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Old 26th April 2011
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Thumbs down Dell criples its latest business laptops with 'casual' keyboard layout

"A picture is worth a thousand words", so here are the details:

Dell Latitude E6*10 (E6410/E6510/...):


Dell Latitude E6*20 (E6420/E6520/...):


In other words ... no more 'classical' navigation keys layout like that:

[INS] [HOM] [PGU]
[DEL] [END] [PGD]


With that 'improvement' Dell business laptops became 'just another laptop' instead of a real ThinkPad rival, if You want to get real Dell business laptop, then E6*10 series is last of the models to have *REAL* business keyboard to work with, the newer models are just toys, move on (like ThinkPad EDGE to be precise).
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Old 26th April 2011
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I never quite understood the compulsive desire to put keyboards in a perfect rectangle that many laptop manufacturers seem to have ...
I wouldn't say it's the end of the world though, the keyboard's "feel" is much more important, and to be honest I find even the "old" E6000 series keyboard's "feel" to be far inferior to thinkpad T series.

The Thinkpad EDGE is not a notebook but a netbook. And as netbooks go, it's probably among the best if not the best netbook.
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Old 26th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
I never quite understood the compulsive desire to put keyboards in a perfect rectangle that many laptop manufacturers seem to have ...
Maybe its cutting costs ... or maybe people are such dump today that they even never reach this section of keyboard ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
I wouldn't say it's the end of the world though, the keyboard's "feel" is much more important, and to be honest I find even the "old" E6000 series keyboard's "feel" to be far inferior to thinkpad T series.
The 'feel' is a different discussion, but at least You had good layout (even when the 'feel' was not that great as in ThinkPads), now You have nothing.

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Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
The Thinkpad EDGE is not a notebook but a netbook. And as netbooks go, it's probably among the best if not the best netbook.
I would not call a 14 or 15.6 size mobile computer a netbook
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Old 26th April 2011
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I would not call a 14 or 15.6 size mobile computer a netbook
I would agree that's a bit too big for a netbook. Personally, I can't live without my numpad. I 10-key pretty regulary, and it would drive me nuts to have to use the top row numbers.
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Old 26th April 2011
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For us old-schoolers, I think we like the traditional keyboard layout because, well, that's what we're used to. For newer computer users, they may not have those biases. I sometimes wonder if these alternate layouts are not, in part, an attempt by manufacturers to develop a new set of biases and thereby a new sticky/loyal set of users. If they can capture a bunch of newbs and get them used to their special layout, they may find it hard to switch to another brand. Whereas if they had made a more traditional layout, users could easily switch to another of the same or similar. Of course, they risk alienating the traditionalists.
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Old 26th April 2011
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I don't know, I think it has more to do with design v.s. usability. From a pure design point of view, these "crap" keyboards are actually better and more aesthetically pleasing ... From a usability point of view ... well ...
It's the same with the reflecting glare screens and shiny blingbling covers so many laptops sport these days ...

By the way, at work I use a "standalone" thinkpad keyboard (this one), they have an enlarged ESC key, moves the INS key to the left, and enlarged the DEL key.
This is probably the only deviation from the standard US-international layout that I really like.
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Old 26th April 2011
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I think it has more to do with design v.s. usability.
You're probably right about that; no doubt there are several factors at play, and commercial differentiation is only one. Perhaps I'm too paranoid about how the big corps are trying to harvest our fleece.
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Old 26th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
I don't know, I think it has more to do with design v.s. usability. From a pure design point of view, these "crap" keyboards are actually better and more aesthetically pleasing ... From a usability point of view ... well ...
It's the same with the reflecting glare screens and shiny blingbling covers so many laptops sport these days ...
Good point. I agree.
Sometimes its also about cutting costs: wide-screen is cheaper to manufacture than a 4:3 screen. apparently the wide-screen monitors are great for watching movies. but how many ppl watch movies on their computer? i don't :-P
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Old 26th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
By the way, at work I use a "standalone" thinkpad keyboard (this one), they have an enlarged ESC key, moves the INS key to the left, and enlarged the DEL key.
This is probably the only deviation from the standard US-international layout that I really like.
These ones are great, I wish they would make wireless version ...

There is also such keyboard with numeric keyboard.

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Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
apparently the wide-screen monitors are great for watching movies. but how many ppl watch movies on their computer? i don't :-P
I sometimes watch movies on the laptop ;p
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Old 26th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
Good point. I agree.
Sometimes its also about cutting costs: wide-screen is cheaper to manufacture than a 4:3 screen. apparently the wide-screen monitors are great for watching movies. but how many ppl watch movies on their computer? i don't :-P
I do actually, but even if I wouldn't, there is some advantage to widescreens because the human vision is naturally more horizontally then vertically oriented.
The reason is simple, on the African planes there was very little reason for humans to loop up, and very good reasons to look around the landscape
16:9 ratio might be overdoing it though, especially with smaller screens ...

AFAIK 4:3 isn't more expensive to produce, rather, widescreens are produced more, so they're cheaper to produce per unit.
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Old 26th April 2011
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Quote:
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AFAIK 4:3 isn't more expensive to produce, rather, widescreens are produced more, so they're cheaper to produce per unit.
There is a difference actually ... take both 16:9 and 4:3 with 14" diameter, the area covered by the 4:3 will be bigger then the area of 16:9 screen.

For example, a 21" 4:3 has 218 square inches while 21" 16:9 widescreen has 211 square inches ... its very little for a single screen, but its huge if it comes to thousands of sold screens.
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Old 26th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
For example, a 21" 4:3 has 218 square inches while 21" 16:9 widescreen has 211 square inches ...
I think the difference is bigger than that. For a 21" diagonal I get:

4:3 has 211.68 sq in

16:9 has 188.44 sq in

Cute problem though, a square maximizes the area for a given diagonal rectangle.

Last edited by IdOp; 27th April 2011 at 12:21 AM. Reason: diameter --> diagonal
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Old 27th April 2011
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@IdOp

You are right, my bad.
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