fiskjavel
2 Iron

XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

I'm creating a new thread as the previous question wasn't about the XPS 13 9300.

As a coder and someone who edits and navigates through text to a living, I am disappointed to find that FN+left arrow and FN+right arrow no longer map to End and Home, respectively. My previous XPS 13, the 9350 edition, _did_ exhibit this sensible behaviour. So I ordered the new version without thinking that this might not be the case on the 9300.

Having to bring my hand repeatedly all the way up on the keyboard while navigating, is crippling my ability to work efficiently.

Since I'm using Linux, I tried using xev and showkey to see if any events were sent to the OS at all when pressing these key combinations, but unfortunately, this is not the case. This means that we cannot even create the mapping for ourselves.

My questions are:

- what has been the rationale for this changed behaviour? I can't think of a good reason but perhaps I'm not seeing something?

- is this something that can be fixed with a BIOS update or another workaround

- if yes: is this something that Dell would consider releasing an update for?

 

Unfortunately I may have to trade this laptop for another one because of this. Typing efficiency is too important in my line of work.

Labels (2)
11 Replies
jphughan
7 Gold

Re: XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

@fiskjavel  actually the long thread about this here does discuss the XPS 13 9300 in newer posts.  I posted in that thread yesterday about something I'd done in the hopes of getting this escalated, but I don't have a way to know if that will amount to anything.  But to answer your questions:

1. I can't see any rationale for this change.  It's true that other keyboards have Home and End keys along the top row, but some of those ALSO allow Home/End to be triggered via Fn+Left/Right, even if the Left/Right keys aren't labeled as such.  Some Lenovo systems work this way, for example.

2. Technically yes this would be easy to fix with a firmware update.  I'm not aware of any other workaround though because the Fn key is only "seen" by the system firmware; it's not passed up into the OS.  So short of hacking the system firmware and getting your system to accept that hacked firmware package despite not having a digital signature from Dell, I don't think a workaround would be possible.  The closest you could come would be some sort of Autohotkey-type application that mapped some other key combination to Home/End, e.g. RightAlt+Left/Right = Home/End or something.

3. I certainly hope Dell will consider an update to add this, since this design would be a dealbreaker for me personally, even though the XPS 13 is otherwise a great system.  The fact that it would be so simple to fix and would have no downsides makes it all the more frustrating that this issue persists.  But as to whether that update will actually arrive, it seems that this change occurred back on the XPS 13 9370, and since then we've had a 9380, 7390 (brief foray into a different model numbering scheme), and now the 9300.  So it's been this way for a few years, and nothing has improved despite user complaints since then.  Of course that doesn't rule out the possibility of Dell eventually doing something, but if this is going to be a major hassle for you as it would be for me, I personally would strongly consider returning the system while you can rather than hoping that Dell might come through after years of not doing so.  The cynical side of me is betting that if they change this at all, it will only be as part of a new model.

fiskjavel
2 Iron

Re: XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

Hi

Thanks for your response.

I'm aware there is another thread that mentions XPS 9300, but I figured I'd launch a new thread as this is a new model, and it may also help signal to potential buyers that this is how things are. I was also recently contact by someone from Dell through this forum, so I thought a new thread might trigger a similar response, although I don't get my hopes up.

I'm glad to hear that a firmware update could fix it. So it's not actually a hardware (e.g. wiring) problem. And I really hope Dell comes forward with a fix since this seems to be trivial to fix.

I'd even give it a shot myself, but I assume the BIOS updates are signed (and of course without source code it'll take a while).

I'll wait for a Dell response for another 2 weeks while working on my 9350 in the meantime, then return the device.

Fingers crossed (a bit like trying to press Home or End :))

DasJott
1 Copper

Re: XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

I agree. I am developer and got this new Laptop. Had the 9350 before and got used to the keyboard layout.

I don't see any reason for having no second function on the left/right at all and therefore wasting F11 and F12 for home and end. That is very annoying in the daily business of coding as I use those keys very often. It is most logical to have home/end on left/right with fn, I think.

I would very appreciate a possibility to change the layout to that used behaviour!

fiseni
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

I just got my XPS 15 9500. It has the same issue.

As a developer, I use shortcuts extensively, this one in particular (I go often to the beginning/end of the line). I really do like the system, but this is a deal breaker for me too. For now, I'm using external keyboard, but I'm considering to give up the laptop. I really hope there will be a fix for this.

alexandr.dev
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

Same here, one of the most used shortcuts in my development work. Cannot see a reason to abandon fn-left/right shortcuts, since they do nothing at all now. That should not be that complex to implement and will provide a great productivity benefit for those who use it a lot (any decent text editing). Please, Dell, make this happen.

sjeon
2 Iron

Re: XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

Same here. The change of key function bothers me a lot. Dell, please make a bios update for the key combination to use fn+L/R as Home/End.

dirac
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

Also a problem for me.  A firmware update from Dell would be great!

leoheck
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

Please, Dell, enable Fn+Arrow-Left and Fn+Arrow-Right for Home and End. A separate button for these is so poor. Why you keep changing this basic stuff???? At least allow users to select this on Bios or something. 

 

I am using XP 9310, and the place home and keys are is so damm dumb. please. at least allow users to have the old behavior back,

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CanKirca
2 Iron

Re: XPS 13 9300: Map fn-left and fn-right to Home and End

More than a year we are discussing same issue for latest models; however noticed that Dell engineers are not browsing community. Maybe Head of firmware development found newer end/home key section useful instead of customer request... Verry sorry about that, don't know why; but I thought that we are playing and listening each other 🙂

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