The 5 Best Laptops With a Backlit Keyboard (Top 2023 Models)

keyboard keycaps rgb lighting

The 5 Best Laptops With a Backlit Keyboard (Top 2023 Models)

Key Points

  • Our choice for the #1 Best Overall laptop with a backlit keyboard is the MacBook Air M2.
  • A backlit keyboard can be an extremely useful feature, especially in lowlight conditions.
  • If you often work on the go in a lot of different environments, you may want an adjustable backlit keyboard so you can save your battery.
  • While many laptops these days have backlit keyboards, they’re not all created equal.

In our computerized and mobile world, we often move almost as quickly as the development of technology. Whether you’re a digital nomad working from the nearest beach, want to brighten up your gloomy workspace, or simply love a flashy new gadget, buying a laptop with a backlit keyboard can be an easy decision to make. Not so easy, however, is figuring out exactly which model you want to spend your hard-earned cash on. While this nifty feature is fairly commonplace nowadays, these laptops differ greatly in their specifications. In this article, we’re going to reveal our picks for the best laptops with backlit keyboards, helping you to find the one that suits your needs perfectly. Take a look at the top-rated products below:

Best Overall: MacBook Air M2

Best Overall
Apple 2022 MacBook Air M2
  • Powerful M2 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD storage
  • Amazing for content creation, photo and video editing
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight and durable
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12/02/2023 10:20 pm GMT

It may not come as much of a surprise for many of you that a MacBook model would top this list, with the MacBook Air M2 being our selection as the best overall. Although we have a lot of love for Windows PCs, it’s hard to find much fault with the latest MacBook Air. As always, these laptops pack a lot of power into a super thin and feather-light package. But the new-and-improved M2 chip from Apple takes the cake. So much so that the 8GB RAM is performing to the best of its capabilities. The Air is perfect for when you’re working or playing, outdoors or in the comfort of your own home. While the storage isn’t as huge as it could be, 256GB will be more than enough for the vast majority of users.

The only real exception is if you’re looking to play the latest games. Although this isn’t exactly an area where MacBooks typically excel. We can live with that, however, since the performance, design, and ergonomics are top-tier as always. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more responsive and comfortable backlit keyboard with any other product.

Excellent performance for most use casesNot budget-friendly
Extremely long 18-hour battery lifeNo SD card slot or HDMI port
Responsive keyboard with adjustable lighting

Check out the MacBook Air M2 on Amazon today.

Best Chromebook: Lenovo Chromebook 3

Best Chromebook
Lenovo Chromebook 3
  • Affordable entry-level laptop
  • Dual-Core AMD processor
  • Great for browsing, emails, word processing, and casual use
  • Good battery life
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At the other end of the price spectrum, we have the humble Lenovo Chromebook 3. Don’t underestimate this laptop based solely on the cost, however. If you’re expecting a workhorse that can run intensive games effortlessly, then you won’t find that here. You’re getting a two-core AMD processor here, which may seem to pale in comparison to the flashier four or six-core Intel processors that are often used for a seamless gaming session. But considering the extremely low price point, this is an amazing option for a casual user. This Lenovo laptop is best used for casual browsing, streaming music and movies, and lightweight business and education projects. You could even use it as a small, portable monitor for your home consoles, without having to break the bank.

The keyboard quality isn’t as great as a high-end model but functions perfectly fine for the budget-conscious buyer. We can’t say you’ll be blown away by the Lenovo Chromebook. But if cost is a big factor in your purchase, you could do a lot worse than this.

Very good value for moneyUnsuitable for intensive tasks, i.e., gaming, photo and video editing, running sophisticated software simultaneously
Good battery lifeCan get hot when in use for long periods

Take a look at the Lenovo Chromebook 3 on Amazon today.

Best Value: Asus Vivobook 15

Best Value
ASUS 2022 VivoBook 15
  • i5 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD storage
  • Great mid-range laptop
  • Fingerprint ID
  • Charge cap setting for extending battery life
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12/02/2023 10:20 pm GMT

It may seem confusing at first that our pick for the best value laptop with a backlit keyboard isn’t the cheapest on the list. But, all things considered, the specs that you’re getting for this price make the Asus Vivobook 15 a very good investment. The Intel i5 processor alone helps this laptop deserve a place among the high performers, but the Wi-Fi 6 functionality, massive 1TB of storage, and 16GB RAM cement it as a great buy. The screen size is also nothing to sniff at, being just under 16 inches. This is a great size for displaying visuals clearly, without being too large and cumbersome. And, as if all that wasn’t enough, you can use fingerprint ID for an added layer of security.

If we had to pick something out that isn’t as amazing, it’d be the battery life. You’ll only get around 7 hours of charge out of the Vivobook, which does leave a lot to be desired. However, by using the MyASUS app, you can enable smart charging. This caps the charge at either 60% or 80%, depending on your preference, which helps to maximize the longevity of the battery. All in all, this is a great laptop, made even better if you’re not looking for the most portable option.

Great specs for the priceShort battery life
Lightweight but sturdy
Fingerprint ID for extra security

Check out the Asus Vivobook 15 on Amazon.

Best Lightweight: Acer Swift 3

Best Lightweight
Acer Swift 3
  • Incredibly light mid-range laptop
  • i7 processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage
  • Fingerprint reader included
  • Suitable for casual gaming
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12/02/2023 10:20 pm GMT

Granted, the Acer Swift 3 doesn’t beat out the MacBook Air in the lightweight championships by that high a score. But it takes the prize for an insanely light laptop nonetheless. It doesn’t quite get top place for thinness, but it’s a super portable laptop all the same. There’s a lot to like here, but the 512GB SSD storage and turbo speed i7 processor are the highlights. The 8GB RAM leaves a little to be desired in the gaming department, but the Swift can hold its own here, as long as you’re not trying to run the most demanding games you can. The display isn’t the largest, but definitely not the smallest either. A 14-inch screen is appropriate for most uses, and Windows 11 really helps to make this an all-around amazing workplace and personal computer.

The Swift has a better processor than the Vivobook. However, considering the smaller screen, storage, and still limited gaming capabilities, it doesn’t quite do enough to be the best value laptop here. Even so, it’s a great choice from a reliable brand, and the battery life is a big benefit.

Powerful i7 processorNot suitable for gaming
Great battery lifeScreen isn’t the largest
Thin and light

Take a look at the Acer Swift 3 on Amazon today.

Best for Gaming: MSI Pulse GL66

Best for Gaming
MSI Pulse GL66
  • Excellent laptop for playing the latest games
  • i7 processor, 16GB RAM, RTX 3070 GPU, 512GB SSD storage
  • Customizable RGB keyboard
  • Easy to upgrade
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12/02/2023 03:06 pm GMT

The MSI Pulse GL66 will set you back a pretty penny, but when is this not true for a gaming laptop? Its price is even higher than the MacBook Air, but this can in no way can be described as excellent for a gaming session, so it depends on what you want to get out of your new purchase. The keyboard isn’t as responsive as the other laptops on this list, but this is not a bad thing when it comes to playing the latest games. Often, it’s actually a good idea to get a gaming keyboard that requires a bit more pressure. This helps to avoid pressing keys accidentally in the heat of the moment.

The way the WASD keys are highlighted is a nice touch, as these are used a lot for video games. You’re not getting a simple backlight here, either, as the keyboard lights are RGB and fully customizable.

The battery life is definitely not spectacular, giving you around 3 hours on a full charge. Naturally, this will be a lot less while playing a modern video game. But it’s rare to use a gaming laptop unplugged anyway. All in all, it’s a struggle to find a better-performing gaming laptop for this price. The latest i7 processor and RTX 3070 GPU will make playing any new title a breeze. You may want to add in a cooling unit to make sure your CPU lasts as long as it should.

Great specs for the costCPU can overheat during intensive use
Customizable RGB keyboardVery short battery life
Light but sturdy design

Check out the MSI Pulse GL66 on Amazon.

How to Pick the Best Laptop With a Backlit Keyboard: Step-by-Step

While a backlit keyboard may be the biggest priority for you, there are some important things to think about before hitting the buy button. The main factors are:

  • Battery life 
  • Weight
  • Ergonomics
  • Performance
  • Storage

It’s time to examine these in more detail.

Battery Life 

Since one of the main benefits of a backlit keyboard is that you can use it in low light conditions, a lot of the time you’ll be using one of these laptops away from home. As such, having a suitably long battery life is usually quite an essential factor. There’s not much use being able to see your keyboard if your laptop is seconds away from shutting down completely. The battery life of most of the laptops here is more than adequate for most uses, as most of them last a full day. The exceptions are the Vivobook and the Pulse, but these are very good value laptops in their own right. Your decision will largely come down to how (and for how long) you use your computer.

LaptopMacBook AirLenovo ChromebookAsus Vivobook 15Acer Swift 3MSI Pulse GL66
Battery life18 hours10 hoursUnder 7 hours12 hours1-3 hours


Again, if you’re using your laptop on the go most of the time, you don’t want to have to lug around a brick all day. Luckily, laptops in general are a lot less bulky than they used to be. The laptops on this list fit the bill nicely. The Chromebook, Swift 3, and MacBook Air are almost impossibly light, but the other options are fairly slim as well. The Pulse is the heaviest, but considering it’s a high-end gaming laptop, being under 5 pounds is pretty impressive. You shouldn’t have too many issues with portability with any of these products.

LaptopMacBook AirLenovo ChromebookAsus Vivobook 15Acer Swift 3MSI Pulse GL66


Display quality doesn’t always correlate with performance, so you’ll want to weigh up your priorities to find the best buy for your needs. None of the displays here are too impressive, save for the crystal clear Retina display of the MacBook Air. This is an area where MacBooks tend to stand out from the crowd, though. Unsurprisingly, the Chromebook has the least spectacular display, but considering the small size and price, this isn’t too terrible. We’d appreciate a slightly better display on the Pulse — who doesn’t want the best possible visuals for their video games. However, all in all, these displays do their job well enough, especially for their price points.

LaptopMacBook AirLenovo ChromebookAsus Vivobook 15Acer Swift 3MSI Pulse GL66
Display13.6-inch Retina11.6-inch HD15.6-inch FHD14-inch FHD15.6-inch FHD


It’s no good having a snazzy backlit keyboard if actually using the keyboard is causing you a headache. Fortunately, these laptops are highly regarded for their design and comfortable use of their keyboards. If gaming isn’t important to you, and you want responsive keys that require a light touch, the MacBook Air is the best choice. However, any of the other non-gaming laptops will do just fine here. The keyboard of the Pulse does require a heavier hand, but this is fairly standard for a gaming machine.


It’s safe to say that the Chromebook sits squarely at the bottom of the pile when it comes to performance, and the MacBook Air and Pulse are vying for the top spot. In terms of graphics, these two, as well as the Vivobook, are the only choices that really stand out. The other options aren’t exactly ideal when it comes to intense gaming or video editing applications. But if you’re wanting a laptop for general use, such as browsing, streaming, and word processing, then you can’t go wrong with any of these options. If you need to take on elaborate creative projects with ease, the MacBook Air is highly recommended.

LaptopMacBook AirLenovo ChromebookAsus Vivobook 15Acer Swift 3MSI Pulse GL66
Main specsM2 chip, 8GB RAMAMD Dual-Core processor, 4GB RAMI5 processor, 16GB RAMI7 processor, 8GB RAMI7 processor, 16GB RAM, RTX 3070 GPU


Naturally, a bigger storage space is desirable, especially if you’re working with a lot of applications and data, and don’t want to use an external hard drive. For most cases, 256GB or 512GB of storage is perfectly suitable. But if you need more, then the Vivobook gives you a huge 1TB to work with. All the storage options here are SSD, with the exception of the Chromebook. This helps to optimize read and write speeds, meaning their read and write speeds and energy consumption are optimal. Bigger and more efficient storage usually means a higher price, though. You’ll want to consider just how much storage you really need for your purposes.

LaptopMacBook AirLenovo ChromebookAsus Vivobook 15Acer Swift 3MSI Pulse GL66

What to Know Before Buying a Laptop With a Backlit Keyboard in 2023

Although it’s nice to have a backlit keyboard, this is rarely the only deciding factor in your purchase. What option you go for will depend on how you intend to use your laptop, where, and for how long. Gamers who rarely take their computers out of the house will find a lot to love with the Pulse, while content creators and video editors can’t go wrong with the MacBook Air. Casual users who are on a strict budget may find the Chromebook suitable for their needs. However, those looking for a mid-range all-around performer will probably be happy with the Swift or the Vivobook. You probably don’t need the largest screen or best processor for your daily use. Even so, consider the applications you want to use before buying.

Using a Laptop With a Backlit Keyboard: What It’s Like

Not all backlit keyboards are created equal. All of these laptops have adjustable lighting, which is great for preserving your battery when you’re far away from a charging point. The Pulse gives a little more, with its customizable RGB lighting. This may cinch the deal for you if you’re a big fan of the extra bells and whistles. Otherwise, you’re getting a pleasant typing experience with any of these options, but the specs do differ. You may find your graphics a bit lacking if you don’t opt for the MacBook. But for most work and personal purposes, this won’t matter too much. The story is similar in terms of performance, aside from the budget-friendly Chromebook.

The biggest factors will probably be whether you’re a creator or gamer, and how much storage and battery life you need. The MacBook, Pulse, and Vivobook take the lead in these categories. But the unassuming Chromebook can’t be discounted merely because of its attractive price. Overall, any of these choices will be great for everyday use.

Summary Table

RankLaptopKey Strengths
Best OverallMacBook Air M2Excellent performance, long battery life, responsive keyboard
Best ChromebookLenovo Chromebook 3Good value for money, good battery life
Best ValueAsus Vivobook 15Great specs for the price, lightweight, fingerprint ID for extra security
Best LightweightAcer Swift 3Powerful i7 processor, great battery life, thin and light
Best for GamingMSI Pulse GL66Great specs for the cost, customizable RGB keyboard, light but sturdy design

Frequently Asked Questions

Why use a backlit keyboard?

Backlit keyboards have illuminated keys, usually with LED lights. This helps you to type clearly, especially in dim environments, and if you’re visually impaired. In addition, backlit keys help to reduce eyestrain, particularly when you’re using a laptop for a long time.

Are backlit keyboards expensive?

No, there are many affordable options for laptops with backlit keyboards these days. Your personal choice will come down to what specs you require, and how you’re going to be using your new laptop.

Are backlit keyboards adjustable?

Most of the time, backlit keyboards are adjustable, using a couple of function keys at the top of the keyboard. This allows you to save some battery life by turning the light levels down or off completely.

What's the best laptop with a backlit keyboard?

Overall, we recommend the MacBook Air as the best general laptop with a backlit keyboard. Its specs and battery life are great, and the Air can handle most intensive applications and casual uses, aside from high-end games. The Chromebook is fairly basic but also very affordable, so is a great option for casual users. The Vivobook and Swift are great mid-range choices that offer fairly good specs and storage for their price. For gaming, the MSI Pulse is most suitable, as the RTX 3070 GPU can handle the latest games easily.

What alternatives to a backlit keyboard are there?

You could use an external light source or accessory to illuminate your keys, but this won’t be as convenient as an integrated backlit keyboard.

Can I add a backlit keyboard to an existing laptop?

Generally, no. Backlit keyboards are integrated at the manufacturing stage, so it’s incredibly difficult to add one to a laptop that has already been produced. You would have to opt for an additional external keyboard to use alongside your laptop if you need a backlit keyboard, but own a laptop without one.

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