Keyboard Layout: Standard or vertical Home/End key arrangement?


1. The Setup

On researching my new keyboard, I read a number of reviews, as well as trying them out in a store. I ended up with the Logitech K800, which has the more traditional horizontal arrangement. While to me, that was a clear negative, I was amazed to see how many people strongly prefer it.

2. The Issue



Here's an example of the two arrangements. The left one is the traditional arrangement from the K800, and the right one is a vertical arrangement from the Logitech lx710

3. The Case

First and foremost, the Insert key is simply not useful in modern computing. I use my insert key roughly 20 times over the entire life span of a keyboard, and all 20 of those times are accidental, and possibly destructive. If you still use the insert key today, I'd love to hear when, because I simply can't think of a situation.

The delete key is very commonly used, and is especially so while typing. Making it a larger target makes sense. If your hands are over the main Alphabet part of the keyboard, your pinkie needs to travel further to hit the delete key, so by making it a larger target, you end up with fewer mistakes.

The real benefit for me, however, is the relocation of home and end. Now I know this part doesn't apply to Mac users, where home and end navigate to the top and end of the entire document, but on Windows and Linus, these keys navigate to the first and last column of your current line. Why then, should the keys be vertically arranged? For me, there's a disconnect between hitting the upper button to go left, and the lower one to go right, so I prefer the non-standard layout.