I'm a rapid touch typist (as the length of emails to friends will verify!) and I want to buy a laptop. However, what puts me off is that the keyboard is in the WRONG PLACE! You have to stretch over what seems like an acre of space to get to the keyboard and for nearly 50 years I've been used to a keyboard (not to mention a typewriter, remember those???!) right in front of me.
Why on earth can't the clever boffins who MAKE these things put the keyboard at the front and the inner workings at the back instead of the other way round. Or is it just because there aren't many of the touch typist species left? It would help most people, I'd have thought. Does anybody know any good reason why it started off the 'wrong' way round? I'd be interested to know.
the so called clever boffins designed the keyboard to be back away from the edge for a good reason. the space fulfils two purposes: first it provides a fairly ideal location for the trackpad. second it acts as a wristrest. having a place to rest your hands is much better for ergonomics. i think this design was actually started the right way around but you just aren't used to the idea.
by touch typist are you refering to hunt and peck? the current design benefits those who can type with all fingers which is the majority. a little practice with mavisworks or other program to learn how to type better might be an option or you just deal with it. chiclet style keys common on laptops aren't fun to type on no matter how you do it. you trade off on many things just to have a portable computer!
I completely agree with the original post writer. The placement of the keyboard in almost all modern laptops does NOT favour the touch-typist (i.e. someone who not only uses all fingers but who types without looking at the keyboard). I believe the layout is due to needing somewhere to put the mousepad and the manufacturers have all just followed each other like sheep, without leaving an option for those who can type properly. The ergonomic argument is false because ideally a keyboard should be stepped (like seats in a theatre) not flat. Typing on a flat keyboard can cause wrist pain.
The other point is that the first generation of laptops DID have front edge keyboards. My first laptop - a Toshiba T3100SX - had a brilliant front-edge keyboard. It also achieved stepping by having a rear hinged bar that tilted the machine slightly up at the rear. It didn't need a mouse as Windows was only just coming out (1990) and most applications were text-based.
In any case the best place for a mouse is on the right of the machine (for right-handed people) - or even better, nowhere at all. If you take the trouble to learn keyboard 'shortcuts' you can work much faster than when you have to alternate between keyboard and mouse. Ideally I would do without a mouse altogether, but again it's made awkward by developers who forget to assign sensible Tab indexes to screen controls, or who don't provide keyboard options for some mouse actions.