It's the keyboard layout

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Staff member
Mar 4, 2003
As promised earlier in my news post, here is the thread about the keyboard layout.

First of all, thanks for all the discussions and threads you already had here at the boards - a few interesting ideas arose, and one came very close to what I had in mind.

Let's start with some facts first:

  • The keyboard should be standard enough to be used by every normal user
  • It should be balanced between text typing and coding
  • It should have most of the keys a normal keyboard has (i.e. Pandora keyboard has issues with DosBox).
  • The main languages used where the Pandora sold are English, French and German. It should support these languages as good as possible (with English being the main one)
  • We should have a maximum of three characters per key: One with a single keypress, one with Shift and one with AltGr (which replaces the old Fn-Key)
  • The most-used keys should get the best positions

The keyboard will have two different colored labels (so basically the same as the Pandora had).

Adding more colors will make things more expensive, and the keymat IS already more expensive because of the backlight.

Okay, of all the keyboard layouts I've seen at the threads you created, this seems to be nigh perfect in my opinion:


What do I like about it?

  • Mostly Standard QWERTY-Keyboard, including the Shift-Keys on the numbers
  • Tab as a single key
  • ä, ö and ü (German) as well as ' and ` (French) included
  • Almost all normal characters are existant
  • Even has two shift keys (useful for persons who don't use the shoulder buttons when typing, like myself ;)

What issues are there?

  • Hard to type some key combinations like ALT-F4 (as you need to press ALT, ALTGr and 4 at the same time). Only used for old DOS-Games though
  • ESC is not a single key. Would be nice to have it, but not mandatory (did work with the Pandora)
  • Some keys missing: ', ° and ^.
  • +, - and = is a bit too far in the middle (hard to reach for these common keys). Maybe we should move them with less used keys?

What I cannot tell is:

How is the layout for devving (vim, scripts, code, etc.)?

All needed characters there?

Can most used characters be easily reached or do we need to move around a bit?

What do you think?

Please post any issues and suggestions you have here - so we can rearrange everything a bit so it's useful for everyone.

But please do NOT post completely different keyboard layouts... we had a lot of those already.

Instead, post why you like a different one better and link to it on the existing threads.

And be rational - there is NO layout everyone loves. What we need to find is the best compromise for all users and usecases.

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