Author Topic: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA  (Read 50386 times)

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Offline Hypersphere

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #150 on: Mon, 08 July 2013, 22:37:51 »
Folks, you are not supposed to hit the right control by stretching your hand open, but by moving your entire arm. This way both your hands remain very relaxed at all times.
But contorting your left hand to hit Control and A single-handedly, not only moves one of you hands away from typing position anyway, but puts a lot of strain on it.
Ctrl-Q and Ctrl-W are even worse than Ctrl-A. Apart from straining your hand, it takes more time to bend your hand rather than move your other hand.

Anyway, our bodies are symmetric and there's a reason we have 2 shifts, 2 alts and 2 controls.
BTW, while my usage of the 2 shifts is pretty even, I use the right control far more frequently than the left. I guess I will have to map the App/Menu key to be a right Control, no big deal. On my Poker I sacrifice the same key anyway (for the tilde).

I tend to agree. I use Right-Control very often. Is it in fact possible to reassign the APP key as Right-Control? I did not see an option for this. I use Mac OS X and Linux; sometimes I use Windows. (What is the APP key? Is it the "Menu" key? Never use that anyway.)

Thanks.

Offline uberzone

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #151 on: Mon, 29 July 2013, 10:10:51 »
I just got this board after quite a bit of deliberation. The double function keys are what really sold me. I like the fact I don't have to move my fingers off the home row to use the arrow keys. The backspace was a concern as it seems to be for a lot of people here. One thing that nobody has mentioned yet is that you can use (FN + ;) as delete. So again you don't have to move your fingers off the home row to delete. Very smart in my opinion.

Offline SeriouSSpotS

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #152 on: Mon, 29 July 2013, 10:17:26 »
I just got this board after quite a bit of deliberation. The double function keys are what really sold me. I like the fact I don't have to move my fingers off the home row to use the arrow keys. The backspace was a concern as it seems to be for a lot of people here. One thing that nobody has mentioned yet is that you can use (FN + ;) as delete. So again you don't have to move your fingers off the home row to delete. Very smart in my opinion.

FN layers have been interesting me the more I read into it.
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Offline Hypersphere

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #153 on: Mon, 29 July 2013, 11:38:49 »
Yes, the more I look at the Fn layer on the Filco Minila, the more I can see the logic in it. Nevertheless, I wish they had incorporated some additional intuitive options, such as Fn+UpArrow = PgUp, etc. Moreover, I think I could grow accustomed to the small spacebar and possibly the small right-shift, but I anticipate having problems with the small backspace and the absence of a right-control. I also wish they had lopped off the top bezel making the overall shape rectangular; I don't really need the LEDs. Finally, after learning the Fn layer, i would want to replace the keycaps with more off-white and light gray dye-sub PBT, but this could be problematic with all the odd-sized keys. Other posters have made the same points, but perhaps redundant mention will help get the attention of the Filco people who might be monitoring the keyboard forums.

Offline uberzone

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #154 on: Mon, 29 July 2013, 12:23:58 »
One thing that nobody has mentioned yet is that you can use (FN + ;) as delete.

FN + ;


Offline ImperfectLink

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #155 on: Mon, 29 July 2013, 12:34:31 »
I was skeptical as well but bought it anyway. It's really growing on me and I'm finding the Fn keys well... Fn good.

Offline kelpfrond

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #156 on: Fri, 16 August 2013, 08:57:54 »
Got this board more than a month ago and used it constantly. To me, it's nearly perfect in all aspects (Fn key positions, aesthetics, feel, size, etc.). Having the keyboard centered in front of you while still maintaining a convenient mouse position is just wonderful. I had some problems with my right shoulder after extended gaming sessions. They're gone now, and I believe it's because of this board. I'm really happy I took the risk and bought a compact... it took less than a week of use to realize it's the best form factor for me and I'll probably not buy anything else in the future.

BUT, there are two issues you should think over before buying a MINILA:

  • The right SHIFT. It doesn't use the same switch as the big modifier keys (left SHIFT, CTRL, etc.). These seem to use a distinctive switch that makes a different "clack" and feels better suited for modifiers. Right SHIFT feels like any other regular key, so it's not satisfying to press & hold. It was also very difficult to get accustomed to the small size, even though I almost always press the left-most part of the right SHIFT key anyway (took special note of this before ordering the MINILA). While incredibly displeasing in the beginning, you will eventually get used to this SHIFT key. You will never like it, but it will stop bothering you.
  • What won't stop bothering you is the way the Fn modifier behaves. If you have something (other than another native modifier key) pressed while actuating Fn, it will not register. Unlike SHIFT, CTRL, etc., you might find yourself in a situation where you are actually holding Fn but not getting the modified behavior. At high speeds, this happens often enough for the Fn+[;] for Backspace combo to be extremely irritating. Instead of getting a correction, you get a string of semicolons. Attempting to get rid of them results in yet more frustrating semicolons. The only solution is to lift your finger from the Fn key and repress. Admittedly, this issue only occurs with Fn+[;]. The mental pause you need before deciding to press Home/End/Arrow key, etc. was (at least in my case) sufficient to prevent any problems with other key combos. If Filco hadn't included the Fn+[;] combo, I might have never noticed the problem. But it is hard to stop using it.. it's faster and it doesn't take you away from home row.

If it wasn't for #2, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the MINILA to anyone looking for a compact. As it is, I still like it, but I'm disappointed. The only reason I was able to forgive all the pain that right SHIFT caused was the wonderful Fn keys that made my typing faster and more convenient, never straying far from home row. The highlight of this is the Fn+semicolon combo which is easy to learn and super-comfy. However, the moment you get comfortable & fast with all the Fn keys, and are ready to fall in love with the board, it starts to play tricks on you... meh Filco, you should have made the Fn keys work better! Still, it's a really cute board...

Of course, you should think twice before getting a MINILA if:
  • you need to press modified Function keys (F1-F12) one-handedly (I use Ctrl(+Shift)+W instead of Ctrl/Alt+F4 to close windows, so I rarely had difficulties, but it is very awkward to press Alt+F4 and the like)
  • you want to use Backspace in its standard US position (UNIX pos works fine, Fn+semicolon is even more convenient and easy to learn but see pt. 2 above)
  • you use your left thumb for SPACE: the Spacebar on the MINILA is more than half-key to the right! Carefully examine where you press it with your left hand and include some leeway.
  • you play WASD games, can't/don't want to remap WASD AND use SPACE frequently. You shift the left hand one key-width to the left when using WASD, so the Spacebar is really awkward to press. It's OK for the occasional jump in an RPG, but it's not good for constant use. Remapping left Fn to SPACE might work for you, but you lose one-handed access to Function keys which sucks almost as much.

Offline rowdy

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #157 on: Fri, 16 August 2013, 23:14:25 »
Welcome to Geekhack!

Thanks for the review - brief but comprehensive :)
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But that’s incorrect. It’s in HHKB’s slogan, but when America’s cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

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Offline achikin

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #158 on: Wed, 18 April 2018, 06:13:35 »
Can I remap Fn key to something else e.g. Ctrl?

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #159 on: Wed, 18 April 2018, 07:32:21 »
Can I remap Fn key to something else e.g. Ctrl?
Typically FN keys cannot be changed (especially on OEM boards) as they work at a hardware level with no OS interaction.

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Online mittyzz

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Re: NEW FILCO keyboard - Majestouch MINILA
« Reply #160 on: Sat, 21 April 2018, 16:25:15 »
Dang I like that.
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