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Q: Arabic Keyboard for Toughbook Laptop ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Arabic Keyboard for Toughbook Laptop
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: john316-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 12 Jul 2003 16:43 PDT
Expires: 11 Aug 2003 16:43 PDT
Question ID: 229238
We need Arabic and English Script for 5 new Panasonic Toughbook
Laptops.  Who could do this for us?  Are there replacement keys
available from somewhere.  Paper stickers will not do.
Subject: Re: Arabic Keyboard for Toughbook Laptop
Answered By: hummer-ga on 12 Jul 2003 20:48 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi john316,

There are four ways to customize a keyboard:

1) Custom Keycaps 
These would be ideal for you if it can be done with your keyboards.
All keys are not the same and the underside of the keycaps are very
different. You will need to contact the keycap seller to determine
what type of key you have.
2) Overlays 
As I understand it, not an option for you but you may want to consider
it as an affordable interim solution until you find just the right
keycaps. The stickers are made of strong plastic and are supposed to
last for years.
3) templates 
Also not an option for you.
4) custom keyboard
Probably not an option either.


"...we can make specialized keys for your existing keyboards."
Synctronics 980 Buenos Avenue, Suite C2, San Diego, CA 92110
U.S. & Canada: (800) 444-KEYS (5397)
International: (619) 275-3525 Fax: (619) 275-3520

"We can provide you with everything from individual keys to fully
customized keyboards ready to use."
Fentek Industries 
470 S. Main Street, Suite G, Post Office Box 2278
Cottonwood, Arizona, 86326 
Phone 800-639-0710 or 928-639-0161


"Arabic Keyboard Overlay: DataCal KeyTop Overlays Features:
    * Overlays are manufactured of durable LexanŽ.They won't tear,
crack, discolor, or slip off even after years of use.
    * The Overlay adhesive firmly attaches the overlay in place
without damaging the keyboard key or the original key legend. The
adhesive will not ooze, harden or wear out.
    * If desired, Overlays may be removed without causing damage to
the original key or the legend on the key.
    * All printing is on the reverse side of the overlay (i.e.,
underneath) so that the printing will not rub or scratch off in normal
    * Many overlays are printed on clear LexanŽ so that the original
key legend shows through.
    * DataCal can manufacture or customize KeyTop Overlays for a wide
range of uses. Contact our Sales Department for additional
DataCal Enterprises, LLC.
1345 N. Mondel Dd.
Gilbert, AZ 85233
Phone: 800-223-0123 - 480-813-3100; Fax: 480-545-8090

Additional Links:

"Our in-house production facility can produce keyboards, printed keys,
overlays (in 6 colors), keycaps, color-coded keys, and keyboard
templates for your exact needs. We use high quality parts and
components to assure you of the best quality at a competitive price.
For information or custom price quotes call: 
1-800-459-7931 or 1-480-813-3100; Fax: 1-480-545-7212"

Arkay Engravers, Inc.:

The Keyboard Company:

Mid East Language Key-top Label Kits:

Cherry Keyboard - G84-4400:
Notebook Size, Ideal for Rack Mount and Virtual Computing Applications
83 Key Layout With Full 101-Key Functionality
Integrated 16mm Trackball With 2 Mouse Buttons
Multiple Languages Available:

Cherry Keyboard - G80-11900
Compact, 104 keys (Microsoft Windows)
Integrated touchpad with 2 mouse buttons
Multiple Languages Available

Keyboard links:

I hope this helps. If you have any questions or is this hasn't
satisfied your request, please post a clarification request before
rating my answer.

Google Search Term Used:

Datacal keys
"arabic keycaps"
arabic keyboard toughbook

Clarification of Answer by hummer-ga on 12 Jul 2003 20:50 PDT
Sorry, I missed signing off.  

Thank you,

Request for Answer Clarification by john316-ga on 12 Jul 2003 22:46 PDT
Is there anything that is specific to Toughbook 48 Laptops.  These
will be used by soilders in the field carrying out payroll functions
with locals.  We spefically need an Arab/English keyboard modifaction
to the Toughbook 48.  An extra keyboard would be a second choice.  The
cherry keyboards are they Arab/English?

Clarification of Answer by hummer-ga on 13 Jul 2003 11:17 PDT
Hello john316,

Thank you for the clarification, it is very helpful. I've tried to
find an answer to your question regarding Panasonic's Toughbook 48 but
if they have an Arabic/English keyboard it is not apparent by
searching online. Have you given them a call?  I tried calling them
but they won't be open until 6:00 pdt Monday.

1) Phone number for the National Parts Center in the US:
- - -

The Panasonic website for the Middle East does not have anything about

2) Panasonic website for the Middle East:
- - -

3) Panasonic Customer Support Center:
- - -

If phoning the National Parts Center proves fruitless, your back to
trying to adapt the keyboards or buying other keyboards. John, are the
keyboards "sealed"? If they are, I now understand why you can't use
overlays or caps. If they aren't, how would this work? Put on the
overlays and seal the keyboards in protective covers, thus protecting
the stickers (and the keyboards).

4) "These low cost, high quality typing masks provide tough, durable
protection for your keyboard by sealing out dirt, liquids, moisture
and other contaminants. Prolongs the life of the keyboard by
protecting it from accidental spills and other contamination.
The clear masks do not interfere with typing and will not yellow, fade
or crack even after years of use."
For additional information or assistance:
800-459-7931 - 480-813-3100 - Fax: 480-813-3280
- - -

You did not mention keycaps, but there is another option:

5) DataCal makes custom keys:
"We manufacture custom overlays, keys, keycaps, keyboards, and
software templates to your specifications. Contact our Custom Products
Department for more information."
- - -

Something to consider when buying new keyboards (unless they are
Toughbooks) would be that they would not be "tough" and might be prone
to failure in harsh conditions. It would be good to seal them up as in
number 4 above.

6) Arabic Language Bilingual Keyboard:
"Above is one example of the Arabic keyboards we sell. It is a
bilingual keyboard (Arabic and US English) with black key legends on
beige keys. We sell a wide range of international products including
other Arabic keyboard layouts, bilingual language keyboard stickers,
and keyboard protectors for bilingual keyboards."
- - -

In regards to the Cherry keyboards, they are available in different
languages but they don't specify which ones. If they don't already
come in Arabic/English, they can be customized, according the datacal.

6) "As an authorized Cherry distributor, we can supply  any keyboard
that Cherry manufactures. In addition, we can customize Cherry
keyboards with replacement keys, keycaps, overlays, and templates.
Most keyboards are available in different languages. We can supply
protective keyboard covers for any keyboard manufactured by Cherry
that accepts a cover. There are a wide variety of keyboard features
available with many options to customize. We can help you pick just
the right keyboard for your job based upon your specifications. 
Contact our Sales Department  or call us at 800-459-7931  or
480-813-3100 (Fax: 480-545-7212)."
- - -

To summarize:

1) Call Panasonic National Parts Center Monday to enquire about an
Arabic/English Toughbook 48 Keyboard. 800-833-9626
2) Call DataCal Monday to enquire about the Cherry keyboards.
3) Consider purchasing the overlays with protective covers, if you
4) Consider keycaps or custom keys, if you can.

I hope I've been able to help you and the soldiers will soon be
enjoying their laptops.

john316-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Very helpful thank you.  You could have saved me some work by providing the prices.

Subject: Re: Arabic Keyboard for Toughbook Laptop
From: hummer-ga on 14 Jul 2003 05:49 PDT
Dear John,

Thank you for your thank you.

It is always best to include as many details as possible in a
question, to give researchers a clear picture of what is required.
Your clarification helped me greatly but remember, there are no limits
set as to the number of clarifications that can be posted for a

It is interesting to hear you mention prices. When I first began
researching your question, I did include prices in my notes. However,
it soon became apparent that not all items had the prices online. I
was finding more and more messages like "For information or custom
price quotes call...". Given that I needed to find a 'solution' to
your problem rather than find the 'best buy' of a particular product,
I decided not to include any prices so that I could concentrate on
trying to find something suitable for you.

Subject: Re: Arabic Keyboard for Toughbook Laptop
From: john316-ga on 14 Jul 2003 08:16 PDT
Thanks Hummer!  The last bit was very useful and I passed it on to our
buyer.  You are helping the national defense effort.

By the way John 3:16 is a Bible verse chapter 3 verse 16 of the Gospel
of John.  Check it out in context. It says: For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life.  Best regards, and thanks
again. Steven
Subject: Re: Arabic Keyboard for Toughbook Laptop
From: hummer-ga on 14 Jul 2003 09:06 PDT
Dear *Steven*,

I don't know, "Dear John" has a certain ring, don't you think?  8-)

Thanks again,

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