On (Not) Remapping FN key in Vaio Z series

I have mostly loved working with my Vaio Z31WN — it is clearly the best laptop I have used so far — but there is a small annoyance that keeps disturbing the work flow daily: Sony did not include PageUp and PageDown keys in their keyboard layout, even while there would have been space enough for that. You need to use two hands: the other to press and hold FN key at the down left corner of the keyboard, and simultaneously press either up or down arrow. As browsing documents using PgUp/PgDown keys is one of the very basic and standard activities that you do on a PC, it is important that you can do it using only one hand, preferably on easily accessible, corner positioned keys. (Some tap or swipe gesture on a touch screen device, or dedicated buttons on the sides of eBook reader or something like that would work, too, but that is different from a standard PC laptop.) But the two-hand style of Sony does not work at all, really. And doing regular scrolling with the touchpad or arrow keys only will just strain your eyes, during a longer working session.

I have been installing and trying out various keyboard remappers in order to move/copy FN key functionality to e.g. right Control/Alternate Menu key, but it seems that these FN keys are often handled at hardware level in a way that is not open to an OS level remap/registry hack. That is no good at all. No single key solution have appeared so far. The second best that I am using now is to use Spacebar / Shift-Spacebar to reproduce PageUp/Down functionalities while on a browser window. Not perfect, but at least a single hand solution is possible using those keys. Any better ideas, anyone?

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.

2 thoughts on “On (Not) Remapping FN key in Vaio Z series”

  1. I have been having exactly the same problems as you.Using the “spacebar ” option as well! hope sony comes out with a better design on the later models.

    ishan

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