Almost a month ago, Lenovo was asking everyone who visits their blog to vote on how they wanted the Fn & Ctrl keys laid out. The results were pretty clear, but now it appears they are even closer to a win-win solution.
If you’ve ever switched between a ThinkPad keyboard and literally any other keyboard for some even light typing, you’ve likely noticed a big difference in layout. ThinkPads have placed the evil-but-necessar-on-notebooks Function (Fn) key on the very bottom left corner of the keyboard since the beginning of ThinkPad-time.
One of the main reasons for this positioning was to allow for activation of the handy ThinkLight keyboard light by pressing two keys on opposite corners of the keyboard: Fn and PgUp. The author of this blog post over at Yamato Thinking also points out that if you have smaller hands, the Ctrl key being closer to center makes using long-reach key combinations like Ctrl-F4 a bit easier.
While Lenovo’s poll over at Design Matters showed over a 1.5x greater preference for the current layout, the usability and design guru’s at Lenovo aren’t blind to the fact that many users would prefer the option to change the layout to their preference. As I noted in my previous post on this subject, the most efficient way to implement this would be a BIOS switch for reduced cost and enhanced compatibility, which is what the Yamato bloggers are indicating is being considered. If you’re interested in Lenovo putting a BIOS option on ThinkPads to allow this compatibility, head over and speak yer piece.
Source: [Yamato Thinking]