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131 Posts

02-04-2015

Canada

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  • Posts: 131
  • Registered: ‎02-04-2015
  • Location: Canada
  • Views: 2499
  • Message 1 of 1

Poorly designed Yoga 3 Pro keyboard workaround

2015-02-05, 21:01 PM

Several users have been griping about the keyboard of the Yoga 3 Pro. Also certain reviewers have lambasted it (e.g. Gizmodo).

 

First, the physical side of it is lacking for the typical quality you expect from premium Lenovo laptops (e.g. Thinkpad). The keys do not travel much and it is easy to make mistakes -- I would say my typing errors have increased on the magnitude of 50% versus a X series Thinkpad (pre-chiclet keys).

 

Second, and the main point of this post, is that several keys are either missing (e.g. Insert) or relegated to Fn key combinations (F1 through to F12, Home and End). Meanwhile, there is AMPLE room for more keys in this form factor. For example on X series Thinkpads, they had keys right up to the edge of the device, and were able to put in a full 2 rows of Ins/Del Home/End PgUp/PgDn, like on a full-sized keyboard.

 

As a result, typing on this keyboard is a real pain both physically, and in software terms since certain OS functions ask you to press keys that don't exist (e.g. Insert on the pre-boot Bitlocker screen -- sorry no Insert key!). Certain common keyboard commands become awkward now because of needing to add in the extra Fn+ combination (e.g. ALT+F4 to close a program, or F5 to refresh a web page).

 

But by far one of the most annoying features is co-locating Home with PgUp and End with PgDn, i.e. you need to press Fn+PgUp to get Home. Home/End is a very efficient mechanism in wordprocessing to quickly get to the beginning and end of sentences, beginning and end of cells in Excel when editing formulas, etc. F2 to quickly edit a cell in Excel without clicking the mouse -- now you must use a combination to get to it. If you do frequent word processing, this keyboard will frustrate you as a result.

 

Meanwhile, Print Screen gets a full key?!? I could see that key as one becoming a Fn combination, since there is no potential for a user to frequently and repeatedly press Print Screen. I seriously wonder if the person/team that designed this layout tested it at all with users "in the field" who actually TYPE.

 

Anyway, there is a workaround of sorts depending on which keys you prefer to have direct access to. You can remap keys using the Windows registry and something called a Scancode Map.

 

For example, I myself have noticed that Home/End are more important for me than PgUp/PgDn in terms of quick access, as I do use them extensively for editing documents. So, for example, you can use the registry to remap those keys and switch them around -- that is, Home to PgUp, PgUp to Home, End to PgDn, PgDn to End. So now, when you press the PgUp key, you are actually pressing Home.

 

If you don't use Caps Lock or Print Screen for example, you can reassign them to other keys you do (e.g. Insert, or any other key actually).

 

The process is described in the link below, and the author has a specific example of remapping the Home/PgUp, End/PgDn keys:

http://www.thatsgeeky.com/2010/11/keyboard-annoyances/

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