10 Best Laptops with Backlit Keyboard 2024

The best laptops with backlit keyboards are usually found on expensive ultrabooks like the MacBook Pro or the Dell XPS 15. However…

The MacBook Pro has one of the best backlit keyboards found on laptops.

You can still find budget laptop with great keyboards plus the backlit feature if you look long enough. Some of these may include:

  • Brightness levels: adjust how much light (thus battery) is used to backlit the keys.
  • Sensor:  turn ons the backlit feature as soon as you touch a key and turns it off after being AFK
  • Numpad: reserved numerical keys to the right side of the keyboard.

Cooler features however are reserved for the most expensive premium laptops: 

  • RGB keyboards: (the backlit looks cool and has each section of the keys with a different color).
  • A silent keyboard: you can pound hard on the keys when typing fast yet staying mostly silent.


  • The page down button away from the numpad.
    • Super useful for to avoid hitting the page down button accidentally only to end up at the last line of document.

Tactile Feedback: Super important

I’m assuming you’re going to be typing your eyes on this thing correct? Then you want a keyboard that will let you hit your fastest typing speeds while being comfortable enough as to not kill motivation. Then focus  tactile feed back regardless of travel distance, this is what makes a keyboard  enjoyable to type. 

Tactile feedback is basically means having very responsive and bouncy keys which easily registers characters with minimal amount of force.

Top 10 Best Laptops with Backlit Keyboards

All laptops in this list have keyboards with great tactile feedback and obviously a backlit keyboard.

Several are premium so they include the extra features we went over while at the same time being ‘silen’t when typing. 

Travel distance on keys isn’t as important as good tactile feedback. Lenovo Thinkpads usually have one of the best keyboards on the market yet their keyboards have high travel distances.

Each review will specifically mention what kind of backlit features a laptop has and some keyboard characteristics like travel distance, numpads, sensors, etc. Also, I’m only including high resolution displays because that’s just as important as having a good keyboard if you’re a writer, typer or programmer

1. KUU 15.6 inch

Backlit Keyboard Laptop HP

  12th gen Alder Lake-N Celeron N95


   Intel Xe Graphics


  15.6”  full HD 1080p IPS


  5 hours

Now this is a recent laptop from a new brand that’s geting more and more popular due to it’s very low low price despite the sort of ‘expensive features’ such as:

  • FHD resolution
  • Alder Lake N95  CPU: sounds odd but it does the job for any non-gaming related task (Office work & School).
  • 16GB RAM + 1TB SSD
  • Extra ports (SD Card Reader)
  • Lightweight for a 17 inch (3.5lbs)
  • Fingerprint Reader

All Under 400 dollars


Travel distance: 1.7 mm
Type: Conventional . Includes Numpad & FN Keys. Fingerprint Reader.
Backlit:  No sensor. Two steps for brightness levels: OFF, ON with F5 as shown below:

2. M2 MacBook Air 15

The Best Laptop with a Backlit Keyboard

  Apple M2 Chip 8-Core CPU

  8-16GB Unified Memory 

   Apple M2 10 Core GPU 

  256GB-2TB SSD

  15.3” IPS 2880-by-186400 nits

  ~3.3 lbs

  +13 hours

No serious list of laptops with backlit keyboards will be completely without at least one macbook.


I’m only posting one MacBook here : the 15” version of the most recent (M2) MacBook Air but what I’m going to say next can also apply to every other laptop with a backlit keyboard.

Note that the M3 MacBook Air will come out this spring or summer

Keyboard quality: 

With the exception of the 2018-2019 models (those with the butterfly keyboard design), every MacBook before and after will have the scissor switch keyboard design Steeve Jobs took part in which is still better than 99% of the keyboards found on windows laptops.


The base models of the latest MacBooks start at around 1000 dollars but there’s no reason why not try the much older models even a cheap 11 inch MacBook Air from 2016 will have a much much better keyboard than the average windows laptop and of course it will be backlit.  Speed? Don’t worry about speed when buying macbooks regardless of when they were released.

 KeyBoard (M2 MacBook)

Travel distance:  0.7 mm. 
Type: Island type keyboard. No TouchBar.
Backlit:  brightness levels can be adjusted manually or through the light sensor. 

Light sensors adjust brightness levels automatically based on the amount of surrounding light (room light, sunlight, etc).

Backlit features turns off after a period of inactivity too.

3. HP Chromebook x360

Best Chromebook With Backlit Keyboard

  Intel Core i3-1115G4


   Intel HD

  128GB SSD

  14″ Full HD 2 in 1 TouchScreen

  3.35 lbs

  13 hours

ChromeBooks can cost on average anywhere from 150 to 250 bucks and despite that a lot of them have a backlit keyboard. Outside of older MacBook Air models, they are the cheapest laptops you can get with a backlit keyboard.

Why? Same thing with older MacBook Airs. They do not need fancy hardware to run fast thus the manufacturer has enough budget to fit in an awesome keyboard. The lack of need for high-end hardware is because they do not run Windows Home, they run Chrome OS which can run on 2GB RAM and much weaker mobile CPUs this also accounts for their extremely good batteries (most have 10 hours on average!). 


Because ChromeBooks do not need to fit in a lot of hardware, there’s plenty of space to easily design a responsive keyboard. This is why most chromebooks also have high travel distances. 

The only problem with the keyboards is the paint used for the characters, it doesn’t contrast well with key’s colors. It can look almost invisible if you don’t activate the backlit feature. Again I’m posting it here because it is the cheapest chromebook that has both a backlit keyboard and great tactile feedback.

Travel distance: 1.5mm
Type: Chiclet keyboard; FN keys available but no numpad.
Backlit: No sensor. No brightness levels.

4. LG Gram 17

Budget Laptop with Backlit Keyboard

  13th gen Core i7


  Intel Xe Graphics

  1TB SSD PCIe 4.0

  17” QHD ‎2560×1600  IPS

  3.2 lbs

  10-13 hours

I’m guessing most of the people looking for a backlit keyboard are either programmers or typers, that is, people who have to type even at night. So I decided to place emphasis on the display too.

  • It’s a QHD resolution (twice the resolution of FHD) 17 inch display: this means the screen area is going to feel like a desktop’s monitor.

LG Gram 17:

Besides that the LG Gram 17 has the following extra features:

  • Latest Core i7 CPU
  • Thinnest & lightest 17 inch laptop as of 2024
  • 1TB SSD
  • Fastest & Latest RAM technology on laptops (LPDRR5)
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Latest WiFi 6
  • Long battery (10-13 hours)


Keyboard is okay ONLY if you’re not a lap user.  The keyboard itself is too cramped to be used on a lap and it’s better suited for actual work on a hard surface.  Compared to the newest MacBooks ” (post 2019) it’s a little mushier but for the average typer the difference should be insigficant.

Travel distance (estimated): .1.7 mm – medium travel distance. 
Type: Full sized island type keyboard; Includes NumPad.
Backlit:   Can be turned on and off with F8 as shown below:
Bluelight function: Pressing F9 activates reader mode which reduces bluelight emissions.

There is no ‘backlit sensor’. In other words, it won’t automatically adjust the backlit brightness level according to your surroundings. You only have a couple of levels available with F8 key.

5. Asus ZenBook 14X

BackLit KeyBoard Laptop ASUS

  Intel Core i5-13500H


   Intel Iris Xe Graphics


  14.5” QHD (2.8k) 120Hz 550 Nits


  10 hours

ASUS ZenBooks are a line of windows laptops that resemble the design of the Macbook Air in terms weight & thinness.

Now the latest models also try to incorporate the high resolution displays. This model for example has a QHD+ resolution display which is 2880 x 1800 , a resolution that’s pretty much the same as the 15” MacBook Air.


Travel distance: 1.4 mm 
Type: clichet type. Virtual numpad on trackpad (See Figure). 
Backlit:   Brightness levels available. 

6. Lenovo Ideapad Slim 5

Backlit Keyboard Laptop Lenovo

  Core i5-1335U


   Intel UHD Graphics

  512GB SSD

  16” full HD IPS 

  4.17 lbs

  9 hours

This is a laptop with a backlit keyboard under 500. It includes a nice 16” display at FHD resolution making it perfect for typers and coders too.


Travel distance: 1.3-1.5mm (estimated) 
Type: Island type , physical numpad
Backlit:   Backlit Keyboard can be activated by pressing FN+Spacebar, two levels of brightness.


7. Surface Pro 9

Backlit keyboard 2 in 1 Laptop

  Intel Evo i7 12th gen


  ‎Intel Iris Xe Graphics


  13” IPS 2880 x 1920

  1.9 lbs

  ~10 hours

This is the latest model fo the Surface Pro. It’s a convertible laptop which means it turns into a tablet. Since this is a premium machine it also includes a backlit keyboard. Most 2 in 1 laptops (premium) will include a backlit keyboard too. 

As of Q1 2024, the Surface Pro 10 hasn’t been released yet. Release is expected mid-2024. If you find this model or the upcoming Surface Pro 10 too expensive, you can go for the older versions (8, 7,6) and still get the high resolution portable laptop + backlit keyboard.


Keyboard has be bought separately and has to be attached magnetically to the bottom hinge. Use it on a hard surface and it will feel like a real laptop. If you use it on your laptop it may be too flimsy and uncomfortable. The newer models have improved this flymsiness, it will mostly be an issue with the older models.

Travel distance: 1.05-1.8mm
Type: clichet type, no numpad. Dedicated FN keys available.
Backlit:   backlit sensor. F1 activates backlit.



8. Lenovo ThinkPad E16

Best Lenovo Laptop with Backlit Keyboard

  Intel 13th Gen i5-1335U


   Intel Iris Xe Graphics


  16” IPS full HD 1080p Anti-Glare 300 nits

  3.9 lbs

  10 hours

Thinkpads most salient features are:

  • Rock solid design – this makes them extremely resistant and durable.
  • Top of the line keyboard – backlit , responsive and clicky.
  • Top of the line trackpads – which incldues the red cursosr on the picture 

Do note that not all thinkpads have a backlit keyboard!


What makes the keyboard special is how much space there is around each key. Travel distances are high but they’re easy to press and thus makes it easy to register characters.

Travel distance: 2.3mm
Type: Island KeyBoard. Full Sized Numpad. 
Backlit:  Two brightness levels (ON/OFF). No Sensor.

9. Dell XPS 15 9530

Best Dell Laptop with BackLit KeyBoard

  Core i7-13900H




  15” FHD IPS 1080p 


  4 hours

The Dell XPS series are very expensive laptops with lots of different hardware configurations. The model I’m including here is one designed for 3D work since it has a recent dedicated GPU. 

Nonetheless they all share the same keyboard design. Low travel responsive keys with the island design. The 17” includes a numpad.


Travel distance: 1.2 mm
Type: island type. 
Backlit: Sensor (latest models). Brightness levels (Latest models).  F5 to activate.

10. Acer Nitro 17 

Best Gaming Laptop With Backlit Keyboard

  Ryzen 7 7840HS


   RTX 4060 8GB vRAM


  17.3” IPS QHD (2560 x 1600) 165Hz

  6.61 lbs

  2 hours

This is a gaming laptop with an RGB keyboard. RGB keyboards are backlit by nature, I’ll explain what they are in detail soon.

I picked this one out of the entire horde of gaming laptops with RGB keyboards because it has the best bang for your buck hardware in terms of gaming performance/money ratio. That is the GPU here is IDEAL to play competitively in most games without overspending in higher graphics.

 This is a 17 inch laptop too so there’s plenty of space to provide a decent keyboard you can pound hard and a good ventilation system.

The following link should take you to other laptops with RGB keyboards.


Travel distance: 2.1 mm
Type: Full sized Island Type KeyBoard. Numerical pad.
Backlit:  Illumination patterns can be programmed through a software. Ex: you can set which keys to illuminate with a certain color (useful for quick actions and macros).  W A S D keys (for movements) highlighted. No sensor, no fingerprint reader.

 Backlit KeyBoard Buying Guide

In this section I’ll develop a bit more on the basics of laptop keyboards so you can find the best keyboard for your purposes. 

Extra Features

All backlit keyboards behave the same way except that some may have different colors when using the backlit illumination.

However some of they have extra features like…

Backlit Brightness

Adjustable brightness levels help your battery last longer.

How do you tell whether or not your laptop has it?

If you check the top row of the keyboard at or near where the FN keys are located and you see TWO keys for the backlit feature, it has it! 

When checking out these keys be sure to be able to tell the difference betwen display brightness (which is usually just a light icon) vs backlit brightness (a small rectangle a light icon on top F1 & F2 in the picture).

Unfortunately, it isn’t like you’ll find this feature on budget laptops. It’s more of a feature found on premium laptops like the MacBooks, Dell XPS , Surface Laptops, etc.


A sensor will automatically adjust the backlit brightness level based on the surrounding’s light conditions. For example: if the surroundings are dark, then the levels will be high. If the surroundings are brighter,  there will no backlit or it will be set to very low levels.

AFK Mode

Many laptops with backlit keyboards will also turn off the backlit feature automatically if you’re afk and you have the backlit feature activated. It will turn them as soon as you’re back to typing by pressing any key. 

Programmable Lightining

Gaming laptops with RGB may or may not have this cool feature that lets you set up the colors of each key.

How is this even useful?

It’s not just for aesthetic purposes!

For example, you can set the most important keys (for special abilities in a game) with a certain color.

If you’re using Macros close to the usual W S A D keys you can label the W S A D keys with other colors so there’s less of chance you accidentally press the wrong key to activate a macro or ability.

The RGB + Programmable colored keys are found USUALLY on the more expensive side of gaming laptops. I’d say on gaming laptops above 1300 dollars. 

KeyBoard Quality

Having the backlit feture doesn’t mean you’ll also get a top of the line keyboard to type on. In fact, it isn’t very common to find top of the line keyboards because their quality depends on how much the manufacturer spent on the design which is usually not a priority since hardware come first as that is what consumers look at first when they shop for laptops

Backlit Bleeding

This is the amount light going around each key. Low quality backlit keyboards will have lots of light coming out of the character whereas high quality backlit keyboards will limit the light to the characters only as shown in the picture.

Minimizing the light coming around each key is very difficult to design. It’s caused mostly by the keys being placed a bit high relative to the base of the keyboard. 

Since there has to be a space between the key and the surface below the key,  virtually every laptop will have some degree of backlit bleeding.

The most expensive ones (usually the premium laptops) just minimize this as much as possible.

Key Travel

This is the distance required for a key to travel ‘down’ after you press it for the characters to be registered on the computer.

Having a high or low travel distance is not correlated to how good a keyboard is. There are other factors like design and sensitivity that play a role too.

On average however, high travel distances are easier to type on and they’re common on budget machines that are ‘thick’ and ‘heavy’.

If you find low travel distances on a budget machine it is very likely that it’s not well designed.

It’s only the premium laptops like the MacBooks that usually have a low travel distance that’s responsive , clicky and joy to type.


If your budget is low, go for the keyboards with  high travel distance since they’re much easier to design and they’ll be more likely to be responsive with great tactile feedback.

Of course is you have to put up with extra weight and thickness.

Note however…

For thin laptops with low travel distance, you’ll need to do some research on the keyboard because chances are the keyboard design is too bad for the keys to be responsive. Which is understandable, the space is very limited and it’s very very difficult to design a good keyboard with limited space.


Good low travel keyboards: MacBooks, ASUS ZenBooks, Surface Devices.

Good high travel keyboards: Lenovo ThinkPads E-series . These are thick and heavy budget laptops with  responsive keyboards.

Key Layout

There’s two types of layout: island and conventional.
The island layout is shown in the figure above. It’s the most common on laptops as of 2024. There’s no ergonomical advantages to it , it just looks better.

Conventional keyboard will have square keys with  the buttons mashed together, there will be less space between keys:

What Laptops Have BackLit Keyboards?

As of 2024 backlit keyboards can be found on laptops as low as 300 dollars!

Budget Laptops

The problem with the cheapest laptops however is either the display or the CPU, the display has a resolution that’s too low or has a hardware that’s too weak to run the full version of Windows with decent performance.

Thus when checking out budget laptops with backlit keyboards, be sure to check out whether or not they have a good CPU (Intel Core or Ryzen) and whether or not they have decent resolution (FHD).  Also check whether RAM is 8GB or at least upgradeable, otherwise you’ll have a backlit keyboard on a laptop that kills your workflow due bad display or low performance.

Premium Laptops & Ultra Books

These laptops have high performance with backlit keyboards that have a few extra cool features we went over before (sensor, brightness levels) . They’ll also be thin, lightweight and have tons of batteries. High resolution displays (QHD) are common in 2024 too. All as low as 700 dollars. Ex: (ASUS ZenBook – 700 to 800 dollars) , MacBooks (1000+ dollars) and Dell XPS 15 (+1300 dollars). 

Gaming Laptops

The RGB keyboards with the cool programmable backlit feature is found on the high-end gaming laptops which are laptops with high-tier GPUs.  You’ll also get the software automatically installed in the system for you to program which color or pattern to use for the backlit keys.


Author Profile

Miguel Salas
Miguel Salas
I am physicist and electrical engineer. My knowledge in computer software and hardware stems for my years spent doing research in optics and photonics devices and running simulations through various programming languages. My goal was to work for the quantum computing research team at IBM but Im now working with Astrophysical Simulations through Python. Most of the science related posts are written by me, the rest have different authors but I edited the final versions to fit the site's format.

Miguel Salas

I am physicist and electrical engineer. My knowledge in computer software and hardware stems for my years spent doing research in optics and photonics devices and running simulations through various programming languages. My goal was to work for the quantum computing research team at IBM but Im now working with Astrophysical Simulations through Python. Most of the science related posts are written by me, the rest have different authors but I edited the final versions to fit the site's format.

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