Most laptops come with built-in touch screen nowadays, but what if the model you love or own doesn’t have one? Neonode AirBar is a sleek device that allows you to add accurate, affordable touch-screen capabilities to almost any laptop. However, some consumers may not like the semi-permanent magnets holding the peripheral in place.
Neonode AirBar Design
The AirBar is a thin, sleek, black bar which comes in 13.3-, 14-, and 15.6-inch to fit your display perfectly and fits unobtrusively against bezel beneath the screen.
There is a protruding 9.5-inch USB cable from the right side of the Neonode AirBar to attach to your notebook. The cord is not removable, so if you damage it, you will need to purchase a new AirBar. You also have to use the USB on the right of your notebook, which may cause you to change the current setup of your peripheral.
To keep the AirBar attached to the bezel, you need to use the magnet that came with it. Their adhesive backs fasten the first two magnets to the bezel. Unfortunately, it is hard to remove the adhesive-attached magnets, so they’ll be stuck to your display for long. Therefore, it is important you align them correctly with the recommended 3 millimeters space between the display and the AirBar the first time for proper calibration.
Don’t worry about mistakenly closing your laptop on it because its laser technology will beep out loud noise when it detects your hand is at the top of the screen to shut the lid. The loud noise is more than enough to remind you to remove the device before you close the notebook. But it can send those alerts only when the computer is on.
Neonode AirBar performance and OS support
The Neonode AirBar is what can be described as plug-and-play. The peripheral driver will install as soon as you attach it to your laptop. The AirBar projects invisible light field on the screen of your laptop to provide feedback to it. When the field is broken by a stylus, finger or any other thing, it knows where your finger is on the screen.
The technology is excellent for such sleek peripheral, but it is not as accurate as a normal touch screen. Despite that, it is capable of scrolling, navigation and pinch-to-zoom gesture with ease.
AirBar only supports two-finger gestures, which is great for most of the Windows 10 functions. Mind you; you can’t activate Cortana by opening the Action Center with 4 fingers or touching the screen with three fingers. Neonode said the shortcoming would be taken care of in the future.
In addition to Windows 10, the Neonode AirBar works with Chrome OS, but it is more of a toss-up with macOS. One of the AirBar representatives said this is because macOS was not made with touch in mind. But you might have some compatibility depending on your Mac. Your best bet for a touch screen Mac is your MacBook Air, thanks to its thick bottom bezel.
Accurate touch control: Windows and Chrome OS support
Setting the magnet up can be tricky
Even though it is nice to have a touch display, many people don’t think it is necessary. The add-on can be pricey but it worth it. The Neonode may not replicate the exact precision of modern laptop touch screen, but it’s pretty close, especially if you don’t mind having a magnet stuck to your laptop.
If you are buying a budget notebook or holding on to the old laptop, the AirBar is affordable, simple alternative that you can enable and disable when you like. The best part is that it is not pricey and you can easily purchase it on Amazon.