Keyboard arrow keys

Half-height arrow keys are a dealbreaker for me and a number of other people. Usable page-up/page-down keys are also important to me. Page navigation, folks.

I was ready to click “buy now” until I noticed the keyboard layout.


I don’t like them either but it’s not a total deal breaker.


It’s not a deal breaker for me, but it is less than ideal. I’m somewhat hopeful we’ll see some interesting aftermarket keyboard mods like the ones mentioned here. In particular I’d like to see something that uses chocolate switches, particularly if they’re hot swapable. Other interesting possibilities for a “keyboard” replacement would be adding a trackpoint and/or a different touchpad like the Sensel.


Something that I think would be cool to see in a future iteration of this product would if the metal plate on the keyboard and around the keys was a separate piece from the rest of the case, so that the keyboard layout could be completely changed with a different one.


I actually really like the keyboard layout chosen, but I understand how it could be a dealbreaker to some.

For me, something I’m interested in is having a keyboard with an ubuntu/tux logo instead of the windows key. I’d pay money for that as I’m not a windows user and I really really really hate (like it’s insane how disproportionally upset this gets me) the windows key on my laptop that doesn’t use windows.

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I can understand, even though I don’t have this issue, but might I suggest you just get keycap stickers? I know if this was something that bothered me, and I understood how unvaried the Linux first hardware world was, that getting keycap stickers is what I would do.

With the keyboard being replaceable by design, I don’t see any real trade offs, unless you are super sensitive to the bump the stickers would introduce.

Yeah, I’m planning on getting the blank keyboard for this purpose, but I guess in general my “feature request” is a “normal” keyboard but when a different “super” key or whatever it’s called.

For me the deal breaker is the arrow keys not having the left/right keys also be half height. up/down/left/right all need to be the same size in order to find the keys by touch.

Without the gap above the left/right arrows, quick finger placement is an exercise in frustration.


I have my $1800 order in the shopping cart, and I simply can’t pull the trigger because of this one issue.

I’ve lived with this same up/down split key + left/right full size keyboard for the last 6 months on a new laptop, replacing my previous one of 8 years and this issue is what is driving me to buy a new one already, unfortunately it appears it can’t be :frowning:


@nrp I ran across your comment here: The arrow keys were an interesting challenge. We actually prototyped both versio... | Hacker News

The arrow keys were an interesting challenge. We actually prototyped both versions, and the full height ones ended up feeling better to most folks. It’s definitely a matter of personal preference though.

Happy to hear that the inverted t-shape for the arrow keys was prototyped – even though it was not chosen as the main one. Will a keyboard with the ‘arrow keys gap’ be available in the future?


I thought they were really odd at first. When I saw this post I realized that I have not been noticing them anymore.

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OMG. That they prototyped a proper inverted T arrow key arrangement and then didn’t go that way is the most frustrating thing ever. I’m finding the hard part of getting used to the keyboard is the same thing in multiple places – keys that are all the same size and shape making it impossible to figure out which key you’re on without looking.

I would pay real money for a new keyboard with, inverted T arrow key, a double-width left control key and a gap between it and the alt key instead of just four identical square keys.

I have no use for the windows key or function key anyways, they’re just traps catching my finger when I’m looking for control or alt.

I know you can’t actually do the full size control key because of the metal grill (though I would think it would be easy enough to leave off that bit in future models). But the standard inverted T arrows would be a huge win.

I was considering buying the blank keyboard when it comes out – having proper arrow keys would make that a slam dunk.


One of the things that made me buy a Dell Latitude 5300 a couple years ago was the PgUp/PgDn around the Up arrow key. I constantly use Ctrl+PgDn to switch tabs in browsers and PgDn to scroll pages rather than the touch pad because I’m a fast reader, and the squished format of the keys on my work MacBook Pro really aggravate me, so I’m hoping it isn’t too frustrating on the Framework.

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Yeah, the trouble is I can’t hit Fn+arrow with one hand while holding a baby on my lap with the other hand, but with a right side Ctrl I can do Ctrl+PgUp/Dn all day. I do use space to scroll, but it doesn’t work on all sites if they mess with the keyboard focus.

I’m sure I’ll get used to it, or I’ll just rely on Vimium more for tab switching (at least in the browser).

I’m about two weeks in, and I’m still not used to it. Nor do I really want to be - separate page up/down keys are really convenient. It’s obviously not a dealbreaker, but I’d greatly prefer an inverted-T arrow layout with the pageup/pagedown at the top left/top right. That’s how it’s set up on my Dell Latitude work laptop (with the bottom row extending downwards a bit past the rest of the keyboard).

I can only speak for myself, but that is my preferred layout. I move my laptop around and use it in every room, which means I’m often using while multitasking and want to be able to page up or down with one hand while I’m eating dinner, on my phone, etc.

Recognizing that no keyboard layout will satisfy everyone and even one or two alternate layouts seem to be prohibitively expensive for Framework to produce…

At the risk of sounding like a shill for AutoHotkey/xbindkeys, if you don’t use CapsLock, you magically have one-hand access to virtually any key or program or function imaginable:

It can be as simple as:

~Capslock & Tab::return
~Capslock & e::SendInput {blind}{pgdn}
~Capslock & q::SendInput {blind}{pgup}

More details: 📜 "Caps Lock as a Modifier"

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And if you do use Caps Lock PLEASE STOP, it is a key that never should have been added to the keyboard (not only because it pushed escape up to its current painful position causing vim users much grief and RSI). This is also why I typically remap caps lock to escape if tapped and control if held so I can use it to quickly cut copy and paste or stop a process or send EOF to drop out of an REPL or shell without stretching my pinky too far.

I believe vim was created on a system before Caps existed, when Esc was closer to the home row.

Joy used a Lear Siegler ADM-3A terminal. On this terminal, the Escape key was at the location now occupied by the Tab key on the widely used IBM PC keyboard (on the left side of the alphabetic part of the keyboard, one row above the middle row). This made it a convenient choice for switching vi modes. Also, the keys h,j,k,l served double duty as cursor movement keys and were inscribed with arrows, which is why vi uses them in that way. The ADM-3A had no other cursor keys.

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According to this anti-Caps Lock article by Daniel Colin James, the original invention of Caps Lock seems to be linked to this 1968 Patent, which applies to an electronic terminal keyboard invented by Douglas A. Kerr of Bell Labs.

James interviewed Kerr, who said he invented the “Caps” key because his boss’s secretary was frustrated by typing strings of characters like “@#$%” instead of numbers when Shift Lock was enabled.

But patents don’t always translate into real products. The earliest record we could find of an actual Caps Lock key on a commercial product was the keyboard built into the LA36 DECwriter II terminal/teleprinter. Announced in 1974, it was a teletype and computer printer rolled into one.

The LA36 DECwriter II’s service manual describes Caps Lock (on page 1-1) as a way to reduce the 96 upper- and lowercase character set into a set of 64 uppercase characters. Originally, you were only able to set this internally via a switch on a circuit board. This suggests that permanent capital-letter production was a desirable feature at the time. This might have been because people were accustomed to the all-caps style of many earlier teletypes.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Full arrow keys on 16 inch keyboard

I was happy to see the AMD version.
But sorry, due to the keyboard layout and casing material, I bought Thinkpad last week.
Dedicated Home / End / Pg Up / Pg Down / Normal Size arrow keys are so important to me. It speed up my navigations within Word /other IDE.

Noobs just navigate slowly using mouse. Most of the customers of the famous manufacturer are noobs. But nearly every other manufacturers followed him… That manufacturer leaded the trend on strange keyboard layout and non durable metal casing…