Full arrow keys on 16 inch keyboard

Hello lovely people

I look for a Framework laptop since quite some while, and the new 16 inch version does look amazing

Still, looking at the keyboard, it pains me to see that you went with the half-sized arrow keys. Thats a deal breaker, and not only for me: Keyboard arrow keys

I understand that you have good reasons for it, and that you cant easily add the option for a fully customized keyboard.

Two options, that I can see:

  1. Full sized arrow keys by default
  2. Full sized arrow keys on a community designed, own layout.

I would suggest, that we introduce a keyboard option for coders, professionals and gamers.
Something that spares the second shift key, the capslock and similar shinenigans, and therefor introduced proper sized arrow keys.

The US variant could provide a good basis for that.

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I second that. I am a keyboard-centric coder and I would buy a fully loaded Framework 16 laptop right now (if it was available) because of its modularity and serviceability. But! Small arrow keys make it absolutely a “no-go”. I spend 12 hours a day or more using a keyboard and a lot of it involves arrow keys. Given the fact that the whole idea of the product is that it is modular and upgradable, it shocks me that there is no normal-size arrow keys option. I would seriously pay extra for such an option.

What is even more sad, there was a similar discussion about 13" model back in 2021 on this forum, with quite a lot of support from the current and potential customers, and nothing came out of this.

Just when I thought that I have found a laptop of my dreams, the small arrow keys happen!

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The keyboard runs QMK, so my plan is to just make the fn + WASD keys work as arrow keys. You can do literally anything with QMK, so this isn’t deal-breaking, IMO.

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I literally loose 4 keys with that, and I am used for 20+ years with them being at the right side.

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Unless you’re already using a laptop that has a QMK keyboard and have mapped the fn + WASD keys to something else, you aren’t losing keys. You’re gaining QMK.

I find it ideal to be able to keep my left hand on the keys and my right hand on the mouse/trackpad as much as possible. Also, if you play games, moving around on a computer with WASD is pretty natural.

I agree that having full-size arrow keys would have been better than not having them, provided it doesn’t ruin the Shift key like that layout does on some keyboards.

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I would really like that as well! I’m a programmer and find the small up/down keys really annoying. I was surprised to see none of the F16 keyboards have full sized arrow keys.

Absolute legend. I had in no way thought of doing this. Imma do it with hjkl though but I think I’m starting to understand why QMK is so sick. I love this, I’m going to procrastinate so hard making my keyboard do whatever the hell I want it to

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Yeah, a lot of people are going to love QMK.
Fn button too far away? Make your right Ctrl key do Fn-lock when you double tap it.

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My hope is that a +10 module that can slot in instead of a numpad becomes available at some point. Until then, I’ve ordered a MacroPad and will put arrow keys in the bottom-left of that.

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Ya, i totally agree the normal arrow keys in any laptop, i hope the laptop framework 13 also using the normal arrow keys.

I think the best solution is to adopt a proper TKL layout. This is a deal breaker for me, as I was hoping this will get implemented.

BTW, there’s another 2 threads for this request:

https://community.frame.work/t/keyboard-arrow-keys/2275/23

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I think this thread also refers to

&

We want PROPER Arrow & Navigation keys, aka TKL layout. This is a deal breaker!

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I decided to order a Glove80 and a Meta Quest 3.

That costs not even half as much, and I get all to do, I wanted to do.

Sad, that Framework fell, before they lifted off to fly.

I love the current design in terms of style and usability. My fingers do find the keys right away (thanks to the gaps), and this is also the design Apple has chosen for almost all MacBooks, especially the last 5 years’ models.

There are a lot of different options, and without navigation keys (page up, …) this is the best choice:

  • A usability disaster is a 6-key cursor pad with PageUp and PageDown keys.
  • Similar to the 6-key pad disaster is a design where the cursor keys are surrounded by random other keys to save space.
  • Slightly better, but also quite awkward, is a “full” 4-button block (no flipped T-style), where only the left and right keys are full size. Still bad style and bad usability (no gaps).
  • The current Framework layout seems to be very popular (contrary to what this thread seems to convey): I personally love the inverted-T design in terms of usability and style with half-size cursor keys, and as said, apparently Apple agrees.

That aside. The real sticking point is the lack of the navigation keypad. I literally can’t code without the navigation keys. So IF there is an option for the Framework to include navigation keys, they should be placed above the cursor keys, and all keys should be the same size, I guess. That way you can easily switch between a hardware keyboard and the Framework keyboard.

I was also going to suggest the insert/delete,home/end and pgup and down along with cursors are put into the numeric keypad area and a external USB numeric keypad be used if needed.
Also gaps between escape and between the three sets of function keys would make it much easier to navigate by touch for the visually impaired.

1 Like