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View Poll Results: Which type of laptop keyboard do you prefer?
Conventional 6 60.00%
Island 1 10.00%
Doesn't matter 1 10.00%
Depends on model 2 20.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-18-2018, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,941 posts, read 1,792,724 times
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It seems like most older laptops have conventional keyboards, while most newer laptops have island keyboards. Conventional keyboards have flared keys covering the entire keyboard space. Island keyboards have flat keys sticking out of the keyboard itself, with space between them. There's gotta be a reason most vendors are switching to island keyboards, but people's preferences vary, I'm sure of it. I heard a lot of people say they prefer conventional keyboards. Of course, no laptop keyboard is a match for the old-school IBM desktop keyboard, where the keys were spring-loaded and the underside was made of steel; typing on it actually required using your finger muscles.

Which style do you prefer?

I prefer conventional slightly, because they seem to have stronger tactile feedback. That is, when you're typing, the keys push back on your fingers, so you know you pressed down on a key. Plus, they can take more aggressive typing, which I have a tendency to do.

For a visual example, look at the image below, illustrating two different Lenovo ThinkPad models. Or follow the link.
Conventional is on the left, and island is on the right.

Image owner's link: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/t...etter-or-worse

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 04-18-2018 at 08:47 PM..
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,849 posts, read 13,978,818 times
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Did you come up with this term yourself? I've never heard of it. The keyboard on the right I call a keyboard with chiclet style keys.

I prefer mechanical which is really neither of those and probably very similar to the 'old IBM one" you reminisce about.

I don't think there is a technical reason for the rise of chiclet keyboards. It's just the latest fashion (and surely cheaper to make).
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
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I didn't come up with anything. I heard and even read the term "island" or "island-style" plenty of times. (I know the term "chiclet" too, but I prefer "island".) But it being cheaper to manufacture than a conventional keyboard might be the reason for its rise.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:43 PM
 
28,648 posts, read 40,627,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Did you come up with this term yourself? I've never heard of it. The keyboard on the right I call a keyboard with chiclet style keys.

I prefer mechanical which is really neither of those and probably very similar to the 'old IBM one" you reminisce about.

I don't think there is a technical reason for the rise of chiclet keyboards. It's just the latest fashion (and surely cheaper to make).
Headline from the linked page:

Quote:
ThinkPad Type-Off: Is Lenovo's New Island Keyboard Better or Worse?
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:17 AM
 
5,114 posts, read 4,724,487 times
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Just an easy link for those who want to brush up on the terms...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiclet_keyboard.

I'm a touch typist, and I've used over the past five or ten years various laptops keyboards. The conventional vs chicklet/island style keyboards seem to me to be more about the look than the actual mechanism. My Asus M5, HP Z-Book, Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 13, and Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S2 all used a chicklet style keyboard, but IMO the Lenovo chicklet keyboards stand well above the others. The old Panasonic Toughbooks I used at work had conventional keyboads that weren't as nice/easy to type on as the Lenovo chicklet keyboards. And a good mechanical desktop keyboard can bet better than the best Thinkpad keyboards, whether IBM or Lenovo.

Then there were the old HP 2620's main frame terminals from the 1980's...link

Best keyboard I ever typed upon. Full keystroke, real mechanical switches under each button, properly calibrated heavy duty spring suspension. You younglings under 50 don't know what you're missing. Now I have to go, there might be some neighborhood kids walking on my front lawn and I have to go yell at them....
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,941 posts, read 1,792,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
Best keyboard I ever typed upon. Full keystroke, real mechanical switches under each button, properly calibrated heavy duty spring suspension. You younglings under 50 don't know what you're missing. Now I have to go, there might be some neighborhood kids walking on my front lawn and I have to go yell at them....
Believe it not, I know exactly what you're talking about; I've used typewriters before, both mechanical and electric. (By contrast, even in 2018, I've seen people who still hunt and peck.) Heck, if you're using that keyboard to type on a computer, you can install a program that simulates typewriter noises. Wouldn't that be cool.

Interestingly, all the letters in the word "typewriter" are found in the top row of the QWERTY keyboard. Coincidence?
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,543 posts, read 16,560,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
Just an easy link for those who want to brush up on the terms...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiclet_keyboard.

I'm a touch typist, and I've used over the past five or ten years various laptops keyboards. The conventional vs chicklet/island style keyboards seem to me to be more about the look than the actual mechanism. My Asus M5, HP Z-Book, Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 13, and Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S2 all used a chicklet style keyboard, but IMO the Lenovo chicklet keyboards stand well above the others. The old Panasonic Toughbooks I used at work had conventional keyboads that weren't as nice/easy to type on as the Lenovo chicklet keyboards. And a good mechanical desktop keyboard can bet better than the best Thinkpad keyboards, whether IBM or Lenovo.

Then there were the old HP 2620's main frame terminals from the 1980's...link

Best keyboard I ever typed upon. Full keystroke, real mechanical switches under each button, properly calibrated heavy duty spring suspension. You younglings under 50 don't know what you're missing. Now I have to go, there might be some neighborhood kids walking on my front lawn and I have to go yell at them....
Yeah, good keyboard is good keyboard. Bad keyboard is bad keyboard. Chiclet or "traditional" really makes no matter to me. Laptops for the past several years have all been chiclet-style.

With a laptop you're running into size and weight constraints. You can get fantastic mechanical keyboards in a laptop... it'll just be one of those 10-15 pound desktop replacements. The ergonomics still won't be as good as the keyboard is too high or the monitor is too low (unless using an external). But most people don't want to use a 10-15 pound desktop replacement. I've actually gotten so I prefer membrane keyboards now as I spend so much time on laptops. I do have a mechanical keyboard, just don't use it.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,849 posts, read 13,978,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
Interestingly, all the letters in the word "typewriter" are found in the top row of the QWERTY keyboard. Coincidence?
Yes.
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