I saw a review of this laptop today, and I was highly impressed almost to the point of purchasing one on the spot.
However, when choosing a laptop, one of the most important things I look at are the keyboard layout. And while the current keyboard layout is… ok, I would much prefer arrow keys similar to the image below:
All four arrow keys half height
Page up / Page down in the corners
I’m not saying that my preference is ‘objectively better’, but I think that keyboard layout preference differ highly based on the specific user. As the mantra of this laptop appears to be ‘user replacement and customization’, are there any plans for alternative keyboard layouts?
The keyboard enthusiasts market is highly particular about their keyboard layouts, and you may be able to drive a large amount of traffic by exploring the option for multiple keyboard layout options… as well as looking into whether it’s possible to use mechanical keyboard switches in the chassis you’ve chosen.
That’s a really interesting idea that you’re throwing out, the idea of alternate physical keyboard layouts and even the possibility of mechanical keyboards. I am a huge fan of mechanical keyboards on the desktop, but never thought that it was even an option on a laptop. The MNT Reform (with props to @Manuel for introducing me to it over at Classic/old 7-row style keyboards) is a Framework-esque laptop that does indeed have a mechanical keyboard. They obviously go much further in some ways than Framework regarding openness / repair / upgradeability, and while I respect what they’ve done, I’m much more interested in the daily usability of the Framework vs. the Reform. But at least they’ve proven that it can be done, building a modular open mechanical keyboard for a laptop.
Also chiming in as the keyboard layout is the primary thing preventing me from purchasing a framework laptop.
I am an IT professional and coder, I am constantly using text editors and terminals, and I need not only correctly placed PG UP + PG DOWN keys, but INS, DEL. ( I use VI for server configs in remote shells regularly) . Then I also use (but can live without) : HOME, END
It’s so hard to find a laptop that includes these keys without a full size layout. The last one I found was HP Scepter (2017), I am looking to replace this and want Framework so much, love everything about it… Apart from the damned keyboard layout.
I am sure I am not alone in this, I am sure that IT professionals will be a significant portion of potential customers for Framework. Please consider us with some optional (or a better) Keyboard layout.
I agree that it’s nice to have dedicated home/pgup/pgdn/end keys. My old VAIO which has a right column for those navigation keys was my preferred layout - similar to the keyboard discussed in the other thread. The half-height pgup/pgdn keys on the keyboard in this thread are similar to what I was used to on my last ThinkPad, though it also has dedicated home/end keys up at the top.
Having said that, I really like the Framework laptop, and the autohotkey script I’m using for one-hand pgup/pgdn/home/end navigation is working pretty well for my needs.
@brianshmrian I saw that, and I’m glad it’s working for you. But I think for things like, highlighting to the end of the data in a column in excel (shift end dn) it would get futzy to remember to let go of the ctrl button (shift, ctrl, right arrow, release ctrl, down arrow?) If you have any other ideas for less cumbersome combinations I’d be interested.
@Rachel_Is_Not My current scheme works pretty well for me, but you’re right that it can’t handle end+dn since dn would be interpreted as pgdn. You could add a hotkey that interprets ctrl+] to mean end+dn, but it’s true that we’re starting to run out of easy, one-handed combos at this point!
I wanted to suggest again that framework add a bios option to allow right-alt to be interpreted as fn, though alt+shift+end+down is also a pretty awkward combo! (Edit: Oops… and that also doesn’t solve the problem of fn+dn being interpreted as pgdn!)
I think it would be really cool to have a wider variety of keyboard layouts available for purchase on the marketplace. Different languages definitely take precedent, but alternatives to QWERTY would be fun to try out and play around with on a modular laptop.