The latest Apollo Lake Chromebook in development may not be the Samsung Pro everyone is waiting for but ‘Sand’ may be doing something no other mid-range device has ever done. A recent commit shows us backlit keyboard support added to the upcoming Chromebook. This may not seem like a huge deal but bear with me for a moment.
Since its inception 6 years ago, Chrome OS has seen a small handful of devices with backlit keyboards. This feature has been reserved for the upper-echelon Chromebooks with a Celeron or better processor. At the very best you could hope to grab a Toshiba 2 (2015) for little over $300 and the budget Chromebook users were just stuck dealing with no backlight. Even higher-end devices like the Samsung Chromebook Plus lacks this feature much to the dismay of countless consumers.
‘Sand’ having a backlit keyboard breaks a much needed barrier for mid-range devices. Of all the features clamored for in forums, emails and comments, this one tops the list 95% of the time and we here are of the opinion that keyboard backlighting should a thing across the board for mid to high-end devices. Seeing a sub $300 Chromebook offering this option opens the doors for a lot of consumers not wanting to dish out premium dollars for a companion device.
Take the OG ASUS Flip for example. It’s the perfect device to take down to the coffee shop, on the plane or most often while lounging around the house. Give me a Flip with an updated processor and a backlit keyboard and that’s what is going to be on my nightstand. Don’t get me wrong, some features should and always will be reserved for high-end Chromebooks but this one should be for the masses. That’s my opinion.