General Question

bob's avatar

Why is my laptop keyboard off-center?

Asked by bob (3113 points ) July 31st, 2007

The keyboards on Apple laptops are slightly off-center. When I put my fingers on the asdf and jkl; my fingers are slightly left-of-center. This is normal, but it seems slightly dumb. I know there are extra keys on the right-hand side, but... why?

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11 Answers

bpeoples's avatar

Mainly because most people are right-handed, so the keys that are used in a single-haded use (arrow keys, backspace, some functions) are on the right.

Curious-- are you left handed?

xaxen's avatar

Maybe it's not the keyboard that is off center? maybe it's you?

glial's avatar

I've owned approximately 8 Apple laptops and never had a problem. For the sake of argument, I am right handed.

extolsmith's avatar

God saw what He had created and it was good. Steve Jobs saw what he had created and it was good to him.

kbrain2929's avatar

It could be the interior didn't allow the keyboard to sit perfectly. What I'm trying to say is that the interior componets may be in the way... just my guess.

bob's avatar

@xaxen: Both the keyboard and the user are center-left.

The keyboard is centered, but the "home position" keys from typing class are left of center. It's not really a problem, just strange.

TruMobius's avatar

Are you sure it is off centered and not just smaller in width that other keyboards?

Apple keyboards are smaller and that might be your real problem.

I've noticed that my fingers are always off after typing on my laptop (which does have a full keyboard btw) and then switching to a normal keyboard. Same situation.

samkusnetz's avatar

there is an extra key on the left side of the keyboard on the home row… the quote key. this means that your hands will always necessarily be off center when they’re at the home. try moving your right hand over to the right by one key… centered now!

this isn’t an apple/non-apple thing… if you wanted your hands on center, you’d have to change the keyboard layout. in fact, apple’s laptop keyboards make the caps lock and the return key the same size, whereas most keyboards have a smaller caps lock key. so your hands are probably closer to center than on other keyboards.

i think the reason you notice it on a laptop and not on a desktop is that there is no fixed centerline between the keyboard and monitor on a desktop… if you decide you feel off center, you can just move the keyboard.

bob's avatar

Right! Finally, someone sees that the keys are actually slightly off-center. The question is: shouldn’t they fix this by centering the keyboard? It shouldn’t be that difficult.

samkusnetz's avatar

no… the keyboard is centered. but the F and the J are not the same distance off the centerline as one another, because of the quote key. the only way to solve this is to either dramatically enlarge the caps lock and shrink the return key, which makes no sense, or to remove the quote key and redistribute the keys on the A row. or, i guess, to move the home position of your hand so that the index finger on your right hand rests on the K.

meg's avatar

I get you, Bob. The entire keyboard is centered, but if you are typing, you are positioned in line with the left third of the computer. (or maybe not that far off if you have a smaller model with no 10-key) Ergonomically, this kind of sucks.

The “why” is because no one has thought to do anything about it. The G and H keys should be dead center to the screen. This would align the user to what they are looking at.

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