I always get some of my best blog material by looking at my desk. To paint a picture, I take advantage of most of the accessories created for my think system. I should clarify, that makes my workspace very clean and easy to use. My desk, as a whole, that is a separate story! One of the accessories I want to reflect on today is the stand alone numeric keypad – Numpad.
On my Windows PC, I type with both an English keyboard layout as well as a Czech one. The Czech keyboard has, in the sixth row of keys, Czech national characters and not the numbers. So when I need to type numbers, I have to switch the language in Windows to English, type the numbers, and then switch back. Doing that in Excel is a bit complicated as numbers are used quite often.
Most people can live with a regular keyboard on a notebook. But, some people are using a numeric keypad – Numpad – on a regular basis. Couple of examples:
• Like me – people with modified keyboard layout
• Gamers – need numeric keypad as they need more keys for specific actions in games or simply using additional multidirectional arrows to move or navigate in games
• People who often type numbers – accountants or professional users
• CAD/CAM users
Very specific users also need a numeric keypad because number keys on numeric keyboards do have different scancodes. This means if you hit “5” key on top row of the keyboard it is sending a slightly different code into the PC than if you hit “5” key on numeric keypad. Some specialized programs do differentiate if you are typing numbers on the top row or on numeric keypad. Sometimes this creates troubles to type in passwords in special programs.
Depending on your ThinkPad, your keyboard layout (read about latest changes), language preferences, applications in use, and frequency of typing numbers, you might have a need for numeric keypad.
I tried to simplify my life so I’ve started to use ThinkPad USB Numeric Keypad (PN 33L3225). Most probably you’ve got the point that the reasons I’m using a numeric keypad are to support different language preferences as well as repeated need to type a lot of numbers in spreadsheets.
The numeric keypad is something I can use directly with ThinkPad, however, I have it on my desk connected to a USB 3.0 Dock so I do not need to reconnect it each and every day.
If you are using a numeric keypad (stand alone) on an external keyboard or on your ThinkPad let me know why you are using it. Perhaps it has even more reasons to use than what I wrote above. Perhaps my blog is speaking directly to you.
Read my other keyboard post: Can you type on a blank keyboard?