Apple quietly gets rid of the Macbook ‘Number Pad’

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Here’s an interesting tid-bit that David Pogue of the New York Times pointed out yesterday. It looks like Apple has quietly eliminated the numerical keypad on the latest Macbooks. When Pogue got a new Macbook recently (I can’t figure out why he did that this close to Macworld)When a reader recently sent David a note, he found that the tiny numbers that used to appear on the “j,k,l” area of the keys (which was activated by a ‘number lock’ key) were missing.

After talking to Apple tech people for half and hour, where they “guessed it must be gone”, he then called his Apple PR person to find out that it was, indeed, true.

The reason? To make the Macbook keyboard more closely resemble the recently released new Apple keyboards.

The thing I keep wondering is, if the Macbook is getting refreshed at Macworld (which is the most likely thing for those 13.3″ LED screens Apple’s been ordering up), why bother?

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8 thoughts on “Apple quietly gets rid of the Macbook ‘Number Pad’

  1. “When Pogue got a new Macbook recently (I can’t figure out why he did that this close to Macworld),”

    I wasn’t the one who bought the MacBook. On closer reading, you’ll see that I was quoting a READER who sent me the note.

    –David Pogue

  2. One reason: I think they’ve run out of function keys. My daughter’s new Macbook has an entirely new set of function key definitions for Expose and Spaces and, if I remember correctly, F6 is being used for Expose instead of being used as numlock.

    They probably decided they’d rather match the function key layout than support a little-used feature…

  3. That could be a problem for some non-us keyboard layouts where top row of numbers are maped to the extra set of letters like ąčęėįšųūž for the Lithuanian keyboard layout as an example. I use Fn+j, k, l, etc. keys all the time. It would be sad if my upgraded hardware was missing that feature.

  4. Welcome back to 1997!

    I still curse apple today for not giving my Powerbook G3 Kanga a numeric keypad! You’d expect that a oh-so-userfriendly Mac would at least have a feature every other cheap windows laptop has.

  5. I bought a new Macbook in late November cause my old one broke, and yea it has no number keys, as you say, but who needs em? Using the numbers at the top always has been the fastest and easiest way of input if you’re any good at typing. Besides, it makes my Macbook look a lot better.

  6. I went to the store today to buy a new computer (I like the macbook air) and decided at the last minute not to. One of my draw backs is the lack of the number pad. I understand why most people don’t see this as an important function, but for those of us who regular use spreadsheets that are filled with hundreds of rows and columns of numbers the number pad is a must! I am going to wait to see, by some small miracle, if the number pad comes back in the next edition.

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