Keyboard: 15' without number pad


#1

Hi, first of all: these laptops are cool stuff, keep it going! :heart:

One of the stoppers for me is the number pad on the keyboard, i really hate that. The Librem 13 has no number pad, but i’m used to 15’ so that’s out of question. I would die for a Librem 15 without number pads, here is why:

  • i never use number pads because (1) i don’t type numbers that often and (2) i never type long sequences of numbers (the number pad is quite far away so it involves looking down to the keyboard)
  • it messes up all the alignement: keyboards with number pads usually end-up having the touchpad centered on the space bar but one always has his body centered on the screen; also i mostly use the touchpad with my right hand (thumb and index) so this is even worse

The only case where i have found number pads useful is in games (like arcade games with 2/3 player on the keyboard or single-player with lots of keys and no mouse) but these cases are rare (in usage-time of the computer) and easily circumvented by using an external keyboard or controller.

I know some people like these number pads, but at least please give the choice. Sure it probably involves having 2 types of enclosings or structure, but i don’t think this is such a big deal for you (if it is i would love to know what the reasons are).

Am i alone here or do other people think the same way?


#2

Not a big deal for me. I’m personally fine with or without the number pad.
I’m more concerned with the Backlit Keyboard. I wonder whether characters attributed to each key are simply printed on the keyboard or do they light up as well? If looking at these images https://puri.sm/products/librem-15/ you kind of get an impression that the keys are simply printed and do not lighten up. If so, are there any reasons as to why those are a bad practice or smth?


#3

The characters on the keys definitely light up; you can turn off all the lights in your house (at night), and turn the backlight on; you’ll see them as clear as day.


#4

Nice to know that. Thanks


#5

I agree with your opinion and maybe have an alternative to put forward.
Personally I would mush more prefer an extra column on the right with Home, End, Page Up and Page Done keys just like following laptop: http://amzn.to/2FD98Vu.
As a computer science student I really found it a productivity booster for coding and editing.


#6

Indeed, this layout make a good usage of the extra-space with some useful keys. The fact that they are so nicely aligned reminds me that another thing i change i would be happy of is an ortholinear keyboard (with everything aligned) as the unalignement of staggered keyboard makes it harder to reach the middle-right key of the top row and the middle key of the bottom row.


#7

Hello lapinot,

As far as I am concerned (since you were asking for opinions :wink: ), IMHO, the trackpad is great to have on a 15" laptop.

If you have a look at the Dell XPS 15", which does not have a num pad, the keyboard feels “empty” in the middle of the case: what a waste of potentially usable space.

As far as usage is concerned, you can always remap the numpad keys to perform other actions than typing numbers :wink:

Just my 2 cents,

Regards

Patrick


#8

Thanks for your opinion (that’s indeed what i asked for!). Actually i quite like the XPS 15’ keyboard. I currently have a Macbook pro 15’ and it has the exact same look (actually the empty spaces right and left are used for the speaker—which btw is for me the most obvious placement for speakers, much better than inside the hinge, on the front or below the case like i have seen in other laptops).

Also remaping wont work because my biggest critic is the fact that everything useful is deported to the left and unaligned with the screen (trackpad and 84-key keyboard). So what bothers me is these key’s placement which is not something i can change. Actually i don’t really want more than 84 keys because at some point the keyboard is too big to be useful for me while touchtyping. And actually is “there is free space on the sides” a real argument? I mean, sure, but the trackpad isn’t full-width just because it could be.

Regards


#9

I agree: having the touchpad centered on the screen is much better than shifted to the left which is inconvenient.

Copy from here: Improvements You'd Like To See in Librem 15v4?

  1. Good to have the touchpad centered on the screen (not space bar). Mac Book 15" layout is good for example

  2. Also please add English-Russian keyboard option - many people will want to buy it from Russia or Ukraine.

  3. And yes, more modern processor would be good: i7 with 4 cores 8 threads, some i7 HQ if possible

  4. Much bigger battery capacity, for example like Lenovo Yoga 920 has, which allows to work

      * 10,8 h on 4k monitor variant and
    
     * 15,5 h with FullHD monitor

#10

I love having the number pad! I type type numbers in spreadsheets regularly, and the number pad makes this so much easier. However i do agree on your touchpad alignment view. It would be much nicer having the touchpad centered to the screen, and not the space bar. Having it offset is really annoying, but hoping i will get used to it…