Pocket P.C. Keyboard Layout (Part 2)

Thank you everyone who left feedback in round one of our thread for Keyboard layout suggestions.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet everyone’s suggestions in our most recent round of changes.

  1. One of the major feedback points that was suggested was swapping Ctrl and Fn. Now Ctrl is the first key from the left and Fn is the second key.

  2. Another point was to make the space bar bigger. After holding the physical 3D prints in our hands the space bar was hard to press comfortably even with someone with large hands. We absorbed the two adjacent buttons so now the space bar is bigger and takes the place of four buttons. Due to this change we had to move the + and - keys to the top where we have added two new dedicated keys.

  3. There saw that there may be some confusion about ESC key. It is in fact a dedicated key but if you need F1 that will be a function of ESC. Due to the way the PCB is designed, we could not move it up to the same row as the arrow keys.

  4. Since vertical space is limited, we could not make Del a dedicated key.

  5. Insert is now a function of P. Next to Del as it is on many keyboard layouts from what we have seen.

  6. Many people have objected to Caps and we are unsure what to do with it as this point. When the time comes to make the silicone rubber key mold, we will most likely leave it blank so that users can remap it to whatever they want.

  7. We agree that Pg Up and Pg Dn are important. We will most likely make it a function of Up and Down arrows.

As always, feedback is welcomed. While we won’t be adding modifying any more keys moving forward, the silkscreen will still be able to be modified before we lock it down within a month or so.

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Looks great! I’m a fan of the Caps.

maybe page up/down can be put on FN and the bottom right under the " \ " and " ’ " the second back light is not that important to me at least.

Oh, I should have explained the backlight function keys. The keyboard backlight will toggle on and off when you press both backlight keys at the same time.

Ah, I thought it would be FN + one of the light buttons. as all orange keys are operated by the FN function this would be more consistent.

Personally I think pgup and pgdn on up and down is good but home and end should probably be added to left and right as well.

Aesthetically I’d prefer if -_=+ were under the function layer of something like the 4 right most keys on the second last row, but if there were more keys added to fill the rest of the space it could look nice.
Once again that’s purely an aesthetics based opinion rather than function based one.

@starchaser
Adding Home and End as functions keys on left and right is a good idea. We will do that. Thanks for the suggestion.

We sent our the latest 3D prints to production and once received we will proceed with the tooling.

We can’t make any more physical changes to the keyboard at this time.

@benw
We will rethink how the backlight works. It made sense to use the opposite keys on the bottom when function was on the far left but now that button is control, this may cause false key presses of control. Will consider your suggestion and update this thread as we get closer to finalizing the keyboard silkscreen.

is there any update on the keyboard layout and the tooling? :slight_smile:

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Hi @benw,
We received the 3D prints back from the factory but they were very poor quality. We are going to post a “Transparency Post” soon where we will be posting “unpolished” / behind-the-scenes photos and updates of Pocket P.C. development and I’ll post the pictures of the failed prints there. I did not feel it would be appropriate to order expensive tooling without verifying the design the final time with bad prints. I did however had some time to feel-out the new keyboard layout on the failed prints and I’m quite happy with it. The space bar is much easier to press with a relaxed grip on the unit.

By the way, we discussed it more internally and we will be making the backlight on-off function work by pressing the function key and the right most button with the backlight symbol.

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It is not meant to be typed with 10 finger, right?
Then it doesn’t have to use normal staggered layout.
It can use ortholinear (matrix) layout like one in blackberry or some Android phones etc.