[RANT] Cheap-ass laptop keyboards suck harder every year. Why bother?

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abrahamstechnology

05 Oct 2018, 01:33

samuelcable wrote: I will not disagree that laptop keyboards are garbage scissor switches but id take the low profile keyboards on a thin laptop over a chunky and heavy laptop with a proper keyboard on my lap any day of the week.

You'd get used to it within a week. Much better than having an obscenely-thin chassis combined with a 16:9 widescreen, which ruins the portability anyway. I used a ThinkPad 600x when I was younger and never cried about the weight, or threw a tantrum because it wasn't thin.

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stratokaster

05 Oct 2018, 01:51

I don't know, I commute with my laptop a lot and I think even 2kg (the weight of a 15" MBP circa 2015) is a touch too heavy. My current 13" MBP which weighs about 1.3kg is much better although I still prefer carrying around my iPad Pro which weighs only 470g or so.

Thickness isn't really important to me, anything under 25mm thick is OK in my book.

I still have my very first laptop - Toshiba Satellite 4080XCDT, only ~5cm thin and 3.5kg light, I hope I will never have to carry around anything like it in the future :-D

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Chyros

05 Oct 2018, 08:57

If you leave out the word "laptop", this title would've applied since the early 80s xD .

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Muirium
µ

05 Oct 2018, 10:03

Correct.

[rationalisation mode engage!] At least laptops have the valid excuse of saving vertical space and weight. Laptops just won’t sell when they’re fat and hefty. Almost entirely everyone wants something more like a magazine than the printer it came out of! And those who don’t? Keyboard condom! There’s just not the market for manufacturers to provide the hunks some of us seem to think we seek. You’re going to have to build (and suffer) it for yourselves. [/rationalisation]

Desktop keyboards, though? No excuse. Sheer cheapness alone.

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depletedvespene

05 Oct 2018, 22:05

Rationalization or not, there's saving vertical space and there's saving vertical space cheaply. Compare the pictures of both flat-top profile keyboards in my original post with this detail of another laptop keyboard:
rant8.png
Detail of a halfway-decent latptop keyboard.
rant8.png (1.57 MiB) Viewed 358 times
The Lenovo G570, pictured in somewhat dirty detail, was a lower-side-of-the-midrange laptop that I bought for my mother in 2012. The switches are decent, the travel is nowhere as short... and look at the shape of the keys. They're not flat! Heck, the HP's lettering is so obviously inked on top of the keys themselves that they, although flat, feel slightly convex. Also, the pad printing on this Lenovo has NOT worn out, which is more than what the Dell cal say.

So, yeah, cheapening. If they're gonna keep at it, just get rid of the keyboard, monitor and mouse-wanna-be-pad and start making the "bricks" as I posited a few years ago. Just make sure they got PLENTY of USB connectors, so we won't be having to get hubs as well (this new HP has two USB 2.0 and one 3.1C, FFS).

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stratokaster

05 Oct 2018, 22:14

Such bricks already exist, they're called "Intel NUC" :-) There are two kinds of NUCs, small and ugly, and the ugly ones are pretty powerful.
Last edited by stratokaster on 05 Oct 2018, 22:37, edited 1 time in total.

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depletedvespene

05 Oct 2018, 22:18

Not exactly. They're made to be placed somewhere and leave them there... I'd rather have something less blocky and optimized for taking it around.

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depletedvespene

07 Aug 2019, 20:21

It is NOT a necroposting if the issue is still in vigour!

You'll surely remember my ranting about the brutish way the ISO-based Spanish layout was forced on top of the ANSI-ish keyboard in my work-issued laptop, and how what was supposed to be the RCTRL key (already unacceptably shrunk to 1U) was made to be the < > key, an undeniably unconscionable change. But, given that this is a computer in a mid-range line, one would expect one from a high-end line to be better, right?

Well... a cow orker has an "HP Omen" laptop (a "gaming" computer and pretty expensive, too), and lo and behold, check THAT bottom row:

HP-omen_what-an-omen.png
This not a keyboard. It's just a *keeb*, FFS.
HP-omen_what-an-omen.png (991.89 KiB) Viewed 174 times

I'm sure we could argue for days on end about what's proper and what's improper about rearranging a keyboard, but I'm fairly sure we'll all agree that a 2.25U alpha key (again the < > key) in the bottom row is way beyond the line.

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SneakyRobb

07 Aug 2019, 20:53

depletedvespene wrote:
07 Aug 2019, 20:21
It is NOT a necroposting if the issue is still in vigour!

You'll surely remember my ranting about the brutish way the ISO-based Spanish layout was forced on top of the ANSI-ish keyboard in my work-issued laptop, and how what was supposed to be the RCTRL key (already unacceptably shrunk to 1U) was made to be the < > key, an undeniably unconscionable change. But, given that this is a computer in a mid-range line, one would expect one from a high-end line to be better, right?

Well... a cow orker has an "HP Omen" laptop (a "gaming" computer and pretty expensive, too), and lo and behold, check THAT bottom row:


HP-omen_what-an-omen.png


I'm sure we could argue for days on end about what's proper and what's improper about rearranging a keyboard, but I'm fairly sure we'll all agree that a 2.25U alpha key (again the < > key) in the bottom row is way beyond the line.
While this keyboard does look like it sucks. I wouldn't say it is the worst layout wise, and in fact compared to your original post this keyboard actually looks *somewhat* better layout wise. Doesn't mean I think its good, but it is better.

Just need to look on the bright side of your friends burning hellfire themed laptop.

This keyboard for instance has a notch area around the arrow keys, to make them easier to find. As well they are separate with a space around them. This is actually good.

There is a space between the numpad and the alphablock. This helps in finding it as well. Most of these are just XT mashed together which makes finding them by touch impossible.

Num 5 has a homing bar additionally so numpad finding is somewhat better.

W has a homing bar which makes gaming at least somewhat easier.

The ~ key on the row is narrower versus the 1 allowing you to potentially identify it easier versus the 1! key.

The F row keys are shorter so maybe they can also be felt easier by hand.

The space between the F row and the Num row is slightly larger than the rest of the row gaps which helps with feeling by hand.

The space bar extends down so you can also find it easier.


Doesnt mean I like this keyboard, but getting punched in the stomach is better than getting punched in the groin.

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depletedvespene

07 Aug 2019, 21:47

SneakyRobb wrote:
07 Aug 2019, 20:53
While this keyboard does look like it sucks. I wouldn't say it is the worst layout wise, and in fact compared to your original post this keyboard actually looks *somewhat* better layout wise. Doesn't mean I think its good, but it is better.
……
Doesnt mean I like this keyboard, but getting punched in the stomach is better than getting punched in the groin.
You're right. This laptop's keeb sucks LESS than the keeb in my laptop (for which the niqab is still very much in place). But still, I'd think that we've gone from being repeatedly punched in the groin to being repeatedly punched in the stomach, with one final punch in the groin... and final punch sticks out the most, if nothing else because of the sheer surprise factor. I've seen all kinds of unconscionable changes to a keyboard in quality, size, form factor, key arrangement and whatnot, but forcing a large (2.25U) key in the bottom row that was obviously meant to be a mod, be made into an alpha instead, is actually a new (unsightly) sight.

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