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Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For a Laptop With a Keypad That Doesn't Suck

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the buckling-springs-for-a-better-tomorrow dept.

Hardware 300

PhunkySchtuff writes "I'm seeking the collective's recommendations on a laptop with a numeric keypad that doesn't suck. For practicality reasons, an external USB keypad is less convenient than a built-in one. A keypad is required for entry of lots of numbers, and using the alpha keys with the Fn key to turn them into a keypad is not acceptable. Looking at the larger manufacturers, it seems that none of their business grade laptops (e.g. Lenovo's T-Series or similar quality levels) have numeric keypads. Looking at their laptops that do have keypads, invariably they are cheap, plastic and flimsy. Looking at Lenovo's offering with a Keypad, whilst it's a 15" screen, the vertical resolution is just 768 pixels, and the build quality of it leaves a lot to be desired. I need to find something that is built to the quality of a 'real' ThinkPad, or even a MacBook Pro, but has a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad and there doesn't seem to be anything like that on the market at the moment. This is a mystery to me as to why it would be the case as I'd imagine it's business users who need to use a keypad more than the average user, yet it is the consumer grade laptops that have keypads."

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Clevo (3, Informative)

partofme (2643183) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052093)

Clevo's laptops are awesome. They're pricey, but well. I bought mine an year ago and it has been just awesome. Performance is better than you get out of your usual desktop, in games too. Cost 3000 euros, but totally worth it. It also has good numpad, which is essential.

Re:Clevo (2, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052225)

They're also not laptops, they're desktops with screens attached. They're not portable, their battery doesn't last. I'm guessing that if the guy can't manage to carry a USB keyboard around, he also can't have a 3 ton brick as a "laptop".

Re:Clevo (2)

partofme (2643183) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052305)

I fully agree on the battery front. On my device it also goes empty really quickly. However, I think it's mostly about what your real usage is. As for me, I do not need a laptop that I can use on battery power anywhere. But as I live traveling, I need something that I can easily carry around and still be powerful. For that purpose it's perfect. I have power wherever I stay anyway.

And Macbook Air on the side :)

Re:Clevo (0, Redundant)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052617)

I'm guessing that if the guy can't manage to carry a USB keyboard around,

There are plenty of USB keypads on the market.

Re:Clevo (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052687)

For practicality reasons, an external USB keypad is less convenient than a built-in one.

Toshiba (5, Informative)

basecastula (2556196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052099)

P775d-s4360. bought one several months ago. key pad and keyboard rocks. Kinda shitty support however.

bluetooth/usb (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052111)

Try an external bluetooth or usb numeric keypad.

Re:bluetooth/usb (1)

Iceykitsune (1059892) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052169)

For practicality reasons, an external USB keypad is less convenient than a built-in one..

from the summary.

Re:bluetooth/usb (2)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052325)

On top of that a friend of mine went through a quest for a "proper" external keypad a few years back.

He went through a half dozen external keypads, and discovered that they all simply emulate the 0-9 keys at the top of the keyboard (same charcode value, but different keycode value).

That's fine if all you want to do is numeric entry into a spreadsheet. But if the software you are using is expecting input from the keypad specifically, or is using the keypad as a kind of cursor control in menus, etc., it will break things.

I don't recall why this was a problem for my friend, but it may have been for use with some kind of poorly coded legacy software (he worked with animal rescues at the time, they're not known for being well funded).

I assume that the niche was small enough that even though there were a bunch of products on the market, they were probably all relying on a logic chip from a single manufacturer, though we never tore them down to verify this.

Re:bluetooth/usb (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052521)

A quick search on Google reveals a very large number of USB numeric keypads which have more than just 9 keys. If I were going to buy one today, I'd probably get one of these: http://www.logitech.com/en-ca/keyboards/keyboard/devices/wireless-number-pad-n305 [logitech.com]

That being said, I picked up a USB numeric keypad for my laptop about 10 years ago, and it hasn't caused me any problems. I don't use it any more because I've switched to ultraportable laptops and it's literally half the size of my laptop, but it still works.

Re:bluetooth/usb (4, Interesting)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052477)

external bluetooth or usb numeric keypad

I'm assuming the OP's problem with a USB keypad is that it requires a cable or dongle. A bluetooth keypad does not.

I have a couple of MS bluetooth keypads that I use with my X-series Thinkpads. These bluetooth keypads are very thin & light, work for many months on a single AAA, and just simply work every time I pull them out. Personally I think it's the best product ever sold by MS.

One huge benefit of a wireless external keypad is that you can place it in the most ergonomic position for your data-entry arm. Or remote-control arm. Or whatever task you're using it for.

With a built-in keypad, you either have a behemoth of a foldable computer (not really a laptop), or a squashed set of keys (not full size) or both.

Dell Precision M4600 (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052115)

I have ordered a bunch of Precision M4600s for my users and they seem to like the keypad. Dell eliminated the speaker grills from on either side of the keyboard that were on the Precision M4500 and used the extra space for the keypad. The resolution is 1920 x 1080 unfortunately instead of 1920 x 1200 that was on the previous models. Screen is 15.4".

Re:Dell Precision M4600 (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052151)

You'll be hard pushed to find anything that's 16:10 these days, even desktop monitors.

Re:Dell Precision M4600 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052233)

Most MacBook varieties are still 16:10.

Re:Dell Precision M4600 (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052725)

"You'll be hard pushed to find anything that's 16:10 these days, even desktop monitors."

No kidding. After so many years of monitor resolution steadily going up, I bought a Princeton 1920 x 1200 a couple of years ago, and since then most of them have seemed to go DOWN to 1920 x 1080, even while the prices continued to go up.

I call foul. Lots of us do things with our monitors OTHER THAN watch movies. We don't need to all be forced into a short, wide format.

Centered (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052117)

Slightly offtopic, but I like my keyboard centered. I don't get it how someone can use a laptop keyboard with numeric keypad.

Re:Centered (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052241)

If I had mod points, you'd go through the roof. I have no idea either how people put up with laptops with numeric keypads.

Re:Centered (3, Insightful)

cristiroma (606375) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052313)

Let me think ... because not all are programmers? Numeric keyboards seem to make accountants come ...

Re:Centered (5, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052587)

Indeed - I worked in a bookshop where we were constantly entering ISBN numbers, a 13 digit string. It's an absolute nightmare to do on the top row, but you can learn to very quickly touch-type on a keypad in minutes. For normal typing yes you've got a point, but for anything involving continual entry of numeric data a keypad is so much faster and accurate it's unbelievable.

Re:Centered (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052345)

Same here. If OP has to enter massive amounts of numeric data he's best of with a regular USB keyboard. Cheaper than an external numpad and it will make the laptop last longer.

Re:Centered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052543)

Just think, if they could make a 21" laptop, they could have the keyboard centered, a numeric pad on the right, and a cupholder on the left (a rigid one in the top surface, not those flimsy pop-out ones -- I've broken way too many of those) -- finally making everyone happy!

Buy a 17" laptop (3, Informative)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052119)

They have numpads, and bigger screens.

So you'll have to lug an extra pound or so. Big deal.

Re:Buy a 17" laptop (-1)

imbusy (1002705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052135)

My 17" doesn't have a numeric keypad, not even space for one. Maybe you meant 19"

Re:Buy a 17" laptop (2)

TarMil (1623915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052221)

Many 17" laptops have a numeric keypad. Hell, even some 15.4" ones. [nec-computers.com]

custom gaming/high end laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052123)

Most of them come in Alienware-like shells and are massive. I did not spend much time finding the perfect link for you, but this is what I have in mind.

One does not need to bundle the i7 and the GTX 570 either, so breaking bank ain't exactly a requirement, although they are pricey.

If they are still produced (1)

hey_popey (1285712) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052127)

what about an HP Probook? You don't want to play games though

dell studio 17 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052131)

i got a dell studio 17" a couple years ago...has essentially a smaller full sized keyboard, keypad and all, which is why i chose it in the first place. but as a whole its a heavy beast, like a beached whale. and if it only were anything but a dell (i got a union discount on it through their store, ill never make that mistake again)

the model says its a "PP31L"

Sorry...fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052137)

The above comment was by me. I meant to provide this link: http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/7/2851200/msi-gt-60-gt-70-gaming-laptop-launch-release-date-price-pictures

I would recommend the MSI gaming ones or even a custom look alike. Personally, I would go custom, obviously.

Re:Sorry...fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052495)

Just a follow-up, the above comment was also me, and I am a great big throbbing drag queen.

17" laptops (1, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052143)

I'm using some kind of generic HP 17" with a full keypad right now. Like other commenters have said, I think that most 17" laptops have full keypads.

Re:17" laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052211)

HP8710w? Just be sure to rig it with 4gb of RAM (6gb if it can handle it). They should be relatively cheap 2nd hand on Ebay and they have a 1920x1080 screen. They're heavy and loud though (especially with Ubuntu's questionable power management), not as bad in Windoze.

Asus? (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052161)

My old Asus M50 had a "full" keypad - the only difference is that the +-*/. keys are arranged slightly differently than is standard. My new G55 is likewise supposed to have one (although I have to advise against ordering one of those right now - there seems to be some sort of supply issue, as I've been waiting on mine for weeks now).

Those are both "gaming" laptops (and both 15" models, not 17"), probably not something your boss will approve, but still, check out their "business" laptops - they might have full keypads.

Re:Asus? (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052469)

K53TA, bought it last summer, and works perfectly, has a nice integrated numpad, almost five hours of battery power, and more processing power than you can shake a stick at with its AMD A4/A6 APU + Radeon HD6650M. The 15,7" screen offers plenty of real estate for business work and enough for most games even, looks clear and visible even in sunlight, and eats up surprisingly little power while remaining visible when dimmed back. Also looks quite professional with the dark brown housing, which is ribbed on all surfaces, so fingerprints don't show up either, unlike on glossy casings.
Ports are in kind of a short supply though: 1xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2, 1xD-SUB, 1xHDMI, power on the left side, optical drive and 1xUSB 2.0, audio in-out on the right side, and that's it. And while the brown housing doesn't look half-bad, black might look even more professional, although this particular shade of brown plays some tricks on people's eyes, so they can barely tell the real color.

Re:Asus? (1)

blippo (158203) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052557)

I have both a Asus K53 and K73, and I am very satisfied. They sure match the build quality of any of the thinkpad's i've had, and are way much better than the HPs and Fujitsus.

Both K53 and K73sv have a keypad, and the K73sv have a nice brushed aluminum finish and is dead silent most of the time when using a SSD.

(The nvidia card is a hybrid card, but bumblebee works fine)

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Asus-K73SV-TY032V-Notebook.54381.0.html [notebookcheck.net]

Re:Asus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052691)

But is it worth paying extra for the "Smart Asus" or should we settle for the "Dumb Asus"?

USB keypad (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052165)

Just buy a USB number pad and call it a day. They cost $30 for wireless ones, i have one i used forever as a macro keypad for WoW rather then drop $100+ on the G15 keyboard.

Re:USB keypad (1)

EQ (28372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052269)

Just buy a USB number pad and call it a day. They cost $30 for wireless ones, i have one i used forever as a macro keypad for WoW rather then drop $100+ on the G15 keyboard.

I know this is slashdot, but really, Read The Fine Original Post, the one at the very top before all the comments.

For practicality reasons, an external USB keypad is less convenient than a built-in one.

sometimes the question is wrong (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052361)

"For practical reasons, I'm trying to run my computer off a small fire, which boils water which turns a paddlewheel, which dumps more water into a bucket on a pully which turns a magneto, and I'm not getting a stable waveform. How can I make this work?"

"Just plug it into the wall outlet."

"Read TFS!"

Re:sometimes the question is wrong (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052619)

Someone please mod parent up, Funny or Insightful.

Re:sometimes the question is wrong (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052731)

people pay a lot of money for portability. it's not an unreasonable request to have the keypad integrated.

Re:USB keypad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052471)

I know this is slashdot, but really, Read The Fine Original Post, the one at the very top before all the comments.

For practicality reasons, an external USB keypad is less convenient than a built-in one.

the whole point is finding a not-pain-in-the ass way of getting a number pad on a laptop. ALL of the conclusions in this thread is that there are only pain in the ass ways, and the submitter's premise that an external USB keypad would be impractical should be revisited.

Re:USB keypad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052489)

The submitter could've been using a keypad for however long he's been looking into this issue. Such keypads fit in basically any laptop bag. If this is inconvenient, then the need for a numpad isn't terribly big. If it were, then it would seem to me that being without a numpad would be pretty damn inconvenient too.

So the GP has, likely correctly, come to the conclusion that avoiding a keypad for convenience suggests that the numpad isn't terribly important. In which case, the submitter mostly needs to suck it up and use the number keys on the laptop's keyboard. Whichever laptop that may be.Laptops are designed to be focused on the convenience of portability first. Convenient niche features are somewhat further down the list.

Re:USB keypad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052711)

The only reason I skimmed this article was to see how many answers were "buy an ext. keypad" despite the OP.

17" Laptops (1)

Eristone (146133) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052167)

As others are saying - have to go with a 17 inch device. I'm using a Sony Vaio (yeah I know - evil - but the price was right) and it is fairly solid. You will have to carry around an extra pound or two, but the trade off is good.

Toshiba (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052175)

I own two Toshiba laptops and purchased them specifically because of their number pads.

Latitudes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052181)

Latitude E6520 is a 15.6" notebook with a full keyboard + number pad. 3 year warranty, well built, etc. Not at thin as an MBP, but it has all the options if you want them. Back-lit keyboard, 3G, second internal hard drive, et al. Hundreds to be saved if you buy on the Dell Outlet. I don't work for Dell, just a happy owner of the older E6500. The E6520 I think just has four screws and all the internals of the laptop are made bare for the upgrading. It's sweet. Might want to wait a little, as I think the whole line will be refreshed soon with Ivy Bridge.

Re:Latitudes (1)

mbstone (457308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052267)

Dell keyboards are flimsy, but you can buy an OEM replacement keyboard for $12 postpaid, and they are easy to replace.

Re:Latitudes (1)

Gimble (21199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052591)

+1 for the E6520. I have one with an SSD and it flies, the screen is great and it has a full size keyboard with the numeric keypad,not that I use it

Asus K family (ASUS K50IN) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052187)

Hi,

I got myself this laptop more than a year ago, and it is one of the most comfortable ones I have ever used ( I have had many VAIO's, HP's LG's...)
It features a full keyboard, a decent graphics card, and a dual processor for a more than acceptable price. It runs cool and quiet and I have absolutely no regrets which contrasts with my Vaio laptop (supposedly much higher quality) which screen started showing up random lines after 2 years of use, and very obvious signs of wear off.

Definitely an option you should consider :) , I cannot be happier with it!!

Cheers

Gaming laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052189)

Check out gaming laptops. They tend to be high quality and have more options than business models.

My Dell l702x has a wonderful backlit keypad. I use it daily with no problems. It's also built like a tank, has a 1080p screen, and has a decent audio system.

I used to buy Workstation-class laptops but the options in that market are not very good. After getting a high-power gaming laptop, I'm never going back.

Fujitsu Lifebook E751 (1)

isj (453011) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052193)

I recently bought a Fujitsu Lifebook E751. It has a numeric keypad. The keyboard looks flimsy but doesn't feel that way.
Note: the page on fujitsu.com has a photo of some other model. There may be differences in the various sub-models.

Dell precision M6600 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052199)

I've a M6500. Pricy but very solid and a good keyboard for a laptop.

Explanation (4, Informative)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052203)

The reason keypads aren't or real ThinkPads is that by including the extra 4 columns of keys, the whole keyboard and TrackPoint (or trackpad, if you're that sort of person) has to be shifted left. This means that you end up either sitting in middle relative to the screen with the hands positioned awkwardly, or having to look at the screen at an angle.

I have a T520 and while I was initially upset that it has huge speaker grilles on both sides, I actually came to appreciate this decision, though admittedly it would suck if I had to punch in numbers into a spreadsheet all day. Just get a ThinkPad and this baby [thinkwiki.org]

Re:Explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052387)

This one does have a keypad: http://www.lenovo.com/shop/americas/content/img_lib/530x430/w701.jpg

Re:Explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052625)

Thinkpad keyboards and the trackpoint/trackpad are the best. Very nice to use. Had a Thinkpad at work and eventually got my own T61.

Re:Explanation (0)

blue_teeth (83171) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052715)

Why not get Thinkpad W Series (Workstation class laptops) and an external numpad?

Simple really. (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052205)

No, the universe is not out to get you, you simply can't fit a full keypad on a 15" or smaller laptop keyboard without compromising some other aspect of the keyboard, which would be more detrimental to business users.
I don't know where you come from, but no, "business use" rarely comprises of data entry so it is not likely any major resources are being allocated for solving the "problem" you describe.
I sort of feel you because I use the numpad a lot, but I don''t think that is the only thing missing of a laptop keyboard, so when I need to do serious work I have to have with me a full regular (and ergonomic in my case) keyboard since I don't think hardware should be slowing me down. Therefore, if you only need a numpad I suggest you get an external one which is less convenient than a fictional 15" laptop with an amazing fold-out full keyboard, but not much more inconvenient than the bulkier 17" laptops which have a numpad (probably not as good as an external) and could be an alternative for you.

Say away from 15" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052235)

Stay away from a 15" laptop with a keypad. Those tend to put certain keys in odd places, which becomes annoying very very quickly. +/- keys become the wrong size in the wrong place, and the 0 key is especially screwed up.

So, the extra pound is worth it.

Thinkpad's only keyboards worth having. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052237)

Thinkpad only laptops with decent keyboards.

You will need something in the W700 series probably (And it looks like they don't even sell them anymore).

(There is ones with stuff like wacom tablets / second screens and stuff but just the basic model should be ok).

Cannot think of anything else bothering with unless there is a suitable semi rugged (or business rugged) Toughbook.

I have a HP 8710w and it is absolute shite don't get one under any circumstances. (Looks like it should tick all the boxes but it is flimsy as hell - 1920x1200 screen and trackpoint and full keyboard were what I wanted). Fortunately I wasn't paying but I want rid of it as soon as I can.
(I am already on the 3rd keyboard which are £50 each the dvd drive tray snapped off - keyboards don't count under warranty). For something costing over £2000 it is diabolical.

Just holding on Fn whilst you use the numeric keypad on a normal Thinkpad would be vastly preferable to using any other laptop keyboard design as far as I am concerned.

Re:Thinkpad's only keyboards worth having. (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052677)

Thinkpad only laptops with decent keyboards

I don't agree that the keyboard on a high-end Thinkpad is much better than the keyboard any other high-end model of another brand.

I see this comment in paid reviews very often, but it seems to me it's just parroting a marketing line, a carryover from the days of the excellent old IBM keyboards.

FWIW my main machine (on which I'm writing this) is a Thinkpad X-series, and my desktop machine uses a Thinkpad external keyboard. I've owned/used about 20 different laptops over the years, and still own/use a couple of Dell Latitudes, MacBooks, and old Compaqs.

The Trackpoint, however...THAT is radically better than other brands. The Latitudes, the older Compaq, an external Samsung keyboard, and a Keyspan presentation remote, all have point-sticks too. But there is something distinctly better about the response and accuracy of the Trackpoint on the Thinkpads. I'm guessing they patented something about the acceleration algorithms. Hope the patent runs out soon.

I would love to see a MacBook Pro with a 3-button Trackpoint. Never happen though.

Dell Latitude = Pleasant Surprise (3, Informative)

TythosEternal (1472429) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052243)

It wasn't something I even considered when purchasing my current laptop, but I've since fallen in love with the keyboard (including keypad) on my Latitude E5520. Great action, no extraneous buttons, and very comfortable layout & size.

Whatever you chose, I'd recommend a close review of the layout (and trying the action, if you can get your hands on a demo) to make sure it's not too weird. Some manufacturers make some VERY interesting adjustments to fit keyboards onto their laptops. I purchased a standalone keyboard a couple of years back that was dirt-cheap and had great action, but the home-end-insert-delete block was rotated (arranged vertically) and it somehow became a major headache.

HP Elitebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052245)

I'd say my HP EliteBook 8540p has a good keypad.

Re:HP Elitebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052347)

The 8560w is the current model and it has a chiclet keyboard but isn't too bad. We get those and the 8760w for the folks who truly need the "mobile workstation" type machine. Others get Lenovo T series and X series. But for the mobile workstation folks the HP 8x60w series works well. Quite a premium price to pay just to get a numeric keypad though for the original submitter.

Re:HP 8x60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052535)

And the soon to be available 8x70.

Quite a premium? Too true. 2500+GBP for one with 32Gb of Ram and a Single 750Gb HDD.
Getting on for twice the cost of my MSI GTX780 with 16Gb and twin 750Gb HDD's. I added another 16Gb for 80GBP.

The HP Elitbook 64xx series have just about the worst keyboard I have ever encountered in 40years in the IT biz. The Return/enter key is frigging smaller than the Left Shift. The Home key is in the wrong place. etc etc etc etc.
Sadly my current employer is an HP only shop so all my team carry usb keyboards with us when we are on the road (us to 2 weeks at a time). The 768 vertical resolution is also frigging useless in S/W Dev. Two of my guys have expensed a coiple of 24in monitors on their current trip to Bodrum. The crappy vertical resolutions has at last been recognised by our managment. We are all getting 8x70's in July with wheeled cases.
If I had a choice, I'd certainly not buy HP kit. Even Dell stuff is better than this load of shite.

External is the way... (2)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052249)

>"Looking at the larger manufacturers, it seems that none of their business grade laptops (e.g. Lenovo's T-Series or similar quality levels) have numeric keypads"

That's because putting a keypad on a "laptop" turns it into a huge luggable... something not even suitable for "lap" use. The trend has been toward smaller, lighter, and more portable devices.

I understand what you want, and I love having a REAL numeric keypad. But I also just use a desktop with a full keyboard when I plan to be number crunching, or you can add an external keypad to a reasonably sized and portable laptop.

I also love having a real mouse. Touchpads cut my productivity by at least half. Trackpoints are 100% useless. So even on a "laptop", I am going to use a real mouse; and that takes space.... not much different than an external keypad.

Re:External is the way... (0)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052281)

"That's because putting a keypad on a "laptop" turns it into a huge luggable."

If you have to "lug" around a modern 17" laptop, then I would suggest you get to a doctor immediately.

Re:External is the way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052353)

Trackpoints are 100% useless.

Only if you don't know how to use them. I love trackpoint since I don't have to move my palms to move the mouse and I can do complicated free hand drawing with main finger as well.

Re:External is the way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052707)

You are right, but it takes an hour or two of clumsy mousing to learn to use it, so most people simply don't.

Re:External is the way... (4, Interesting)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052743)

Trackpoints are 100% useless.

The initial research, back in the mid-1980s, with technical users, showed that Trackpoints were radically more efficient than moving your hand off the keyboard to access a pointing device.

Subsequent research, with mainstream consumers, showed that most people had trouble learning how to use it.

It isn't the technology; it's the ability of most people to get over a learning curve when they have another option readily available.

Try the Trackpoint again...try a little harder...and I bet you'll never go back to a mouse. :)

Dell Precision laptops (3, Informative)

MooRogue (223321) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052259)

Dell Precision series has a 15" laptop with a numpad. Screen resolution goes up to 1920x1080, discrete graphics card.

I have a Dell Precision M4600 with a Nvidia graphics card, 1920x1080 screen and it has a numpad and both a trackpoint and touchpad.

Re:Dell Precision laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052385)

Seconded. The non-glossy 1920x1080 screen is very good (wide viewing angle for a TN panel) and there is an available IPS panel. Keyboard has a very good layout for a laptop, and the backlit keys are quite useful. Optimus with the nVidia card provides outstanding battery life when doing standard office tasks.
Alternatively, the equivalent HP has a slightly better feel to the keyboard action, but has a bad layout (squished arrow keys).

HP Bussiness notebooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052279)

The current line of 15.6" elitebooks has a numpad. The keyboard is of the same quality as the one on Apple MacBooks, i.e. it's not great. The previous EliteBook models had a better keyboard. A backlit keyboard is also available.

I've got the 17" (8760w) model and I'm loving it. Entirely metal construction, Full HD, Two HDDs (you can also replace the optical drive with another), reasonable dedicated graphics and a good 3-year warranty, all for less than €1500 without included windows.

As an owner of a slightly older G53 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052283)

May I recommend the Asus G53SX-NH71.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230141&Tpk=asus%20g53

As a das keyboard fan I find the keyboard on the G53 to be quite nice for a laptop keyboard. Its not mechanical of course but it is still nice enough to type on for prolonged periods of time. Also the number pad is easy to use for someone who is used to a full sized desktop keyboard as all of the keys are in the same place. The entire keyboard has toggleable back lighting which is nice if you are in a dark area.

New Egg (1)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052285)

New Egg has a very good advanced search feature
Just input your screen size.
As for quality, Asus, and Toshiba make very good laptops
For example, toshiba Qosmio is great VFM, but screen is 1600x900, I think you want atleast full HD.
In that case you can get Asus for arond 900$
Again decent build quality.

Deep keypress? (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052289)

Does anyone have a suggestion for a laptop with deep key press? Most laptops and even a lot of desktops (apple) have very little key motion.

I know the Tandy Model 100 was pretty good, but that is a little dated technology-wise.

Dell Latitude E6520 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052291)

Check out the Dell Latitude E6520 - I'm typing on one right now. It's a business class, sturdy 15.6" laptop with a full keypad. So it's a bit bigger than your usual 15" laptop, but not by much. You get your choice of dual or quad core processor, three different resolutions (1280x800, 1600x900, or 1900x1080), and it comes standard with 3 years of support. Take a look at it here:

http://www.dell.com/us/enterprise/p/latitude-e6520/pd

By the way, it fits perfect in the Booq Cobra Slim case, even with the extended battery:

http://booq.com/us/briefs/CSL-BLK

HP EliteBook 8560w (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052321)

15" 1080p with a keypad

Sony PCG-41412L (1)

DickHodgman (265853) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052337)

I've owned a Sony Viao S Series PCG-41412L VPCSE13FX laptop since February. It has a numeric keyboard and a 15.5 in., 1920x1080 screen, 4 GB DDR3, 640 GB storage, Intel core i5 2430M processor, weighs 4.4 lbs. It's 1 in thick. I've had no problems with the keyboard; the keys are illuminated and have a nice feel. It's the best laptop I've owned, so far. Google VPCSE13FX to find out more.

HP dv7 series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052341)

I have had an hp dv7-1000 for five years and will buy another soon. The case and screen are sturdy and the mouse pad doesn't suck. I love the big screen and will take the size trade off vs 15.4, but that is a preference. Other hp series I have seen or ordered for others have not been nearly as nice as the dv7. $750 when I got mine and they are still priced similarly

Hp or dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052343)

They both offer num pads on several models. Hp 8590p is a good machine as long as the motherboard survives its first week. The dell latitude series also offers a number pad.

Vaio SE. (2)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052349)

I have a Sony Vaio 15 inch, SE series. 1080p screen (and really amazing at that), with a chiclet keyboard with numeric keypad. i7, 6Gb RAM, 640Gb disk. It cost about 1500eur. I am really happy with it, but PLEASE try the keyboard first because some people I've talked to seem to think it's a bit "loose" for their tastes. Don't care much about Sony being "evil" or whatever. I like their laptops.

HP Elitebook 8560p is a 15" a keypad (1)

RCSInfo (847666) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052365)

I have an HP 8560p. It has a 15.4" 1600 x 900 screen and numeric keypad. They keyboard is the chiclet style which I'm still getting used to but the build quality seems to be pretty sturdy.

As an added bonus, it has a 9pin serial port.

I imagine that (1)

jargonburn (1950578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052373)

part of the difficulty is that so many business users I see use a docking station. Which means they have a full-size USB keyboard that they work with at the office. While not one of them, myself, I suspect that most don't need to do much numeric data entry when not at their office...

"Consumer Grade" (4, Informative)

cirby (2599) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052379)

I work with a lot of different laptop brands - I do convention and trade show computer support, among other things - and a lot of the "business class" machines out there are pretty weak in the specs department - no better (and often worse) than a good-quality "consumer" machine. Construction and case quality is often worse for the "business" machines.

I use a Toshiba Satellite A665 (a couple of years old). It's a 15.6" consumer-class machine, it has a full keyboard, a "real" graphics chip, and an i7 processor. I've only seen a few "business" machines actually in use in the last couple of years that come close in performance or specs. It's handled a lot of travel, been used for everything up to and including running high-res videos and animations on huge screens, and never even hiccuped. It also cost less than $900 when I got it. Machines with better specs are going for under $800 now.

Don't lock yourself into the "business" category - it's often just a way to get a few hundred bucks more out of a category-blinded MIS purchasing department.

Re:"Consumer Grade" (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052669)

Some people care about having to carry around 8 or so pounds of laptop + power brick, some don't. You obviously are willing to trade weight for specs. I, on the other hand, am much happier now that I have a light laptop that "does the job" well enough.

I do wish we had more specific information regarding the poster's preferences - it can make all the difference in the world with regards to recommending anything. I would guess, based on his keyboard fixation, weight doesn't matter - now, anyway.

Sager (1)

eqisow (877574) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052415)

For example, this [sagernotebook.com] 1080p 15.6" model. I had never heard of them, but a friend ordered one recently and, wow, I was really impressed with the build quality. They keyboard itself is excellent and has a feel similar to mechanical switches. To top it off, the prices are really competitive. They're pitched as "gaming notebooks," but don't let that stop you. I'd use these for business in a heartbeat and, who knows, you might get some gaming in on the side.

Sony F Series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052437)

The Sony F series gets my vote. It has a nice full keyboard. A bit on the heavy side but the awesome hardware is well worth it in my opinion.

Toshiba Satellite Pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052455)

The Toshiba Satellite Pro is fairly a fairly reasonable device and has a full sized keypad. 1600x900, 4gb ram, and an intel i3. The keyboard is kinda flat and a little obnoxious but it's definitely something you can get used to.

dc190 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052483)

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System76 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052509)

System76 makes ubuntu laptops. Their larger model, the Pangolin Performance has a more than adequate numerical keypad. You can dual boot windows if you feel you must. They also have really great customer service. Being that they are such a small shop, you can get a real human on the phone instantly who is willing to help you out for free. I have had a really good experience with them.

https://www.system76.com/laptops/model/panp9

Dell latitude e5520 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052515)

Great keyboard and keypad.

$10 Logitech (0)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052561)

A $10 Logitech will have a proper keymap. As will most $10 keyboards. How about you go to the store and look at them?

Re:$10 Logitech (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052571)

Oops, missed that you didn't want an external. Ignore the previous post and this one, except for the part after this. How about you go to the store and look at the laptops?

Thinkpad's aren't what they used to be (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052705)

Or rather, the competition has advanced while Lenovo rests.

I have a T520 and my wife has a Macbook Pro. The Macbook is a far better piece of hardware. Even if you only want to run Windows, I'd consider buying an Apple laptop and reformatting it with Windows.

The one thing I like about the Thinkpad (and the reason I picked it) is the 1080p matte screen. Everything else is mediocre at best. They are pretty cheap though, so maybe it's a case of getting what you pay for.

HP Elitebook 8XXX series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052717)

I have an HP Elitebook 8540w. It has a full-size keyboard + numpad and works great.

HP EliteBook 8560w (1)

Sangui5 (12317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052719)

It's a business-class laptop with a 15.6" screen, 1920 x 1080 resolution available, decent battery (75 Wh standard), option for an extra detachable extension battery (the BB09 adds an additional 100 Wh), keyboard "feel" reminds me of my IBM model M (although shorter travel), and it has a full numeric keypad.

hp elitebook (not recommendation, just info) (1)

forgottenusername (1495209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052739)

Not that I really recommend it, but I occasionally use one of these:

Product Name: HP EliteBook 8560p

It has a normal sized numberpad. However it has ridiculously undersized arrow keys.. like 1/8th the size of a normal key.. very difficult to even use them.

Another annoying thing is they have the audio jacks on the right side near the front of the laptop, so if you're using an external mouse, headphone jack/cord bleeds into the area the mouse would be used.

It does have a fullsized keyboard, nice screen, plenty of power and I've not had any real problems with - but it's essentially a desktop, I never lug it around (bit of a weighty beasty).

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