A Touchscreen MacBook Air? It's Possible with This

When we reviewed Neonode AirBar this year, we loved that it made almost every laptop screen a touchscreen. "Almost" is the key word there, since the Neonode AirBar we tested had limited Mac compatibility at best. But at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Neonode introduced a model specifically for the MacBook Air that will launch in March for $99.

Mac Differences

For the most part,the new AirBar for Macs is the same as the PC version. It attaches to the bezel under the screen with two magnets and plugs into a USB port, letting it cover the screen in infrared light that detects where your finger is. The MacBook version comes in silver, closer to the MacBook's aluminum, than the black plastic PC version. It's also sized to fit the 13.3-inch display, while the PC version was 15.6 inches.

It's only for the MacBook Air though -- the company told me that the technology isn't small enough to fit on the MacBook Pro's smaller bezels, but that it hope to shrink the product. (You could use it, but it would cover the icons.)

MORE: Neonode AirBar: Full Review

Hands-On Impressions

For the most part, the Mac version works just like the Windows version, thought the prototype I saw at CES had a few limitations. It was only working with one finger, though Neonode promises to have gestures, including pinch zoom and sweeping, ready at launch.

Using the Launchpad made the MacBook Air feel like a giant iPad, including holding icons to move them around. I liked the silver color and barely noticed it on the MacBook's bezel. Maybe that's why there's an alarm to make sure you don't shut the lid on the AirBar.

Price and Availability

The MacBook Air version of the NeoNode AirBar is set to arrive in March for $99.

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