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 Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?
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mirhagk




PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:34 pm   Post subject: Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

There are 3 things that piss me off about keyboards:

1. F1-F12 keys are not the default key, you must press FN in order to press them, instead they do their funky action. Granted most users don't really use F1-F12 that much, but I can't imagine having to change my screen brightness so quickly that it must be the default option. What's worse is that some keyboards still colour these actions the FN colour (like the same colour as the french symbols). Also if there's a chance the user might press the wrong one, it's MUCH better that they press F1-F12 instead of the action keys, because F1-F12 don't normally do irreversible, or negative actions (oh no I identically compiled my program too soon, or opened help). The actions are sometimes very irreversible, such as the sleep key, which is actually the same as F1. (Let's open help, oh no computer is going to sleep now.....)

2. Big backwards L enter key, and tiny backspace. Why does the enter need to be that big? And why would you want the backspace so tiny? I get that most users don't use the Pipeline character or backslash that often, but it's a nice safe character between enter and backspace, which often do very opposite actions (fix mistakes, or send command\message), missing one and hitting the other is usually very bad, so having a safe neutral key that doesn't do anything that negative is a good idea. Also when holding your hands properly over the keyboard most people's fingers just reach the backspace key with normal keyboards, it requires moving your hand away from the standard position and then back, which makes it take very long to press compared to most keys.

3. Tiny left shifts. Often this is because of the big backwards and moving a bunch of keys around. This isn't as big of a problem as the little backspace, because the left shift key is something that most people probably rarely hit the right side of it percentage wise, but since left shift is hit a LOT, the few percentage that you do hit it means that you end up missing it quite a lot, and it leaves 2 mistakes instead of 1 (an extra character, plus a lower case letter that was supposed to be upper case), which requires pressing 4 keys to fix.

Does anyone actually like these changes, and why? And if not, why are they becoming more and more popular in keyboards? (I was at future shop, and between 15 laptops, I could only find 2 that didn't have at least one of the issues above, while many had 2 or 3 of them)
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Panphobia




PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:04 pm   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

You are totally right! My laptop at the moment has all these things, not to mention, some select keys randomly don't work for days or weeks, and then again they spontaneously turn back on for some reason, and it is always the exact same keys.
mirhagk




PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:28 pm   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

Does any consumer like them? Do these companies think consumers like them?
Nathan4102




PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:39 pm   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

I find it really hard to get a good keyboard these days. Either the key layout is bad, or the keys are bad sizes as you pointed out, or they're just horrible to type on.

The only keyboard I've seen lately that I really like is the mac super thin white one, not sure if it has a name.
mirhagk




PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:30 pm   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

Man I have like 7 keyboards at home, costing about $5 a piece that kick ass. Responsive feedback, good layout, no stupidness with the above function keys, in fact there's very few extra actions they provide, basically all the useful ones(well missing the brightness one, because that doesn't matter for non-laptops), sleep, volume control, and that's about it.
Insectoid




PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:38 pm   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

A big problem is the numpad. A lot of laptops include a 'full-size keyboard' as a feature, which as far as I know just means it has a numpad on it. Who needs a numpad? It doesn't add anything that isn't already there. It's only convenient for people who enter a lot of numbers into forms. Adding a numpad just makes the whole keyboard more cramped.

I don't think anyone will disagree that Mac keyboards are universally excellent, in that they have large keys and a sane layout. Not trying to start a Mac vs PC debate, but almost every non-Apple laptop I've every used had a shit keyboard layout.
Nathan4102




PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:46 pm   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

Is it possible to use a mac keyboard on a PC running windows though? Or would there be some compatibility errors of some sort?
Insectoid




PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:55 pm   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

It's entirely possible. I was talking about laptop keyboards though. I haven't had much issue with desktop keyboards. There are some crappy layouts for desktops, but they're a minority.
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rdrake




PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:30 pm   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

Anything that isn't a Thinkpad keyboard on a laptop is garbage.
wtd




PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:14 am   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

You're seeing the "bilingual" keyboard layout. Companies use this not because they think consumers like it, but because they don't want to make two versions of every laptop: one for English speakers, and one for French speakers.

TL;DR: It's a cost-cutting measure.
mirhagk




PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:39 am   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

So that's why, well it's retarded, and I literally will never buy a laptop with a keyboard like that.

Regarding mac keyboards, yes they do have the good layout, but so do many other laptops (lenovo usually makes really good ones as rdrake mentions). My asus computer has a kickass keyboard, and yes it has full numpad as well, because it's 17" so it doesn't cramp the keyboard.

but I agree that on smaller keyboards the numpads do screw some things up. I really like numpads on keyboards, but if you're getting a tiny laptop, then it doesn't make sense. (I also have FN+keypad Enter brings up calculator, which is hella awesome)
andrew.




PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:54 am   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

Like wtd said, it's because of the French keyboard that the shift and return get resized like that. In Ontario, it seems like most Windows laptops have this keyboard layout. However, if you order online from the manufacturer or make a trip to the States, you can usually get the same computers with normal keyboards.
mirhagk




PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:58 am   Post subject: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

Alright awesome thanks for the advice guys. Next time I order a laptop I'll have to order from manu or go to the states than.
[Gandalf]




PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:32 pm   Post subject: Re: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

rdrake @ 2013-04-17, 7:30 pm wrote:
Anything that isn't a Thinkpad keyboard on a laptop is garbage.

I endorse this message. And for desktop keyboards, I highly recommend a mechanical keyboard with cherry brown switches. Simpler is usually better, try to avoid backlit "gaming" keyboards with 70 extra keys.
wtd




PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:31 pm   Post subject: Re: RE:Why are crappy keyboards becoming popular?

andrew. @ Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:54 pm wrote:
Like wtd said, it's because of the French keyboard that the shift and return get resized like that. In Ontario, it seems like most Windows laptops have this keyboard layout. However, if you order online from the manufacturer or make a trip to the States, you can usually get the same computers with normal keyboards.


It's the same way in BC, so this isn't an eastern Canada thing. Keep in mind that Canada has about the population of California, so for a lot of companies it's not worth their time to create two of each model for us.
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