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Try touch typing on this | by jakegordon
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Try touch typing on this

Looks normal, right? Look at your own keyboard... notice anything different? Okay, maybe you don't. But try actually typing on this and it all becomes far too apparent. The whole of the bottom row of letters (Z, X, C...) is one too far to the right. The Z should be below and between A and S, not S and D.


You're looking at a brand new Dell Vostro 1310, ordered the day after its released, and delivered on 30th April 2008 in the UK.


They keys are all there. Shift, \|, Z, X... its just that the left shift is too big, forcing everything over too far. The Z has to be between the A and S... look on ANY other keyboard and that's where it sits. This is not a US/UK layout issue, just a general monumental flaw.


UPDATE 1st May 2008 5pm: I phoned Dell for 20 minutes and they have confirmed that this affects all new Vostro 1310s in the UK. Oh dear!! They're hoping they can just replace the keyboards, though the guy on the phone said it was a 'motherboard' problem... I can't imagine that though.


UPDATE: 2nd May 2008 1:30pm - Kerry from Dell has informed me that Dell are working on a resolution for the issue. The official statement is as follows:


A limited number of Vostro 1310 and

1510 in Europe have been sent out with the wrong keyboard

layout. We are working diligently to offer a solution to

impacted customers and correct the error. Once a solution

is in place, we will be contacting impacted customers

directly to both apologise and instruct them on next steps.

We are still investigating this issue and will come back

with more detailed information as soon as possible. We have

made a mistake here and will be acting as quickly as

possible to find a satisfactory solution for our customers.



UPDATE 8th May:


UPDATE 9th May:

Okay, so they're sending out new keyboards. But it seems to me like a quick fix which is imperfect rather than applying the correct fix. Here's what I just posted to their blog:


[Y]ou've gone and kept the large left shift key and moved the \| key

to the right of the row, rather than making the left shift key

smaller... why?


You mention it appearing on more systems here... I will have to take

your word for that, but all 6 keyboards I can see in front of me right

now have a small left shift key and the \| key to the left of the z.

Why reinvent the wheel? If there's a good ergonomic reason for this

choice then that's great, but I can just sense that I'm going to fit

this new keyboard into my laptop and be (a lot less, but still a

little) frustrated with it.


Here's the logic for why the |\ should be on the left not the right:

* Look at where a touch typists fingers little fingers sit

* Note the distance the little fingers have to travel to reach a shift key

* when we have a small left shift, the 'A' is only half a regular

sized key away from the shift key. A nice small distance to travel

* again with the small left left key, the big left shift key is

only half a regular sized key from the colon/semi-colon on which the

right little finger sits.

* however, if you apply the layout you suggest, the left shift key

is under half the right shift key

* ... but the left shift key is now one and a half keys away from

the semi-colon. The right little finger has a long distance to travel,

making reaching for it take longer and be more of a pain.


So there's a very convincing argument to go for the standard UK layout

with small left shift and \| on the left. What's the convincing

counter argument that lead you to your chosen design?


I'm presuming that what you've applied here is the cost-effective

quick-fix and that there is no other argument for your choice. I can

completely understand this choice given the circumstances, but I don't

think its going to work for me I'm afraid.



['Ottovelo' commented I should just buy a Mac. I have removed his stupid Apple fanboy remark. Seriously... why not say but an Acer, Asus, Lenovo,, Samsung... and whilst we're on that, where's the delete key on a Mac? And why are " and @ in the wrong places on UK mac keyboards? Not as bad a design flaw as this, but utterly frustrating none the less.]



DEAR murilo A, dgua, korobeiniki, jorgepinto, cliph, mentor972, ramobjesus, raphy, zolinovat and every other MAC FANBOY out there,


Thank you sooooo much for your kind advice in telling me to 'get a mac'. Its so awfully sweet of you to be so kind and helpful.


Yes, I have considered buying a mac before. My wife has a mac which I bought her, my dad also has a mac which I bought him.


I hate my wife's mac. It has a backspace button but no delete button. It has one mouse button and forces me to press a key with the button rather than having a right mouse button. The @ and " are in the wrong places for UK users. You can't make windows fullscreen. Its slow. It crashes when playing DVDs. We have to cover it up at night as its glow 'throbs' and doesn't let me get any sleep.


Also, this laptop cost me £650. A similarly spec'd mac would have cost £949 (and that's still not as good spec as this).


Lots of love,




PS: I've deleted a lot of your helpful 'buy a mac' comments from this page. If you want to advertise, go do it in your own space, not mine


PPS: If you fancy trying to convert me you can of course send me a Mac for free. Just don't be surprised if a video of me smashing it to bits appears on the Internet soon after.





UPDATE 2nd May 11pm: For abyobe who's hacibg diffixulty ib ubderstabdibg just how ruvvish this laptop is with this dunv arse keyvoardm nayve tryibg to read this will help, I'n tryibg to spell this xorrextly ib that I'n puttibg ny fibgers where they bornally gom vut its hard for ne to realise whether or bot I'ce hit the xorrext keys as I xab varely read abythibg as I type it,


I'ce rexeiced ab enail fron Kelly at Dell to say she is sorry abd that its veibg dealt with etxm vut to ve hobest I'n bot too vothered right bow as I spebt all yesterday ibstallibg ZP ob it abyway as Cista xane preloaded, I wabted ZP origibally vut wheb selextibg that ob Dell's wevsite it said 'bot xonpativle with the ibtegrated wevxan' or sonethibg alobg those libes, Utter ruvvish - it ism works fibe ib ZP,


So tonorrow this laptop gets xobbexted up to ny three sxreeb setup abd ezterbal keyvoard abd nouse, Bo nore worries avout the keyvoard thebm abd I sinply await a replaxenebt or whatecer I guess,


Abywaym its veeb quite a fub day to hae ny 15 nibutes of fane, ny abger towards Dell has suvsidedm replaxed with ibxredulity that sone pepole really are stupid,,, too xlasses of people here:

- QA at Dell,,, why would you ecer release a keyvoard without typibg ob it first>

- Apple fabvoys,,, seriouslym ebgage your vraib vefore you speak


If abyobe's axtually read this whole thibg a nassice xobgratulatiobs to you!



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Taken on May 1, 2008