Hello guys today I am going to talk about one of the exciting stuff so called Air Bar. More and more laptops come with built-in touch screens, but what if the model you want (or already own) doesn’t have one? The $79 Neonode AirBar is a sleek, innovative device that lets you add affordable, accurate touch-screen capabilities to nearly any laptop. However, the semi-permanent magnets that hold the peripheral in place might give some consumers pause.
The AirBar is a sleek, thin, black bar. It comes in 13.3-, 14- and 15.6-inch options to fit your display perfectly (I reviewed the 15.6-inch version), and fits unobtrusively against the bezel beneath the screen.
You need to use the included magnets to keep the AirBar attached to the bezel. Their adhesive backs help fasten the first two magnets to the bezel. From there, the magnets built into the device can make a snug attachment along the bottom of the display. Unfortunately, the adhesive-attached magnets are hard to remove, so they will be stuck to your display for a long time. As such, it’s important that you align them correctly with the recommended 3 millimeters of space between the AirBar and the display the first time for proper calibration.
After it was attached, I started worrying about what would happen if I accidentally closed my laptop on it. Turns out, I didn’t have to worry at all. Using its laser technology, the AirBar let out loud beeps when it detected my hand was at the top of the screen to shut the lid. It was more than enough to remind me to remove the device before closing the notebook. However, it can send those alerts only when the computer is on.
Display Size Supported: 15.6”, with an aspect ratio of 16:9
Width: 5 mm
Length: 373 mm (AirBar 15.6”)
Height: 17 mm (requires 20 mm mounting surface for 3 mm between AirBar and display)
Cable length: 243 mm
Weight: 55 g
Performance and OS Support
The AirBar is the definition of plug-and-play. As soon as I attached it to an old Dell Vostro 3000, the peripheral’s driver installed, and it was ready to go. The AirBar projects an invisible light field above your screen that provides feedback to your notebook. When you break the field with a finger, stylus or anything else, it knows where on the screen your finger is.
The technology is impressive, especially for such a sleek peripheral, but it’s not as accurate as a regular touch screen. Still, it’s capable of handling navigation, scrolling and pinch-to-zoom gestures with ease.
The AirBar only supports two-finger gestures, which is fine for the majority of Windows 10 functions. However, you can’t activate Cortana by touching the screen with three fingers or open the Action Center with four fingers. Neonode told me that this shortcoming will be addressed in the future via firmware updates.
The biggest issue I noticed was that the AirBar sometimes wouldn’t recognize a second finger when it was placed on top of another. My guess is that this happened because both of my fingers blocked the light in the same space, so it noticed only one digit.
The AirBar works with Chrome OS in addition to Windows 10, but it’s more of a toss-up with macOS. A representative for AirBar explained that this is because macOS isn’t made with touch in mind. However, depending on your Mac, you might have some compatibility. The MacBook Air is your best bet for a touch screen Mac, thanks to its thick bottom bezel. I tried it with a 15.6-inch MacBook Pro and it worked only on part of the panel.