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Recommendations for a laptop with a keypad that doesn't suck

PhunkySchtuff (208108) writes | more than 2 years ago

Hardware 6

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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The reason is as simple as they get. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049285)

Laptops have always struggled to have adequate room for a decent keyboard. A separate numeric keypad just isn't going to happen. That's why you have all these bad compromises like keys that change their function when you press "Num Lock".

You aren't going to find what you are looking for. The answer is a USB numeric keypad. Honest.

If you are actually using your laptop in your lap (which is just about the only reason I can imagine why you would insist on this), then you are going to have to get a board or something similar to set both it and the laptop on so you can use them comfortably. That sounds very awkward but actually it works quite well; I used to do that with my laptop and mouse.

Of course it doesn't have to be a wooden board. Other things can work.

Re:The reason is as simple as they get. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049317)

Having said that: Apple makes a really nice USB keyboard with numeric keypad. But of course a few of the keys are different if you are on a PC.

But honestly, even if you are using a laptop, ergonomically you are better off setting your laptop down on a table in front of you and using a keyboard in your lap anyway, rather than using the built-in keyboard and the whole thing in your lap.

I use a Macbook Pro as my primary development machine, but I carry around my wireless keyboard and trackpad wherever I go with it. They fit very nicely into my Taurus 17" laptop bag. If I needed a numeric keypad, I would probably carry the larger USB keyboard around instead; the cord would not bother me and there is still room in the case.

System76 (1)

Dragon Bait (997809) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050619)

I bought a System76 [system76.com] laptop about 7 months ago. Other than the touch pad (which I hate), the keyboard is very good for a laptop. As a bonus, mine shipped with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed.

That said, I bought the 17.3" version and looking at their website now, I'm not seeing it.

Disclaimer: I do not work for, nor own any stock in System76. I just happened to buy one of their laptops.

Re:System76 (1)

Dragon Bait (997809) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050631)

Other than the touch pad (which I hate),

I should probably clarify that I hate all touch pads. I have large hands and inevitably my palm will press on touch pads making the cursor jump.

Re:System76 (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050727)

You can turn off the touch pad. I turn mine off and have a small wireless mouse that velcro's to the laptop lid for easy transport.

Acer Travelmate (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050681)

The Travelmate series is a range of business laptops which have numeric keypads and seem designed for accountants and accounting technicians. My wife has an older model (2 years) and so far it has been very satisfactory. They are only WXGA but they range in screen size from 14 inches up to 18.4 and the top of the range is a relatively light 14 inch with I7, which will probably be my next laptop as I don't trust SSDs for database work.

I know some people don't like Acer, but over the years (9 so far) we have stuck with the business models and not had a dud yet. I have only just retired my 2006 laptop because the motherboard won't support Windows 7 64 bit properly (only 2.25G of RAM recognised), otherwise, except for a couple of keys where I have worn the lettering off, it still works perfectly.

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