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Laptop Keyboard Buyers Guide

Laptop keyboard purchasing tips and recommendations.

Recommended:
  • Large Laptops: Full-Size Keyboard With 10-Key Pad
  • Mid-Size Laptops: Full-Size Keyboard
  • Small Laptops: Chiclet Style Keyboard
Minimum:
  • N/A

Laptop Keyboard Comparison

Keyboard options are far from vast, but there are definitely things you should consider when shopping for a laptop computer.

Laptop Keyboard Size:

Notebook keyboards typically increase in size along with the laptop. 

For example, today's large laptops typically contain full-size keyboards with 10-key pads, medium sized laptops contain a fairly standard sized keyboard minus the 10-key, and finally thin & light or ultra compact laptops have even smaller keyboards.

Full-Size Keyboard With 10-Key Pad:

A full-size notebook keyboard with a 10-key pad is very similar in spacing to a desktop computer keyboard, and because of this they may be easier to type on for many of you, especially if you have large hands. 

Full-size keyboards with 10-key pads are perfect if you are say an accountant by profession or anyone for that matter who uses a 10-key often during the day to day digital grind.

If you are looking for a desktop replacement laptop, a full-size keyboard will be a nice bonus since it gives you that desktop like feel. 

Full-size keyboards are found on just about every full-featured desktop replacement model including 17, 20-inch, and larger laptops.

Full-Size Keyboards:

Full-sized notebook keyboards are found on a large majority of laptops. You will typically find a full-size laptop keyboard on 15.4 and 14.1-inch sized laptops and some 17-inch models as well. 

Full-sized keyboards offer great spacing and a comfortable typing experience.  The only thing missing is a 10-key pad. 

Compact Keyboards:

When you move into the thin & light or ultra-portable class notebook, that is when it will be most important to pay attention to notebook keyboard size. 

To accommodate the laptops smaller frame, smaller laptops contain condensed keyboards which may be frustrating for many of you when typing, especially for extended periods.

If you have large hands, we definitely recommend that you go for a mid-size or larger laptop with a full-size keyboard unless of course you absolutely need ultra portability or don't plan on typing for extended periods.

On the other hand, if you absolutely need a small laptop, you may want to consider a chiclet style keyboard for they are often a lifesaver for folks with large hands. Read below for more information on chiclet style keyboards.

Laptop Keyboard Type:

Today there are pretty much two basic keyboard types that you will encounter when shopping for a laptop. Traditional laptop keyboards and newer chiclet style keyboards.

With the traditional keyboard the keys are close together and they have slanted edges. The large majority of laptops on the market contain a traditional style keyboard. 

For most laptops the traditional keyboard works fantastic, though as a laptop gets smaller, the traditional keyboard becomes a bit more difficult when typing since the keys are further reduced in size to accommodate the laptops smaller frame. This reduction and the close proximity of each key increases the likelihood that you will hit a neighboring key when typing.

A chiclet style keyboard in comparison is composed of straight edged square keys that are spaced apart. Because the keys are spaced apart, this decreases the likelihood of hitting a neighboring key.  

Chicklet keyboards are becoming more and more popular, especially with smaller laptops. If you've never used one before, you may want to run down to your local retailer and give one a test drive.



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