A brand new MacBook with touchscreen support has long been on the wishlist for many (if not most). While most major laptop makers like Microsoft, HP, Lenovo introduced touchscreen on their notebooks long ago; Apple is yet to fall in line with the trend.
Personally, I’m not anxiously waiting for a full-on touch screen on my MacBook. However, I do think that it would make the notebook more elegant and functional.
Recently, I got a bit curious to try my hands on a touchscreen-enabled MacBook. And that’s what led me to give a close look at Neonode’s AirBar, which claims to make any laptop touchscreen.
After spending a few days with this unique accessory, I must say that it does show plenty of promise. But does that promise translate into something really substantial? Here is my finding that could help you perfectly use the AirBar to add touchscreen on your laptop:
How to Make Any Laptop a Touch Screen with AirBar
Super Simple Setup
The thing that I like a lot about AirBar is the incredibly simple setup. To get started, all you need to do is attach the magnets to the bottom bezel of your laptop’s screen and then plug the sensor in the built-in USB connector.
Once it is perfectly aligned, your notebook would turn into a super handy laptop with a responsive touchscreen. Keep in mind, when you need to close your notebook, you will have to detach AirBar from the magnets and then unplug the sensor.
Works With Both Finger and Gloves
When I first got to know Neonode’s AirBar, I was skeptical about its performance. I thought it would hardly work smoothly with a finger–let alone with gloves. However, it proved me completely wrong.
So, how does it function? It works by creating an invisible light field that covers your notebook’s entire display. And when your finger comes into the way of the light field, the laptop is able to interpret it as a quick interactive input.
Basic Functionality on MacBook Air
AirBar works spotlessly on Windows 10 laptop. I gave it a try on an old Lenovo laptop, and it worked smoothly on it. As it supports all the native gestures of Windows 10, I found swiping, scrolling pinching and zooming more intuitive.
However, its functionality is a bit limited on MacBook Air. But you can swiftly scroll websites, rotate maps, and zoom in photos using your finger and gloves.
If you want to add multi-finger gestures or enhanced touchscreen functionality on your macOS device, you can choose to install its companion software.
Price and Compatibility
AirBar comes in three different sizes such as 13.3″, 14″ and 15.6″. As of now, it supports Windows 10 and works with only MacBook Air. As for price, while the MacBook Air 13.3″ model comes at $117.98, the Windows’ version is available for $64/$69.
Frankly speaking; I’m really impressed with what Neonode AirBar has to offer. It’s well thought and deserves praise for the innovative approach.
That being said, I would have really appreciated if it supported MacBook Pro and worked as seamlessly on macOS as on Windows. Its MacBook version seems quite limited in functionality and doesn’t offer the same intuitive experience.
Of course, the companion software does add the multi-touch gestures on macOS. But I’m rooting for a full-fledged experience without any restriction.
Besides, the $117.98 price, especially for the MacBook Air version, seems a bit on the higher side. If you don’t mind such limitation and would like to turn the non-touchscreen notebook into a touchscreen, it would be worth giving a shot.
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