Neonoe AirBar adds a touchscreen to your MacBook Air, but is it a must-have?

If you have a MacBook Air but feel a little jealous of those fancy new MacBook Pros with Touch Bars, never fear — NeoNode has you covered. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the company announced a touchscreen sensor for MacBook Airs, that can add full touchscreen compatibility to the device.

Although there have been a number of cool uses for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar so far, no one is entirely convinced it’s a necessary addition. However, full touch-screen functionality certainly does have its uses, which is why the AirBar is an exciting piece of technology and why it was an Innovation Awards Honoree at CES this year.

Compatible with MacBook Air 13.3-inch models, the AirBar is a sleek bar that attaches to the bottom of the MacBook’s display bezel. It plugs in via USB connection and requires no software installation or configuration. Once powered on, it immediately detects touches and gestures using an invisible light field that covers the entire display.

Although there are other gesture tracking devices out there, NeoNode believes that its patented zForce AIR technology is superior to most and allows it to keep the price down while providing full touchscreen functionality.

There is a Windows PC-compatible version too that comes in black, while the MacBook Air version is in a brushed aluminium silver. The currently available Windows PC version is compatible with 15.6-inch devices and retails at $70. The new MacBook air compatible version will work on 13.3-inch laptops and will retail for $100. It will be available for consumer purchase starting in March this year, but can be pre-ordered now.

NeoNode plans to improve the compatibility with the AirBar over the coming months to additional MacBook models and Windows laptop sizes.

Do you think touch support is important enough to spend around $100 to add it to your MacBook?

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