Well, my new Lenovo I finally set up.  The function keys are set to give you the other functions instead of F1-F12, which I certainly need for Catalyst.  I called tech support and they were in GA, here in the US.   Kept putting me on hold trying to find an answer for me.  I gave up.  Looks like online there is not way to "set" the function keys to be F-1-F12 all the time.   The touch pad on this Lenovo is weird. 

I do not want a Toshiba.  I really would like a 14 inch with Windows 7 still.  Don't want the 15 inch laptop.  How much do I have to pay to get a decent laptop that has good audio and good support?  I'll go up to $1,000 if it gets me what I'm looking for.

Help!

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You could have always gotten the Samsung that Janiece recommended.  I love mine.  $465 on Amazon with W7.

I did get the Samsung.  Was great for four months.  Loved it.  Then the wifi was giving me problems, then the keyboard.  I sent it in to them three times to fix it.  So they refunded my money because they did not have a Windows 7 replacement 14 inches, which is the Samsung I bought. But now this new thing with the function keys.............that can't be changed?  At least with the Lenovo I got.

Kerry, if you bought your Lenovo from e-Verbatim, you can call Scott Friend.  He'll help you get your function keys working again.

Lenovo Think Pads are great.  Don't know if what you got is a TP, but if it is, don't give up on it.  They're workhorses. 

If e-Verbatim isn't involved, try the Lenovo forums.  Post what you want to do.  Someone is likely to be able to help you.

Good luck.

The only laptop I've ever used is ThinkPad.  What's the issue with the function keys?  They work fine in Catalyst for me.   I never use the touch pad, only the little red "mouse" thing.  Only use it while at a job. Not my main computer, which is a desktop.   I've read Jim Barker's musings that the "classic shell" is the way to go with W8, that it looks and performs like W7 so I'm sure my next computer will be W8 with the shell.

What I found online was that the function keys cannot be changed in the bios to set one way or the other.  There are additional keys you have to press every time you want to use the F-1 through F12.  I use control F a lot editing in Catalyst.  I called Lenovo tech support.  The woman I talked to didn't seem very bright.  Kept putting me on hold.  Didn't know about the function keys.  So I gave up and hung up.

Here's what I found in a Lenovo forum:

For the new Lenovo Edge E431, the option of changing the function keys back to legacy is no longer available in the BIOS.  Currently, the F-keys are by default set to multimedia functions.  Changing this to default to standard F-keys used to be available in prior models.  How is the same functionality available for the E431?  I have tried the Fn+esc combination that locks it for that session, but when the computer reboots, this resets back to a default mode and I have to use Fn+esc again.  Is there any way for the E431 to have the standard F1-F12 keys as the default?  Is there a BIOS update soon?  Thank you

This should change your factory settings for your function keys:

 

Most new laptops must be changed.  you can actually change this without having to use a keyboard emulator or anything. I know this is well after you posted the initial problem, but I figure if someone else ends up here I can help them. Keep in mind this is for the HP Pavilion; it might not work for other laptops and even some of the different tablets work differently.

1) restart your computer
2) the first screen that comes up should be a black screen. when the words "press ESC to..." show up press the ESC button. for my particular model I had to quickly hit esc twice, so if you don't end up in the intended area the first time then you should re-restart your computer and try that.  This has to be done before the operating system starts (Microsoft)

3) there should be a screen with four or so of the "f" keys and what menus they open. hit f10 for the BIOS menu.

4) you should be in a white and blue menu. you can use the left and right arrow keys to cycle through pages and the up and down ones to cycle through options. cycle through the pages until you find one that has a setting to do with "action keys". Hit enter to select this and then disable it.

5) hit f10 to exit and save your changes.

If you've done everything right, the way your "f" keys work should now be flipped. Now, if you're scoping, you wont have to hit the "fn" key in order to access the controls, and in order to change your brightness or volume you will have to hold  the Fn key. Hope this helped

I already tried that and talked to Lenovo tech support again today.  This laptop I have in my possession does not give the the choice to permanently set the function keys the way I want.  The bios does not give me the choice to flip the function keys permanently.  You have to set them every time you turn on the computer, from the keyboard, by hitting esp and the Fn key.  I don't like that.  It's just another thing that could stop working when you need it.

Good luck - surely someone can make a workaround for all these new devices - I think gamers have some of the same function key problems!

Kerry, are you saying that the computer's F keys cannot be used for Catalyst functions?  I use F keys for Word also.  Well, actually just one (shift-F3 to toggle through caps).   But for Catalyst, if I couldn't use the F keys, that would be a deal-breaker.  Crazy.  I've been thinking that my next computer would be everbatim, so here's another good reason.   Who needs this aggravation!

I'm saying that the function keys are set to default to using the media functions.  So if you use control F whatever in Catalyst, it won't give you what you want.  Every time you turn the laptop off and on you have to manually hit the escape and Fn (function key next to the control key) at the same time to switch the keys to give you the F1-F12 commands you need for Catalyst.  I don't think it is with every Lenovo Think Pad but it is with the one I just got.  Don't know if that is something they are going to be doing more of. 

What's everbatim?

Wow, Kerry, what a bother.  I wonder if you could have gotten what you needed from eVerbatim.  I doubt they'd sell a Think Pad that behaves like that.  Maybe they don't sell that model.  Next time I buy a laptop, I'll remind myself about you and ask some questions beforehand.

Any chance you could return it?

Is it possible you could create a macro for each function key that would turn off the Fn setting?  Maybe tech support could help you.  Such a macro would disable the Bios settings.  Just a thought.

The macro would read something like "Fn (new line) F1," and you would assign it to the F1 function key, etc.

Well, if I had to hit ESCAPE-FN each time I booted the computer, I could get used to that.  Slightly annoying but not a huge deal.  No?  (Or is it a lot more than doing ESC-FN once after bootup to turn all the F keys back to what they should be?)

Heres a post from Jim Barker last month and is how I now know about everbatim:

11-9-13
Looking for a new laptop? I don't usually do this, but I'm so tickled that I can't help myself. Just got a new laptop from eVerbatim for my wife. Got the Lenovo T430s ThinkPad with Windows 8.1 preinstalled and 16 gig of RAM.

This sucker reboots -- are you ready for this? -- in a shade under 20 seconds. And I don't mean a start-up that shows the Win screen and then takes another two or three minutes to load everything; when this booger starts up in 20 seconds, everything's up and ready to use.( And NO crapware was installed on this lean, mean, marvelous machine!)

Scott Friend at eVerbatim loaded her CATware, all of her job files, block files, and everything else. Right out of the box, it's ready to go: a court reporter's dream come true.

At my request, they also installed Classic Shell on top of Win 8.1 so it looks like Win 7. (If you have Win 8 or Win 8.1, be sure to Google "Classic Shell." (It's free.)

And before anyone asks, eVerbatim sells and configures laptops for users of *all* CATware programs.
http://www.everbatim.net/store

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