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On Win8, you can chose a "Pin" mode, where you enter four digits. Without pressing enter, it will log you in if you enter the correct password.

Is it possible to do this with characters? The amount will be variable.

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What you want isn't possible. There are some disadvantages to Pin Mode mainly because of the length of the pin. –  Ramhound Jul 1 '13 at 16:23
    
Is this now possible with windows 8.1? –  Chipperyman Mar 4 at 3:04
    
No; it's not possible –  Ramhound Mar 4 at 3:06

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