What keyboard options will be available?

I think I probably muddled the discussion a bit by suggesting both an input cover with an empty keyboard tray and bringing up CNC machining as a method for making fully-custom covers with a metal grid (like the current keyboard’s) in the same comment. (Thank you @Frosty for explaining so clearly why they’re likely not practical, or at least not cheap, options here; personally I have zero actual experience with CNC machines just yet :slightly_smiling_face:)

Selling “blanks” of the standard input cover, to be modified with an appropriate subtractive process (waterjet cutting? I’m no machinist, obviously), seems like perhaps the most practical option – assuming that people can make keyboards thin enough to fit inside!

(It sounds like my “tray” idea would be substantially more complicated/expensive, if it’s even feasible – and would have some inherent tradeoffs compared to imitating the current input cover design, like limiting the size/shape of alternative keyboards.)

I do wish the Framework were a bit thicker and then this would probably be a non-issue, but it’s a little late for that :wink:

Also, I’d anticipate a lot of bikeshedding over the details, but something close to @Brad_J’s design with a more traditional arrow-key cluster might be popular enough for a group buy…

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Even if an extra column isn’t feasible, I would still love to see full-height arrow keys by putting the up arrow to the left of the right shift, something like this:


That would honestly drive me insane, because I’m used to shift being there, and I’ll go to capitalize a left hand letter, and find myself typing in the middle of the line above.

Why do we need full height arrow keys? Isn’t it better to have the two half height keys as a homing mechanism for the right middle finger, so that you can move around without looking at the keyboard?

PS: I type in a Workman layout, so I’d love to see the ability to swap the keys around to suit my layout. I’ll be getting the clear ANSI keyboard once its available, and see if I can manage a way to remove the keycaps of the original board and rearrange them without destroying it.


Some of us really dislike half-height arrow keys. They’re also harder to press, due to needing more precise finger placement compared to every other key.

What I’d like to know is why we can’t just add a row (of only three keys). Yeah, it’d be a little different (but so are half height arrows which already place ‘up’ in the wrong spot), but it would give us an extra two total keys.

Personally, though, I think my first choice would be adding a few millimeters so we can have a proper keyboard tray that allows any layout (and allows using the space all the way to the edge so we can have one more entire column)… and, incidentally, a thicker (and thus higher capacity) battery.

Or (heresy!) we could make the side bezels the same width as the top and bottom, which would make the whole thing just a little wider, which would also give us that extra column of keys. (But that would require redesigning everything, or having different and incompatible expansion cards.)


I’d rather get rid of the typewriter layout of keyboards and go ortholinear. There is no reason why we couldn’t have full height arrows and right shift in the right place at the same time on a keyboard where 1 and z are in line with each other. Make the arrows 1U wide instead of 1.25U and that would leave room for probably a 1.75U right Shift, AND an up arrow on the second to bottom row of the board, without intruding further south beside the touchpad with the arrows. I use only ortholinears on my desktop now, and wonder why people still use qwerty, personally. I type faster on Workman than I did on qwerty 3 years ago, now. Your issue and mine solved in one go, and it would add room for maybe the pgup pgdn home and end along the right side.

I’d also be down with adding a longer hinge to the screen to raise it a bit when it is closed, and giving the top cover a larger thickness, adding some space so that we could put a thicker more customizable or homebrew keyboard in. More space for a larger battery would also be a plus, too.


I like the idea of the larger hinge. Would love be able to put in a custom planck stlyle keyboard


I use a Planck both at my home and office desks. The offset keys on the Framework are honestly kind of jarring to me, moreso than seeing qwerty keys and typing Workman layout. It really seems bizarre to me that a typewriter layout still prevails.


yeah I think that when I have rebuilt my planck I may spray paint the keys.

My home build planck is the image that I use for my avitar

The right shift key is the second largest key on the US keyboard. Why not make it shorter and put standard size up arrow key left of it, allowing the down arrow key to be full size between left and right arrows to create the standard inverted T layout? This would not require a modification of the keyboard grid. While we were at it, we could shrink the caps lock key and add another key left of A. For the person who would like the spacebar to be centered above the touch pad, it could be made narrower to open a space for an additional key left of it.

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Caps lock is only about 1¾ keys wide; that would be a very small key…

But bigger than the up and down arrow keys! It is not touch-typed and is seldom used. Somebody was lamenting the lack of a “programmer’s key” (<>) left of the A on a different language keyboard.

I’m probably going to get a framework, but I would 1000% get one and pay an extra ~$250 if there were an ortholinear layout. I know someone in the staff said the restriction is what fits into the cutouts, but is it possible framework or a third party can make an entirely new “input cover” where that is supported?


Looking at how it was put together, if you are comfortable with metal working or 3D printing, a new cut-out shouldn’t be too hard. However, you’d probably need to buy the keyboard first from a 3rd party.

I hadn’t considered buying my own keyboard AND building a new cut-out. It may be a worthwhile project.

I sketched a layout using ASUS zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition. It has a similar dimension as the framework laptop. I would like full size arrow keys together with pgup/pgdn/end/home keys.


I’m now looking at 13.3" laptop from Toshiba (portege z930) and the 75% layout fits totally fine even with relatively large spaces between the keys. In fact, I’m now choosing a new laptop and the only thing stopping me from buying the Framework is its minimal layout. Optional keyboard with the full-sized arrows, the column home/end/pg up/pg down, as well as the Menu key would be fantastic.

Ortholinear would be pretty nice, I don’t know any laptop with such a layout, but with the framework this should be pretty easy to do. Another point which would make it unique from any other laptop.


I have seen some used international keyboards in the marketplace, cost around $99.
I wonder in the DIY version of order, why framework doesn’t allow user to select other keyboards?

Let’s say I order from US, I don’t have any other options other than US keyboard, however, I would like to use Japanese keyboard, I have to additionally order another keyboard then try to sell it in the marketplace…

It’s a waste of time and money, and I thought one of the great ideas of the framework is to reduce waste…

I truly hope framework can consider opening keyboard selection for DIY edition, letting users pick up the keyboard they want/

Hi and welcome to the forum


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I am also interested in more keyboard options, but fully customizable keys. It looks to me that current Framework approach to keyboards require that whole keyboards are made and only few keys cannot be changed at a later time. In my current laptop (Dell XPS 13) I was able to just replace few keys with other keys (so key covers) so that I have slightly different layout. But with Framework this does not seem to be possible.

I am interested in swapping alt and logo keys around, so that logo key is close to the space key, like it is on Macs.

So I would like to request that during DIY ordering, one could configure a custom keyboard layout. I am willing to pay extra for that.

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Half sized arrow keys are why I can’t buy a Framework. Pretty please full size arrows, home/end/page keys and the Menu key. I will pay extra for that.

I get it that it costs money for uncertain demand, but there are options. How about Kickstarter style? You don’t have to do anything until there’s enough pledged for it to be obviously worth for you. No uncertainty.