The Keyboard

Will there be a keyboard cover available? I always have a keyboard cover to keep crumbs and light spills from entering via the keyboard.

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Great work Framework team. I think a lot of the concern about keyboards today are born from the relative difficulty of repairing or replacing them easily. If the repair of laptop components was easier then I believe a lot of these concerns would disappear.

I’m a big Thinkpad fan myself, who has had to watch the Thinkpad slowly decline. I recognize the hurdle that a nub pointer both from the engineering required but also the legalities that would need to be navigated just make this request an unnecessary initial hurdle to scale, at least initially. If the trackpad is good and the keyboard as well, I’m good.

Really looking forward to the opening of pre-orders and seeing how we can spec these out.

64gb on a 13" laptop is pretty unheard of. I know of only one other company offering it, but has, as of yet, not shipped it.

The true reparability of the framework laptop is the real draw. It has always bothered me how much waste goes on in the laptop industry. People will junk a whole machine because the display goes out.

Being able to upgrade the mainboard easily will be amazing if we can see it come to fruition!

Keep up the great work!

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I just want to chime in that I would also pay hundreds extra for a Trackpoint. The ergonomics are far superior, your fingers can stay on homerow while using the mouse, plus it saves a ton of space.

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Not sure it it has been said anywhere, but will the keyboard be programmable (at the firmware level)?

Also, another vote for colemak. Finally, would an ortholinear keyboard be possible?

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ah ortholiear keyboard somilar to the planck 48 key woujd be my ideal combined with programability

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@Matt1 our Embedded Controller firmware which interfaces to the keyboard will be open source. It’s based on the open source chromium-ec firmware. The actual mechanism to enable self-compiled firmware updates is something we’re still working in.

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Since you’re already planning for a german keyboard, I’m pretty sure you’re one key-cap (Å) away from a swedish keyboard if you mix and match the english and the german version a bit. Alternativley make a nordic keyboard like many other manufacturers do. I realise that market might not be huge but it would at least make me really intrested…

Good work framework team! I ever dreamt about configurable keyboard on my laptop. I’ve been using a typematrix 2030 keyboard with bépo layout since 10 years. I place my keyboard on the laptop keyboard. Not very pratical…

Please, provide a bépo (and dvorak) keyboard layout!

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I signed up for this forum today to say the same thing.

I love the Framework concept, and I’m about due (if not overdue) for a new machine, so I’m seriously considering it. The lack of trackpoint (and corresponding mouse buttons beneath the spacebar / above the trackpad) is my biggest point of hesitation. I hope @Framework will consider making a keyboard that has these features. Then we could swap it in, right?

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I had a thinkpad with the buttonless trackpad (T440p) and I broke down and bought a T450 trackpad with real buttons to replace it. I know Lenovo actually did user research on the virtual buttons because I was part of the research, and during the research I thought I could make it work, but in practice it was terrible and I never want to go back. Not having physical trackpad buttons is at least one thing that would really discourage me from buying.

The tiny up/down arrow keys on the Frame.Work keyboard give me some pause. I do use the arrow key cluster a lot on my current thinkpad T490, and appreciate that they have dedicated PgUp/PgDn in the cluster. They have clearly put a lot of thought into making the nav keys usable. Makes for fast keyboard-based navigation. On your keyboard, having to mix in Fn to get PgUp/PgDn makes one-handed navigation impossible. One-handed keyboard nav is a really valuable feature in practical use. At least for me. For example, I like to page through news while eating lunch, and I can eat with my left hand and tap PgDn to read more. (Many sites don’t work with space to page, j and k are rarely handled well; PgUp/Dn almost always work). You have space; your (relatively) huge left/right keys could be split. I note that my thinkpad uses subtle cues in key shape in the nav cluster that really help eyes-free nav, so just splitting the keys into smaller rectangles wouldn’t alone give the experience.

I expect it’s way too late for design changes like that, but for me those would be a substantial usability difference…

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Hey!

Is it possible to create a universal keyboard with buttons / keys in the form of liquid crystal indicators. Like an electronic digital watch. The issue of multilingualism, backlighting is being solved.

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As a trained linguist and ancient languages nut, my keyboard layout needs are over the top. I particularly spend a lot of time with Sanskrit texts in the InScript layout https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InScript_keyboard. Therefore, basic support for modern Indian languages would help for that market and also for scholars. Eventually, I think innovative solutions will be required, something like having each key being a tiny display (perhaps e-ink) that could change characters and layouts easily. We’re starting to see those but it’s a way off… unless you guys jump on it :wink:

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Hey, look at this coolness: https://github.com/moduloindustries/thinkeys

This guy is creating custom keyboard for old ThinkPads using Kailh X switches.

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Hi!

Does the keyboard support n-key rollover?

I’m another fussy Thinkpad user with keyboard and trackpad reservations. A large part of the reason I ended up with a thinkpad is because so many alternatives didn’t have a full size iso return key and had split arrow keys.

I like linkert’s suggestion for a thiccbook. A 32cm wide and 3-4cm thick laptop could accomodate a 75% keyboard with mechanical switches and keycaps. A system that allows us to replace everything from keycaps to the pcb would allow us to buy or build a keyboard to exactly our needs and preferences.

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Not sure if something like QMK would be possible here, but having firmware-level keyboard programmability by the user would be a huge selling point for me and the mechanical keyboard enthusiasts out there (which I’m sure overlaps with Framework’s target audience :slight_smile:).

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Another Thinkpad Trackpoint lover here!!! :grinning: :grinning:
This would be a killer selling point for me.

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I love the idea that the keyboard can be easily replaced without needing to destroy the motherboard.

One question though. I am currently carrying ortholinear keyboard together with my keyboard everywhere I go. Will there ever be a chance that there will be an ortholinear layout for this PC? Also liked the idea of having QMK included in the keyboard programming feature. This will attract many ergo keyboard enthusiast wanting to get this Framework Laptop!

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Another die hard ThinkPad user here. Also an IT Pro, one of my early jobs was Gateway/eMachines/Acer warranty repairs back in 2005. Been repairing laptops for 16 years. Most serviceable laptops are not out definitly ThinkPads (even without the Service manual).
A few suggestions, requests for future designs:

  1. Please, please please provide cosmetic choices that don’t look like MacBooks, not everyone likes this aesthetic. A ThinkPad look would be awesome.
  2. Please consider no-square keyboard keys, and make them concave with decent travel, also use a different font and layout than the MacBook keyboard (MacBook keyboards are the worst of the worst IHMO, I may not understand the mechanical keyboard craze for desktops, but Lenovo, and IBM before them have always made the best laptop keyboards).
  3. Like other’s here, a track point would be amazing. I hate using a touchpad, and Mac touchpad get in the way with their size and lack of physical buttons, too many false clicks/zooms/unwanted cursor movement.
  4. Please get rid of the key grid structure on the bezel, this belongs on the keyboard module itself. Also probably makes it easier to do different layouts including orthoinear
  5. Like on ThinkPads, please make the keyboard removable with one or two screws and slide out the top without removing the bezel.
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The detachable keyboards from the Lenovo X1 tablets are only ~4.7mm, and that’s including a back case, so the working mechanism is obviously a bit less. Perfectly functional trackpoints, and I think the travel is still 1.35mm.

Obviously plenty of engineering wizardry there, and probably plenty of glue, but it’s at least possible.

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