Mini numpad in the form factor of small panel

It may sound like kind-of a stupid suggestion, I know. But hear me out.

Let’s say I want to still keep the numpad but also have the keyboard be located in the middle of the laptop. If the number keys would be small in size they could actually fit into the small side panel and there wouldn’t be a need to have a large 9-digit key panel for them.

For instance it could be located in the top part of the small panel and in general you wouldn’t be changing your hand posture because of these buttons until you need them. I.e. your hands and spine wouldn’t need to be rotated to the left and you’d still be able to use numpad. This could be used by somebody who would appreciate these buttons but don’t use them too often.

This could be a fully aftermarket part but maybe I’m not alone with this thought.
Or maybe it’s just plain stupid, who knows.

It doesn’t look like there’d be enough physical space for them unless you accept blackberry physical keyboard level of sized keys in an unorthodox form factor, which I would find unusable.

Alas, I don’t think we’ll be seeing that. I think keeping form factors consistent is a better idea.

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Ideas are relative so only stupid to those who see stupid, sounds a bit off the rack, but then Framework is well out of the shop

unless you accept blackberry physical keyboard level of sized keys

Yes. Exactly. They don’t need to have the same stiffness as in phones but this is the size that I was thinking about. If you want to type many numbers then it’s better to type them on a grid instead of typing on a line. So if you want to type like 8 numbers in a row but not type them often then this could work.

Also QMK will allow to reconfigure the keyboard which could allow to type the numbers without number row by pressing FN or something. But I was thinking about the panel and not about software solutions first.

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So if you are happy to have small keys and not be in a hurry to number it up how about some on the left and some on the right, or maybe a smaller keyboard ?

I’m not sure what you mean by your comment. Can you elaborate on it?

If the size of the keys isn’t that important then it seems you are not into speed number typing as a habit.

So why not split the number pad to left and right, would that make typing any slower?

Or if you really want the number pad to the left and bigger, how about a smaller keypad.

All these idea are a DIY aren’t they, I don’t see Framework making a smaller number pad.

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Habit is not everything. Simply having them on a grid instead of having them on a line makes you not think which key does what. I like number keys but I’d also prefer to have the keyboard in the middle. But for me it’s hard to consistently use number row to type the correct digits. So grid pattern would help and I don’t try to address the already solved problem of the numpad that FW16 will be sold with right from the start.

When you try to sign a transaction using your banking code generator you don’t have full-sized keypad. You have a small and kind-of clunky one. But it’s still a grid pad and not a line of buttons.

I would be very happy with a 3x9 button grid as a small panel instead of 2x6 button panel. Of course that would mean that you could bind PgUp and other less used buttons there.

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I don’t think the width allow for that.
HOWEVER, you can probably fit a few macro or nagivation keys. (e.g., Home, End, etc. 2x5?) The keyboard runs on a RP2040 and QMK (?) firmware so you can customize that.

I’m not sure if you read the post but I was specifically talking about smaller buttons.

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Will I use a 50% smaller numpad instead of regular numbers on the keyboard? Not convinced. Unless the switches are like, really good.

Not convinced

I think that if you don’t care then you may want to go into a different topic. Your first message was based on misunderstanding and this one is talking about a technicality such as switch quality.

We talk about a concept in this thread, not somebody’s theoretical implementation. Maybe they’ll make switches out of cardboard and copper wire and they’ll be happy by simply having them.

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For instance there is this one but it won’t fit by width (even if I’d remove one column of buttons (it should probably still work)):

This one is narrower in general but the way it’s routed means you can’t remove a column of it and still expect it to work:

But yes, the capacitive buttons won’t be easy to use with fingers :confused: