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I feel like, prior to the release of the Apple MacBook Air in 2008, laptop keyboard/mouse layouts were quite different, with features such as:

  • tactile buttons
  • all keys at least as small as the letter keys
  • separation of navigation keys
  • function keys
  • sunken mouse pad (away from fleshy base of the thumb)
  • dedicated left/right mouse buttons

Whereas, after, every laptop manufacturer seemed to follow the MacBook Air's layout, with:

  • linear chiclet buttons
  • keys squashed/removed to fit an overall stylized shape
  • navigation keys squashed into stylized shape
  • media keys (with function keys a secondary purpose)
  • mouse pad and palm rest at same level
  • dual function mouse-pad/left-mouse-button (no right mouse button)

I'd really like to find a manufacturer who still creates the old-style layouts, but have no idea what those layouts might be called to search for them.

For example, when I'm looking for a desktop keyboard, I know to search for the standard "ISO 105 QUERY UK" to get the layout I'm looking for.

Do laptop layouts have standards/names?

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