Computers & Electronics

Buying Laptop with French keyboard

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  • Oct 8th, 2019 4:51 pm
[OP]
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Sep 23, 2019
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Buying Laptop with French keyboard

What are the implications of getting a Windows Surface laptop that has French keyboard? I am english speaking, I do not know any French language, but where I am looking to buy a laptop they have just French versions.
I believe I should be able to switch Windows language from French to English.
I know that some keyboards will have French descriptions (like Caps Lock will be French equivalent).
But will there be any other issues?
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May 2, 2010
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I know all laptops for sale in Quebec must have French or English/French keyboards. In other words, laptops with English keyboards only cannot be sold in Quebec.
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Dec 11, 2003
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You can type in both English and French. The problem most people have is the keys on the keyboard are different than an English only keyboard that are sold in the US. I hate the French/English keyboards. I can't get used to them. I learned to type without looking at the keyboard so trying to relearn where the keys is tough.
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The letters are generally in the same position but some will catch you by surprise (e.g., q is in a much more central location). Symbols, special characters and punctuation marks are not where you normally expect them and some commonly-used symbols require a shift.

It will take some getting used to.

Image

French Apple KB (the one I've encountered the most often)
Last edited by thriftshopper on Oct 8th, 2019 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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I hate bilingual keyboards and will never buy another one with it. It's just me, but some keys have too much sh!t on it.
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I'd be fine with a French keyboard if it was keyed the same as a US English keyboard.
But no... they have to be idiots and rearrange a bunch of keys.

If it was keyed the same I could just (hopefully) use software to "fix" the stupidity since I don't look at my keyboard anyway.
But when you start moving keys around now I have to look and get angry doing it.

I 100% return any notebook that has a non US English keyboard.
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death_hawk wrote: I'd be fine with a French keyboard if it was keyed the same as a US English keyboard.
But no... they have to be idiots and rearrange a bunch of keys.
Ergonomics. Some letters, notably q, are used a lot more in French. I am sure z's are used much more frequently in Italian than in English.

Italian

Image

German
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OP could buy an OEM Surface english KB and change it if the process is easy. I wouldn't bother with stickers or overlays.
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thriftshopper wrote: Ergonomics. Some letters, notably q, are used a lot more in French. I am sure z's are used much more frequently in Italian than in English.
I guess that's why Dvorak is popular too.
Now I kind of want to test typing the "outlier" keys on a US English to see if it sucks ergonomics wise.
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death_hawk wrote: I guess that's why Dvorak is popular too.
Now I kind of want to test typing the "outlier" keys on a US English to see if it sucks ergonomics wise.
I haven't seen a Dvorak KB in over 20 or 30 years (actually never seen one, but ads in PC Magazine and PC World).

Dvorak is supposed to be the most efficient for English. QWERTY was a compromise. There were more efficient designs (for trained typists) but the typists were so fast that the mechanisms of (mechanical) typewriters of the day couldn't keep up and would would jam.
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Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
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I hate the fact that Canadian laptops still have french characters on their english keyboards, like the Big E with accent, and stuff its just in another colour u have to use the function key to access it, it sucks csu my cousin from the US has a nice keyboard without that french canadian crap on it
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Spanish KB

Image

Looks like the it almost like an english KB as far as letters go but has a ñ key next to the l.
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thriftshopper wrote: I haven't seen a Dvorak KB in over 20 or 30 years (actually never seen one, but ads in PC Magazine and PC World).
It's 100% a niche market but you can still get them today.
Dvorak is supposed to be the most efficient for English. QWERTY was a compromise. There were more efficient designs (for trained typists) but the typists were so fast that the mechanisms of (mechanical) typewriters of the day couldn't keep up and would would jam.
Interesting bit of history behind it for sure.
Just like how some airport was getting complaints of slow luggage. So instead of speeding things up, they made the walk longer.

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