes round to the storage and memory options, it is equipped with 128GB SSD along with 4GB DDR4 RAM.
6. HP Envy 17 (Backlit Keyboard with Numeric Keypad)
For the individuals looking for a bigger display with a backlit keyboard, the HP Envy 17-inch FHD is the best pick.
It is powered by the combination of the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor along with Intel Iris Xe GPU for an enhanced user experience beyond words.
As for the display, the device is equipped with the stunning 17.3” FHD IPS-type display with multi-touch enabled edge-to-edge touch screen monitor for quicker and even better performance.
The device also comes integrated with up to 12GB SDRAM for memory options and 128GB SSD that can be configured to 1TB HDD for more storage options without any complaints. The webcam kill switch and integrated fingerprint reader further elevates the overall user experience beyond words.
7. Acer Swift 5 (Best Lightweight)
Much like the Acer Swift 3, the Swift 5 is a good competitor if you don’t want to compromise on quality and performance of the device.
The ultra-thin and all metal design gives the device a girth and durability that you wouldn’t find in the devices in the similar price range. It is also designed with the fully-equipped antimicrobial solutions that further contribute to the computing protection.
Part of the Intel Evo platform, the Swift 5 is powered by the latest 11th Gen. Intel i7 core processors for unmatched and uninterrupted performance.
The device also features a stunning 14-inch FHD widescreen IPS display that allows you to enjoy the best visuals without any kinds of interruptions.
The device also features an LED-backlit keyboard that allows you to work seamlessly at night without any issues. The device also has the Acer Bio fingerprint solution that allows secure login system. It is also integrated with 1TB SSD for storage and 16GB RAM for memory options along with 15 hours of battery life for extended productivity.
8. ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA (Best Trackpad)
Another popular yet compact laptop with a backlit keyboard is the Zenbook 13 from ASUS. Apart from the sleek and thin design, the device also features the NumberPad design on the trackpad which makes it an ideal option for business professionals.
It is equipped with a stunning black interior with a space grey exterior for a stylish and modern look.
The best thing about this device is likely the latest 11th Gen. Intel i7 core processors that provide with unmatched performance and all-day productivity.
The device also features a stunning 13.3” FHD display with 4-way nanoedge display and 1080p screen resolution for crisp visuals without any issues.
It also features faster storage and bootup with the 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD for storage and 16GB RAM for memory options. The device is also equipped with the built-in IR camera that lets you sign into your device using facial recognition for enhanced security.
The device is also designed with the special ErgoLift hinge that supports the lid and allows you to have a stress-free work experience all throughout the day. It is also equipped with all the latest connectivity ports and wireless connectivity options including the Thunderbolt 4.
9. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Best Gaming)
Gaming laptops without a backlit keyboard is a sin. The Predator Helios 300 doesn’t fall in that category and provides the users with a 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard for an exuberant gaming experience without any hindrance.
But, apart from the durable and heavy-duty design, the device is also packed with all the latest features and functions that allows you to have an unmatched gameplay and use it for other tasks that you have at hand.
The device is powered by the 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU that ensures that you never have to compromise on the quality of your gaming experience. The graphics is crisp and vivid with true to life color reproduction.
The Predator Helios 300 is also equipped with a 15.6” FHD display with 1080p screen resolution and 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms overdrive response time for smoother gaming experience without any kind of glitches.
The device also features 512GB SSD for storage along with 16GB RAM for smoother user experience without any hindrance.
The wireless connectivity option with wifi 6 is also faster than the previous generations. The device also has the 4th Gen All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan for better thermal management.
10. Lenovo Flex 5 (Best 2-in-1)
The combination of sleek style, convertible usability and a backlit keyboard sounds too good to be true.
With the Lenovo Flex 5, you get the best of both worlds. Not only does the device feature a sleek and modern design, much like every other Lenovo laptop, the device is also programmed with the latest features and innovations for all-day productivity.
The device features a 10-point 14” FHD IPS touchscreen display with 1080p screen resolution for crisp and clear visuals without any compromise. The 4-side narrow bezels make the visuals appear more vivid than before.
Aside from the 360-degree hinge that allows you to operate the device in multiple modes, it also allows you to work seamlessly at night because of the backlit keyboard.
Furthermore, the combination of the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U mobile processor with the Radeon graphics further improves the overall user experience and the performance of the device unlike anything else in the same budget.
If you are worried about the storage and memory, you don’t have to as the device is equipped with 256GB SSD for storage along with 16GB RAM for seamless productivity throughout the day. It runs on the Windows 10 Home operating system.
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What You Must Look for in Laptops with Backlit Keyboards
So, let’s say you have decided to get a laptop with a backlit keyboard. You will have a budget in mind as well as a processing configuration, display setting, battery backup, and possibly other specific needs tailored to your day. Be that as it may, you must keep an eye out for the following when you get home a laptop with light up keyboard:
- Type of laptop: Even though backlit keyboards have now become common, they are still not found easily in budget laptops. You’re likely to see them in gaming computers, convertibles, and premium machines. Assess your needs carefully and don’t get into a deal that, barring the keyboard, doesn’t fit your requirement/price range. One of the most popular buys at present is a laptop with touch screen and backlit keyboard—a neat, convenient combination that doesn’t cost a bomb.
- Adjustable lighting: A constant backlight that you cannot adjust may suit some but jar others. Consider if you need a laptop that lets you adjust the brightness manually or automatically does it for you based on the ambient light. Of course, some high-end gaming laptops let you completely own the keyboard and control every aspect (color and light per key). But you may not need to splurge on this feature unless you are a gamer.
- Keyboard design: Laptops with backlit keyboards typically commit to ergonomics as well, offering keyboards with a comfortable key travel distance and layout. You can choose between an island-style keyboard (more space around the keys) and a conventional, tightly packed arrangement. Likewise, take time out to consider if you’re more comfortable with a low key-travel distance (1.5 to 2mm) or prefer more vertical distance (as you’ll find in many gaming laptops). Ultimately, this remains a personal preference, but some users find it can impact their typing speeds and overall ease of use.
- Potential backlighting problems: Some laptops suffer from backlight bleeding—a problem that occurs when the keyboard hasn’t been designed properly. You should check to ascertain that the backlight illuminates each key distinctly.
Time to Loosen those Purse Strings
We bet all those backlit keyboards and the fantastic laptops they are housed in fired up your thoughts and imagination. Have you arrived at a decision yet? Backlit keyboards are now available in machines spanning budgets, configurations, and features, so it has become easier to find one that fits you to a T.
If you are counting pennies, consider the cheap but efficient Acer Aspire 5 or the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5. For long, uber-reliable battery life, the Dell XPS 13 and the LG Gram 15 are your best bets. And then again, if you are eager to go all out on a cocktail of style, razzmatazz and performance, check out the latest Apple MacBook Pro, the newest Razer Blade 15 2020 or the Microsoft Surface Book 3.
A laptop with a backlit keyboard can unburden you from the need to hunt for a light source and thereby become your partner for efficient, comfortable work, wherever you go. The market now abounds in choices, so go ahead and take your pick.