What keyboard options will be available?

@nrp any idea if we can make a request to purchase an all black keyboard before the marketplace is up? Or do we have to wait until Aug?

We’re working on stocking up essential replacement parts on the Marketplace first, but the black and clear keyboards as well as alternate bezel colors will come soon after.

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When will the blank (black) keyboard option be available. I see it listed in the keyboard blog post (with a picture) but am curious if it is on track for release with the initial release of the marketplace?

Note: I am in batch 2, so I don’t have a framework laptop as of yet.

EDIT: Just saw the reply above me, nevermind, will be my first marketplace purchase.

I don’t use the right Shift key at all. Please divide it and use that space for a full-size up/down key, and possibly more keys.

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@Amaury_Bouchard Yes I have posted the same layout here:

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The one thing that makes me hesitant about a Framework laptop is the keyboard. I really like having an arrow cluster that includes keys for PgUp and PgDn to make it easier to page through documents one-handed.

@nrp Why did you go with having the front panel have cutouts for the individual keys? Recent Thinkpads, for example, just have a large rectangular cutout with the bezels between the keys being part of the keyboard unit. That would allow people to more easily produce keyboards with different layouts.

After playing around with the image from the DIY Edition page in an editor, I see that you’re right. Without reducing the key pitch, there’s just not room for another column.

But personally I’d really like to see a keyboard that looks something like this edited image:

Notes:

  • Key pitch doesn’t seem so important on the function row, while I do find more keys there useful. So I copied my Thinkpad and reduced the pitch: the keys are slightly narrower and most of the gaps between them are removed.
  • Reworked the arrow cluster to use 3/4 height keys (same height as the function key row), which seems nicer than half-height, and reduced them to the standard pitch.
    • I also stuck a ridge on the down-arrow key, like on the F and J keys, to help with finger positioning. And I copied Thinkpad’s lack of a gap between up and down, which also helps the positioning.
    • This makes the keyboard not be rectangular, but I think Thinkpads did the right thing with that.
  • Making the arrows standard width left some extra space in the bottom row. So I shrunk left-Ctrl to standard width, and reduced the spacebar a little too, to bring back the key between right-Alt and right-Ctrl. Recent Thinkpads put PrtSc there, with the thinking that it makes Alt+PrtSc (“screenshot of a single window” in Windows) easier to do, so I copied that assignment.
    • Not having an oversized left-Ctrl makes swapping Fn and Ctrl make more sense, IMO, because who wants an oversized Fn key? And coming from a Thinkpad, I’d want to swap them.
    • But would having the spacebar not come so far under the M be awkward for some people? I have no idea.
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We have the keyboard mounted into the input cover that has key cutouts in it largely for rigidity. With a system this thin and cutouts already for the Expansion Card system, we want to keep the base rigid where we can.

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@Brad_J, I almost love it. A couple things I would change:

  • Make the arrows full height instead of two-thirds height.
  • Lose the weird “melding” of backslash and enter (apparently that’s a weird European thing?).
  • Make escape normal size and separated from F1.

Although I’m “used to” the one Firestar showed (which is attainable in a 13.5" 3:2!), I could get onboard with that layout. It’s actually closer to a full 101-key desktop keyboard layout, which might be a good thing, and is probably easier to design since it doesn’t need an entire additional column compared to the current design (which I loathe).

On a (loosely) related note, I hope some day we will be able to get custom keycaps. I want a meta key that actually says “meta”, or at least has a Tux logo, and I want my “compose” key (it’s the extremely useful key just left of “A”, between tab and shift) to actually say “compose” :grinning:.

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@matthew3 I think that’s intentional, for ease of manufacture & allowing multiple Enter key configurations:

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@nrp Suggestion:

Consider teaming up with Justin Wu from TEX. He designed the Shinobi, a mechanical Thinkpad-Style keyboard with trackpoint, that is arguably better than any real ThinkPad keyboard.

This might put Framework on track to become a popular Thinkpad replacement.

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Please, make sure that normal ANSI keyboards will also be available in Europe - with exactly the same model as current one.

I really don’t want to be locked to some ISO keyboard because someone decided that it’s “national” layout.

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@Brad_J I love it.

@nrp Is this something we can consider, please pretty please?

Obviously there is a demand here for multiple keyboard options. Is it possible to make the laptop in a way that third parties can create keyboard replacements.

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I would think if you want custom keyboard layouts, you could build a new top plate for the laptop to fit the new layout you want or need. It could even come as part of the new keyboard order. The bonus would be, it would make changing out keyboards easy if you wanted to swap them out depending on travel / home / office work. So far I am really liking the current keyboard. it feels nice, has good key travel and I have been making very few mistakes when i come back from a full size keyboard for my desktop. I’d like to try different types later, but for a first keyboard, I’m impressed. (especially since keyboards seem to be an afterthought on a lot of new laptops.) I would also like to see arrow keys of all the same size, and a way to incorporate insert and delete as their own keys, home and end. Thats from using a lot of terminal windows, copy paste and moving cursors around command prompts. I’m not sure which keys i’d like over others yet though. I haven’t used it long enough yet.

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I was thinking the same thing, a custom input cover would be needed if someone wanted to do like in my mock-up. I’ve been waiting for my laptop to arrive (I got the “shipped” email on Friday!) to see whether it looks like there would be room for the extra half-row for the arrow keys.

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Regarding the French layout, AFNOR (French norm institute) recently normalized a new AZERTY version, as well as a [new BÉPO](https:/ /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%89PO) one, after about ten years of back-and-forth. I know users can be very conservative about their keyboards (heck, typewriter layouts are still the norm). The framework being modular though, it would be great to have options.

Here is a link to the official norm (paid).

Other than this, I would really like an ortholinear layout (the [typematrix](http:/ /www.typematrix.com/), [ergodox](https:/ /www.ergodox.io/) or even something like the gergo and variants). Blank keycaps would likely suffice for most users.
I think I’d buy the variant, even at a premium (though I’m waiting for AMD options TBH).

In case this is not something framework aims to do, could we have the specs (mechanical constraints, electrical interface) to design our own?

Thanks – Proudly typed on my ergodox EZ :slight_smile: (and that 2 links restriction is annoying).

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Big ups, guys! Can’t wait for the ISO layout! :smiley: ANSI is what’s keeping me from buying a framework atm.

Regarding the remapability: It would really be a lot better to support something like QMK and VIA, rather than hoping people can solve it in software, leaving them SOL in BIOS, reinstalls or anywhere outside of a fully booted session in their default OS.

Also putting in my vote for the super key to just read “meta” or “super” instead of a Windows icon :slight_smile:

+1 for what you say, but - being pedantic - I think you will find that an ortholinear is one of the grid type layouts (like the Planck). I actually made exactly the same error in terminology on another forum, so there is no shame in it. :grinning:

I have started another thread specifically to agitate for the Atreus as an option. This I consider the most practical option for the 13.5" Framework since it allows for the retention of the trackpad (on which any thumb clusters / arcs might impinge) whilst still being a relatively popular configuration.

Larger or deeper models offered in the future may have sufficient space for thumb-cluster keyboards and trackpad, or allow a pointing stick instead of trackpad which can fit between any thumb clusters.

I agree that ease of customising layouts is really important to me, and vital for smaller alternative configurations like the Atreus that really need layers. There is a thread specifically on QMK (and other configuration software) here.

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Ah, man, thanks for the link! Glad to see there are others here looking at the same stuff.

I’ve never heard of EC before, but I’m sure they know what they’re doing. The main thing I’m concerned about is them replicating the depth that QMK has. A ctrl-fn-swap would be considered quite basic in that world, where you also have modifiers that you can press once and then change the layer for one keypress, that keypress could then be another layer change key. Support for dropthrough keys (or whatever they’re called), where the key will function however it does further down in the layers. Support for keys that do one thing when held down and used as a modifier, and another thing when just quickly pressed, etc etc etc.

Anyhow, I’ve not even invested in the product yet, so I’ll try to restrain myself, hahah.

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I think that I would go for the GergoPlex keyboard over the atreus as I find they inner most thumb key on the atreus to be not really in the right place for me.

I would like to see a keyboard option that has trackpoint. Not having to move my hand from the home row in order to use the mouse is very nice.

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