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melbrandon
What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-29-2019
Location: US
Views: 2,705
Message 11 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

Actually, isn't it better to just allow the option to choose the physical keyboard layout that you want? If I recall correctly, there's an option to choose a different layout for keyboard of languages other than English.

 

So many things are customizable in a Thinkpad, the fingerprint sensor, storage drives, etc... The physical keyboard itself is a replaceable part, we should be able to choose the Ctrl Fn layout of the keyboard we want as well.

bd1
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-09-2016
Location: US
Views: 2,666
Message 12 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

Agreed that Ctrl Fn is preferred.  It is annoying going between keyboards and Thinkpad is the only one without Ctrl on the outside.

 

How many times have I openned something, select, Fn+C, closed it... just to have nothing in my buffer to paste.

 

And, yes, the larger Ctrl is good... like most keyboards.

 

The bios function is a subborn solution.  For example... I tend to use desktop keyboards and my laptop is Ctrl Fn.  When I find myself on a Thinkpad, time is wasted while attempted to get someone else on with their day.

 

This is similar to the lack of dedicated Home and End keys on many modern keyboards.  If you're into document editing or coding, it is an equal annoyance.

 

If it comes down to money, just for my personal needs... the deal breakers are as follows:

- Must be Ctrl Fn

- Must have dedicated Home and End

Suggestions

- F5 should be refresh, with or without Fn

- F2 should be edit, with or without Fn

- Fn+Up/Down for Volume (or dedicated... or Fn+'+'/'-' with Fn+'0' for mute)

- Fn+Left/Right for Brightness (or dedicated)

 

The Dell D630 had a pretty decent keyboard.

 

In the past 10 years, I've purchased 3 laptops since my D630.  Learned the hard way when one showed up requiring Fn for Home/End.  Even so, the main reason a Thinkpad has never been personally purchased... the Fn Ctrl.  Too bad... a deal killer for an otherwise solid laptop.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

treysbiani
What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-09-2019
Location: US
Views: 2,595
Message 13 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

I think lenovo had probably done focus groups to sort out this Fn Ctrl placement matter but I highly suspect the people they chose for the focus groups were those who were already just used to the current layout. By selectively picking sample users, they generated a biased result for product justification. If the true laptop users population is really representatively sampled, there is no way the out of norm Fn Ctrl arrangement will be the dominant choice.

lilliputty
Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎05-29-2019
Location: US
Views: 2,539
Message 14 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

It is unfortunate that all the new devices pushed out by Lenovo - S940, ThinkBook, etc, have the Ctrl key at the bottom left corner, as is standard practice. Only ThinkPad stubbornly puts the Fn there no matter how many complaints. Why create such a division for your user base?

 

An option for the correct keyboard arrangement should be made available during customization. If somehow that can't be done because of any cost issue, then the default keyboard should have the Ctrl key at the bottom left. Save the BIOS swap option for people who are used to the old arrangement.

ashking92
Paper Tape
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-12-2019
Location: US
Views: 471
Message 15 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

It is so frustrating indeed that an otherwise excellent laptop is stuck with such an absurd keyboard configuration! Lenovo can simply use the standard CTRL FN configuration, but keep the BIOS switch option. No other laptop manufacturer offers such a BIOS switch option (because they are already using the logical CTRL FN, and no normal user will want to use FN CTRL).

 

Not only would Thinkpad now capture the universal range of users, but it will also have a monopoly on the existing loyalist group because it is the only laptop that offers such FN CTRL swap. Even from a business standpoint there is absolutely no excuse for Thinkpad not to adopt the standard CTRL FN configuration!

EMason
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-18-2019
Location: US
Views: 368
Message 16 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

Agreed that the keyboard rectification is long overdue. Give us the option to choose during customization, if not just align the layout with the rest of your product line!

caryboe
Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-25-2019
Location: US
Views: 331
Message 17 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

I could not agree more!  I purchased my last ThinkPad in 2014, and I am currently shopping again for replacement.  ThinkPads are all I've ever purcahsed for personal use, and have used a few professionally as well.  The Fn/Ctrl issue has irritated me for years now! 

 

All other laptop and keyboard manufactuers use the traditional Ctrl, Fn pattern.  However unfortunate for me, the ONLY laptop which I use/purchase for personal use, uses this odd Fn, Ctrl pattern - I don't get it. 

 

I am an IT professional, and the Ctrl key could be the 6th most used key on my keyboard - followed by A, E, I, O, U.  I was so hopeful that Lenovo would change this by the time I got around to buying my next laptop, but unfortunately, not so. 

 

With my last purchase in 2014, I used the BIOS feature to flip the keys which, and I realize how drasitc this sounds, but if this feature were not available, I likely would have purchased a different laptop - this is how strongly I feel about this.  I followed this up with purchasing a set of keyboard stickers and stuck them on.  They're still on till this day.  I just don't get why I should have to do this. 

 

This is not a case of me being a Luddite either - every keyboard I use on any laptop and EVERY standalone keyboard, has Ctrl in the bottom left - except for my ThinkPad.  Please, Lenovo, if you're reading this, please address this and flip these back to where they are supposed to be! 

MK-
SCSI Port
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎01-17-2019
Location: US
Views: 99
Message 18 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

Ergonomics wise and to be honest, the best placement for Ctrl key I found to be is in - Macs, where Command key is located right next to Space. It's very easy and comfortable to press the keys with your thumbs.

 

That being said, if you have to move main commanding key away from Space, and force the user to use ergonomically very bad solution of pressing that key with a pinky, the best placement would definitely be at the very corner. Locating Ctrl key after the Fn key might make one think that they are helping ergonomical issue by doing something similar to what Macs do. But that is not the case. Ctrl is still too far from Space and it still needs to be pressed using little finger. This time with additional burden of trying to locate the Ctrl key between Fn and Win keys. Thus completely interrupting your muscle memory routine each time.

 

Not sure who thought this was a good idea, especially as other said given that other Lenovo laptops have a normal layout, but I'm glad that there's at least an option in BIOS to reverse this. I hope Lenovo will give up on these kinds of experiments in the future.

ianw01
Token Ring
Posts: 127
Registered: ‎02-08-2011
Location: CA
Views: 85
Message 19 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

+1 for dedicated Home and End keys!  I'm outta here if they drop them.

 

As for Ctrl & Fn, it is a stretch for me to hit Ctrl-B, even with the left Ctrl key to the right of Fn. And Ctrl-A with thumb for Ctrl is the least awkward for me. So from my perspective the touted "ergonomic advantage" of the lower left corner for Ctrl is non-existant.

 

The current placement has been a ThinkPad standard since at least the T20 in 2000. Hardly "an experiment" or "pandering". The ThinkPad keyboard is a key (heheh) part of the brand. Also, this change implicitly requires the whole T series to be changed too.

 

I'm really uneasy about using other makers as a "standard" to be pursued. There are some really horrific layouts (esp. on the right side) that I really do not want Lenovo designers to even see. :-) 

 

The reality is that every laptop keyboard needs the user to adjust to key placement. They all have quirks and users have choices.

 

My vote: Leave it as-is.

MK-
SCSI Port
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎01-17-2019
Location: US
Views: 65
Message 20 of 22

Re: Manifesto on Fn Ctrl key placement

It takes less time to hit a key in the corner than it does to hit the one next to it. Plus factor in the repeatibility and any effect blows up infinitely fast. This is similar to edges and corners of the screen - these are the most valuable UI real estate and should be used carefully and purposefully.

 

If it was done wrong some time ago, it should be reverted as soon as possible. Not propagated with each new generation just for historical reasons. Let's applaud the effort to try something new but also revert it if it's not better.

 

The fact that other laptops of the same brand and virtually all other laptops on the market have a different key layout is just silly.

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