Laptop keyboard flexes while typing?

bekdik

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It seems that, by design, some laptops have a keyboard which flexes when typing. What happens is that when a key is pressed, the surrounding keys also move.

From what I can see, the keyboard functions correctly, but the user might find it disconcerting to use.

The machine I have seen is a Lenovo B50-30.

Are there other models which exhibit this characteristic? I am wondering how widespread this is and whether it varies between machines of the same make & model.
 

CataclysmZA

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I am wondering how widespread this is and whether it varies between machines of the same make & model.

It is very widespread and can happen to laptops within the same brand, but generally doesn't transfer between the product lines. Some are designed to have flex in them, a lot aren't. The only way you can determine this is by reading reviews and trying out a few notebooks on a demo stand.
 

bekdik

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It is very widespread and can happen to laptops within the same brand, but generally doesn't transfer between the product lines. Some are designed to have flex in them, a lot aren't. The only way you can determine this is by reading reviews and trying out a few notebooks on a demo stand.

Is it related to cost? Is it more prevalent in the cheaper models?
 

TEXTILE GUY

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Have you per chance tried another laptop - same model etc?

I had an HP Pavillion that had this issue, but the same model belonging to the wife was fine.
 

bekdik

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Have you per chance tried another laptop - same model etc?

I had an HP Pavillion that had this issue, but the same model belonging to the wife was fine.

Hmmm, so it's a matter of chance? That's not nice :(
 

werner

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Jun 27, 2005
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no its not a matter of chance. I actually dont know why you are asking what you are asking...you cant avoid it by going on price alone, you cant avoid it by going on manufacturer...you can only avoid it by going on specific model+variant.

Dunno about Textile Guy, I dont intent to wind him up, but if you have two of the same machines exhibit different behaviours then either one is not assembled correctly, or one is broken.

the parts arent carved out of wood with generous tolerances, they're designed in cad and made to a specific standard, so one laptop of one model will be/should be the same as the same model.

Blame Microsoft and their WHQL naming policies for things like
Laptop brand ABC, model 123, sub-model XYZ, series 2...you cant honesltly blame people when they compare Model without knowing that within submodel there are variations

With that said, chicklet keyboards tend to be slimmest, so should have the *most* natural tendency to flex, however this can be designed away by the underlying structure.
What do I mean?
I mean, when you are trying to fit all these parts into the slimmest, lightest chassis you can prioritise on keyboard flex, or just say "fukkit" and worry about something else, depending on your target market.

So there is no "tendency"...there is only "designed to minimise" or "not a priority"
And each manufactuere will have somewhere in someones head in their design/R+D/QA department some criteria which says "good enough"

In fact, I think this just applies to stuff in general, not really unique to laptops.

If you stare at your laptop with superman x-ray eyes you'll probably realise that under the keyboard it is not a solid brick..the optical drive is a bad culprit as they are mostly air, and light. Some notebooks (Sony...yes you..some models.) the optical drive doesnt even have a lid on it. This means the chassis above it (lets call it webbing or whatever floats your boat) is more prone to flex in that area.

Is there a perfect design? There may well be, but it wont last. Something will come along that dictates a larger screen, so you have to redesign your case, and all that careful work goes out the window...ODD and HDD are still the same size...you want to make the mobo as small as possible..so you end up with empty space....fill it with concrete? nope, that makes it heavy...bigger battery? maybe, but you'll still have space for flex...so it'll be heavy again.

I'll try end this essay by saying: go and type on one if typing is that important. If it types nice, and the rest is par or above, buy it. If the one you get delivered types different, bitch and moan.

Do I have to add a qualifier...ok...I've been a bit too involved in laptops.

lastly, consider a decent external keyboard. It'll last longer, doesnt cost that much, and saves wear and tear on the laptop keys..and when it breaks (external kb) its so much easier to replace. If you can work like that, then your options are wider. Same goes for mouse...some folks just dont get along with touchpads and fill reams of online pixels with ranting with an external mouse is a few Rands.

You should find the best laptop that suits you and your priorities...but it is very difficult to buy something when touchy-feely is important, but all you have is a catalogue or a web listing....... Go to a shop.
 

Space_Chief

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NEC LaVie Z and NEC VersaPro don't flex at all. Two of the lightest laptops in the world, if not the lightest.
 
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