Number pads, do we need them?

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#1 Posted by burntbyhellfire (451 posts) -

I see more and more keyboards, and certainly gaming keyboards, especially mechanical keyboards that are without number pads. The keyboard without the numpad certainly has more than enough keys to map any game to, and I myself mostly just use the numpad as hotkeys though unfortunately many of the keys on the numpad overlap with other keys so even using it for hotkeys is limited, because with num lock on, it's the same as your regular numbers, with it off, it's your arrows.

So, is the number pad becoming obsolete? If it did, would any of you miss it?

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#2 Posted by Ezekiel43 (1705 posts) -

I'm better at putting in numbers with a pad. Mine also has volume keys and a calculator button over it. I prefer having the volume keys there over having them above the number row like on some gross, over-designed gaming keyboard.

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#3 Posted by burntbyhellfire (451 posts) -

but, these are luxuries, otherwise redundant, is this why we're seeing more and more keyboards without them?

also, i had this thought.. if we have keyboards that do not have number pads, we can buy number pads separately, then use software to hide the device from other software except for the software that can remap them to macros.. turning an otherwise redundant number pad into a fully functional reprogrammable macro pad

live streamers actually do this to convert USB number pads into stream decks

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#4 Posted by BassMan (10559 posts) -

Numpad is far superior when doing tasks with numbers. I don't really use it for gaming.

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#5 Posted by burntbyhellfire (451 posts) -

i do many tasks with numbers including mechanical engineering projects on autodesk inventor and projects within unreal engine.. i dont use a number pad for any of that and have mostly just relegated them to discord and streaming hotkeys.. for gaming i use a controller

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#6 Edited by BassMan (10559 posts) -

@burntbyhellfire said:

i do many tasks with numbers including mechanical engineering projects on autodesk inventor and projects within unreal engine.. i dont use a number pad for any of that and have mostly just relegated them to discord and streaming hotkeys.. for gaming i use a controller

You obviously don't type enough numbers then. Try telling an accountant or someone who does data entry that the numpad is useless. LOL

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#7 Posted by pyro1245 (5152 posts) -

Yeah.

Beats the number row for typing number if you have the desk space for it. I'm way faster with the num pad.

I've heard people argue that a 10-keyless board is puts your arms in a better position for gaming. This is probably mostly preference and body size.

It's good to have the option.

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#8 Posted by burntbyhellfire (451 posts) -

you can always get a cheap USB numberpad on the rate occasions you actually need a number pad and being a separate device would let you reprogram it to macros to use in gaming, or while streaming as well.. as far as on the keyboard, i think TKL and 60% boards make more sense

move your keyboard away from your desk, then place your mouse down where it feels the most comfortable and most natural.. i bet that ends up being further to the left than it is right now, probably right where the number pad on your keyboard will be.. at least thats what happens when i do this test.. also having less distance to transition between using the mouse and typing is nice too

so, when i replace this full size keyboard soon, and upgrade to a mechanical (either brown switches or red with o-rings to reduce over travel), i think i'll also go with a 60% size as well, and add on a mechanical USB numberpad to reprogram into a macro pad that can be put aside when not in use

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#9 Posted by dxmcat (2713 posts) -

I used it a bunch of numbers n maths n stuff.

When it isnt use for that, I have it as hotkeys for stuff like OBS/etc.

I dont need to dump silly $ on a "stream deck" just to have lcd screen buttons :P

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#10 Posted by Kadin_Kai (514 posts) -

@burntbyhellfire: Yes they are absolutely necessary for work! I have a separate number keypad which I carry around.

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#11 Posted by burntbyhellfire (451 posts) -

@dxmcat said:

I used it a bunch of numbers n maths n stuff.

When it isnt use for that, I have it as hotkeys for stuff like OBS/etc.

I dont need to dump silly $ on a "stream deck" just to have lcd screen buttons :P

exactly.. its better to have a separate touchpad that you can reprogram to macros to use as a stream deck that isn't going to interfere with your main keyboard and can be put aside when not in use.. for that reason, my next keyboard upgrade will NOT be full size.. will either get a usb mechanical number pad to go with it, that i can use as a stream deck.. or another idea of mine is to use a raspberry pi, a 16 bit audio to digital codec, XLR connectors, VST filters, and a built in touchscreen to create my own stream deck from scratch that also processed and filtered microphone audio

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#12 Posted by goodzorr (506 posts) -

For gaming I can potentially see your point; otherwise though no. I work in finance so that numpad and me are best buds.

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#13 Posted by dxmcat (2713 posts) -
@burntbyhellfire said:
@dxmcat said:

I used it a bunch of numbers n maths n stuff.

When it isnt use for that, I have it as hotkeys for stuff like OBS/etc.

I dont need to dump silly $ on a "stream deck" just to have lcd screen buttons :P

exactly.. its better to have a separate touchpad that you can reprogram to macros to use as a stream deck that isn't going to interfere with your main keyboard and can be put aside when not in use.. for that reason, my next keyboard upgrade will NOT be full size.. will either get a usb mechanical number pad to go with it, that i can use as a stream deck.. or another idea of mine is to use a raspberry pi, a 16 bit audio to digital codec, XLR connectors, VST filters, and a built in touchscreen to create my own stream deck from scratch that also processed and filtered microphone audio

exactly what? It does not interfere with anything as is. :) also theres the fact that TKL keyboards cost just as much and sometimes even more than standard layout keyboards.

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#14 Posted by GeryGo (12450 posts) -

@burntbyhellfire: Some gaming keyboards features removable numpad.

I find the numpad quite useful when typing numbers - far better than using mouse or the numbers above the latters

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#15 Posted by burntbyhellfire (451 posts) -

well, im still going with a 60% keyboard as my next keyboard ,but i will be buying a USB number pad to remap with software to a macro pad, and have a profile set up for normal number pad functionality.. so number pad functionality wont be lost, it just wont be part of my keyboard, and the functionality of what i replace the number pad more will have way, way more uses

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#16 Posted by burntbyhellfire (451 posts) -

after i get a new keyboard to replace this worn out one, i may actually pick up a gaming keypad as well.. i game exclusively on a controller, on PC, even have some MMOs mapped to my PS4 controller, theres no way im scrunching my fingers up on a keyboard just for the privilege of not having analog movement.. a gaming keypad with a thumbstick might be passable

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#17 Posted by BassMan (10559 posts) -

@burntbyhellfire said:

after i get a new keyboard to replace this worn out one, i may actually pick up a gaming keypad as well.. i game exclusively on a controller, on PC, even have some MMOs mapped to my PS4 controller, theres no way im scrunching my fingers up on a keyboard just for the privilege of not having analog movement.. a gaming keypad with a thumbstick might be passable

You are a strange one.

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#18 Posted by burntbyhellfire (451 posts) -

because i do not use a keyboard while gaming?

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#19 Edited by Grey_Eyed_Elf (6484 posts) -

Depends on what type of gamer you are and what games you play... I switch from a full keyboard with macro's with to a TKL and it didn't affect me and the games I played but if I was a MMO gamer then I would miss the macro's.

TKL keyboard are the perfect for FPS gamer's due to being able to position it closer to your mouse but full keyboards are better MMO gamers.

Preference is everything when it comes to PC gaming its why they are so many choices of keyboard and then each keyboard comes with a variety of cherry keys to suit your preference. There is almost no universal answer to anything when it comes to PC peripherals so to answer your question yes we do and no we don't!.

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#20 Posted by Bikouchu35 (8323 posts) -

Lol, I spend 30 minutes throughout my shift 10-keying all the bad labels on meds that wont scan at work. Also I always use tenkey for numbers, period. Its just that much faster. I only see gaming keyboards being tkl being widely used. Having to punch numbers on a single row is almost as painful as typing with a gamepad to me. I'm totally not against having a tkl and seperate numpad though.

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#21 Edited by burntbyhellfire (451 posts) -

yeah, im getting a 65$ or 75% keyboard soon, think of it like a 60% but with the F key row on top, and a single 1 unit size column on the right to add all the functionality of the arrow key and home/end/delete, etc giving you the most out of the smallest possible form factor.. of course, no number pad

i live stream game play a lot though on twitch, dlive, youtube, etc and my number pad is simply used to manage things like scenes, microphone, save replays when i do something highlight worthy, etc.. i will definitely get a separate USB keypad that will be converted into a macro pad with software.. think of it like a custom stream deck

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#22 Edited by WESTBLADE (502 posts) -

Uff, couldn't live without numpad... I have to input a lot of numbers quite often + i have it currently/most of the time on my lap (I'm sitting on sofa, 'PC in the living room' person here...XD) so having some tiny keyboard without numpad would be... out of question/downright uncomfortable...