The keyboard in the notebook computer is a relatively low-cost component. In terms of mass purchase cost, compared with the price of CPU at more than $200, the most expensive and best full-size notebook keyboard is only about $15 (in most cases, only apple is willing to use such a keyboard), and the well-known ThinkPad keyboard and pointer mouse are only about $10 12, The cheapest laptop keyboard costs only about $3, and most laptops use keyboards in the range of $3 to $7. Of course, it's another matter for those keyboards with special design (such as special small size or special key cap).
There are five elements of keyboard feel that can be judged subjectively: key spacing
The key spacing of standard desktop keyboard is 19 19.5mm. This key spacing is also called "full size" or "standard keyboard". In notebook computers, due to the limitation of the body size, it usually takes at least 12.1 inch ordinary screen machines to achieve full-size keyboard, and this "full size" is only for letter and number keys, as for other f1f12, Auxiliary keys such as page up / page down are usually made into a relatively small size to save space. As for machines with smaller screen size, it is generally necessary to further reduce the key spacing of letter and number keys in order to install them on the host smoothly. The following figure shows the size comparison between the full-size keyboard and the 17mm key pitch keyboard, with great differences in size:
When the keyboard key spacing is less than 19mm, the touch of keystroke will be affected. If it is further reduced to less than 17mm, users who are used to full-size keyboard will need to adapt for a period of time to operate accurately. If the key spacing is less than 15mm, many adult fingers can't hit the key normally.
Therefore, the best key distance of notebook should be 19mm. If it is about 17mm, you should actually try whether you can adapt. The keyboard below 15mm is actually not suitable for most people.
It refers to the stroke that can sink when the key is pressed. Generally speaking, this stroke should be at least 2.5mm, but the height of the key stroke directly affects the height of the whole keyboard and further affects the thickness of the whole machine. Therefore, the key stroke of many ultra light and thin machines is actually only 1.5 2mm.
A machine with a long key range can give users the feeling of approaching the desktop keyboard. If the key range is relatively short, users will feel that the rebound of the keyboard is "hard" when they hit the key. To exaggerate, it is like hitting a slate. It is easy to feel tired after a long time. The size of the key path is mainly determined by the height of the keyboard support and the effective compression range of the rebound rubber:
This is a subjective factor. It refers to the damping feel of the key cap when hitting the key. You can imagine the difference between hitting a ball of cotton and hitting the leg muscles. The rebound is closely related to the key process. Different key processes have their own most appropriate rebound. If the rebound is too weak, the touch of the key will appear empty and loose, If the rebound is too strong, it will increase the intensity of keystroke, and it is easy to get tired after a long time. A well-designed keyboard even has to produce different springback at different stages of key cap pressing.
If the springback and key path are properly matched, it can largely make up for the lack of hand feel caused by the short key path of lightweight machines. For example, the key path of IBM's X-Series lightweight machines is actually relatively short, but through the good cooperation of springback, the hand feel of T-series machines that are quite close to the long key path is obtained. Similarly, Apple's powerbook, in fact, the key path is general, But the feel is also good, and the appropriate rebound plays a great role in it.
The height of a keyboard is actually the sum of the bottom plate, thin film circuit layer, support and key cap. When it is difficult to reduce other parts in order to maintain a certain feel and strength, one of the most common ways is to reduce the thickness of the key cap and flatten it. This can effectively reduce the overall height of the keyboard, but such reduction will bring side effects, The touch of the key cap will drop. Please take a look at the desktop keyboard around you. The top of the key cap has a certain degree of depression, so that when you hit the key, your fingers will fall into the depression, making your fingertips bear pressure evenly. On the notebook, the depression has become a little small. If you further flatten the key cap, It will make the concave at the top of the key cap close to disappear. This kind of keyboard is particularly easy to concentrate the force on the fingertips and get tired easily.
In addition, the material of the key cap usually used by cheap keyboards is relatively thin, so it is easy to have a relatively vain feeling when hitting the key, and the sound when hitting the key to the end will be relatively large, while the high-quality key cap will use relatively thick materials, so that the key feel can be calm and the sound will be relatively small when hitting the key to the end.
Machine positioning determines keyboard quality
No matter how good the key cap, bracket, rebound, key stroke and key distance are, the whole keyboard still needs a solid bottom surface to support. In the notebook computer, due to the consideration of lightness, the heavy chassis like the desktop computer cannot be used. Therefore, the notebook computer uses a single sheet of metal as the support and the mounting surface of the key cap bracket. If you have the opportunity to remove the notebook keyboard, You will find that they can be bent within a certain range, because usually the thickness of this metal sheet is only 0.5 0.6mm, and the strength is naturally impossible to be very high.
Of course, some manufacturers prefer to sacrifice thickness and weight in order to pursue the feel of the keyboard. For example, the following figure shows the Sony a series keyboard base plate, which is cold pressed by double-layer metal sheet, and has better strength:
In addition to the strength of the keyboard base plate itself, the support of the fuselage to the keyboard base plate is also very important. The most perfect way is to make a supporting groove under the whole keyboard. When the keyboard is settled in it, it can get very stable support, but this usually sacrifices the thickness and weight of the whole machine:
The most common method is to set some support points at the position corresponding to the keyboard base plate in the fuselage, which can provide support for the main parts of the keyboard. If the support points are well designed, they can also obtain a stable keyboard feel, which can avoid the heavy disadvantage of the whole support groove, but the common defect of this method is that there will be slight subsidence near the four corners of the keyboard.