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Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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I have had it for a couple weeks now and it is very touch and go with the key responses, especially the space bar. I am a fairly quick typer but I still need to stare at the keyboard. when I look up, random words are stuck together becauseof the problem. See what I mean? I have some prettyheavy keystrokes but still have problems with missing letters and finding the sweet spot of the space bar. I have enrolled in online university and have tons of papers to write. I cannot handle it. What can be done? It doesn't feel like a sensitivity issue because I will press the space bar at one point and it wont work, move over a 1/2" and it works.

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RE: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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I tried your solution, Lily Munster, but it didn't help (none of the wires were mis-seated).  HOWEVER, your post (and andydgg's just previous) did put me on the right track to a fix.   After pulling the space bar cap off as you described, there's a small button covered with a transparent or translucent rubber boot. That is the spacebar actuator - when you press the space bar, it presses that button, and a space appears at your cursor position on the screen.  What needs to happen, is the spacebar cap needs to press down on this button better.  To make that happen, tape a small (around 1/4 inch X 1/4 inch, or 6 mm X 6 mm) spacer (piece of cardboard, thick paper, or some such) on the underside of the space bar cap where it presses down on that little button (on mine, the spot where it presses the button was a bit worn, so I could see the spot easily).  Then put the space bar cap back in place & test.  If it still misses spaces, you might need to thicken your spacer a bit.  If it makes spaces too easily (for instance, if after you replace the cap, it starts constantly spacing), then you'll need to choose a thinner spacer. 

It worked on mine.

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RE: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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I've been using Dell PCs and laptops for years, both professionally and personally. I bought this Inspiron 15r laptop new in March 2014, and soon began to notice the trouble with the spacebar.

It seems to be an engineering issue with this particular keyboard. If you press the spacebar near the bottom, that is, closer to the hand rest and touchpad, it doesn't register the blank character. If you press the spacebar nearer to its middle or top, it registers a space every time.

This was frustrating because I am a touch typist and I really had to slow down and think about the position of my thumbs over the spacebar. I've never had to do that with any other laptop keyboard.

So after reading through this forum and realizing that the problem was more widespread than just my laptop, I decided to give Dell the benefit of the doubt. I work in IT and it's not uncommon for a hardware problem like this to be addressed and fixed with an engineering change. So I contacted Dell support through their live chat services, and no sooner had I explained the problem, the tech immediately told me that Dell would replace the keyboard, and he asked for my mailing address.

That was a couple of days ago. I just received the new keyboard today and it looked exactly the same. I was afraid it was just another keyboard off the shelf. But after installing it and testing it, the spacebar problem has been fixed! It works every time now, regardless of my thumb position.

The replacement keyboard was sent at no cost to me, and it's relatively easy to replace. The hardest part is getting the old keyboard out. If you follow the instructions in the Owner's Manual, it will come out, but read on for some tips.

It's hard to get past the first clip and get under the keyboard to lift it out. Don't pry on the black plastic part next to the keys; you have to get below that. If you look closely along the top edge of the keyboard you'll see the shiny edge of the aluminum backing that supports the entire keyboard. Pick one of the spring-loaded tabs - such as the one above the [PrntScr] button - and push it back (toward the display, away from the keys) with the smallest, thinnest flat blade screwdriver you can find, especially if you don't have the "plastic scribe" recommended in the manual. With the clip pushed back, slide the tip of the scribe/screwdriver down below the aluminum backing and pry upwards. Once you get the first one, the others will come more easily.

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Re: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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You can't change the keyboard, so you must either use an external keyboard or return the system and purchase a different model (you can do that for 21 days following the date of shipment, though a restocking charge might apply).

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Re: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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I am not trying to replace a keyboard, simply looking for any advice into a cause of the problem and perhaps a solution.

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Re: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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The chiclet style keyboards just don't stand up to heavy typing - unless there are clearly keys that just don't work, it's unlikely there's anything wrong with the keyboard.  If you think there is, you can run a full keyboard diagnostic as part of the Dell diagnostics (F12 at powerup).

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Re: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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Hi TubbyLumpkin,

Does it happen in any particular application?

Check if the same happens in Safemode with Command prompt.

Refer the following link which has steps to boot into Safemode with networking:

http://bit.ly/XDksay

Try using the keyboard now.

Also, run diagnostics using the below link:

http://dell.to/17kwLKD

Awaiting your response!

Thanks & Regards
Rajesh R
#iworkfordell
To know  more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US ; UK; India. For Dell support videos click Here.
If a post answers your question, please click "
Yes".

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Re: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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Mine is the same. the space bar is a very bad design and ruins an otherwise good laptop. It's held on by two very thin wires that fit into 4 small holes at each corner of the space bar, they work loose and fall out regularly.

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Re: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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My fix is to; hold the lap top at a 90 degree angle, lift the space bar up and carfeully check the plastic bits are in place then hold the spring/wires in place and using a thin knife carefully replace them into their respective holes. It's tricky and a total pain and terrible that such a bad design got this far! Even when they are in place it'll still miss spaces and you just have to learn to check as you type.

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RE: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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SOLUTION:  For a spacebar that works intermittently, carefully pop it loose along the top edge starting from one corner to the other with your fingernail.  Notice where the wire inserts into the holes BEFORE lifting it off. Look at the underside of the spacebar cap:  Is that wire seated fully in it's clips?  Mine was not and so did not allow the spacebar to fully compress.  Push the wire into the clip so it's now evenly seated.  Position the wire ends back into the holes and push the spacebar back into place.  IT SHOULD WORK!

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RE: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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I tried your solution, Lily Munster, but it didn't help (none of the wires were mis-seated).  HOWEVER, your post (and andydgg's just previous) did put me on the right track to a fix.   After pulling the space bar cap off as you described, there's a small button covered with a transparent or translucent rubber boot. That is the spacebar actuator - when you press the space bar, it presses that button, and a space appears at your cursor position on the screen.  What needs to happen, is the spacebar cap needs to press down on this button better.  To make that happen, tape a small (around 1/4 inch X 1/4 inch, or 6 mm X 6 mm) spacer (piece of cardboard, thick paper, or some such) on the underside of the space bar cap where it presses down on that little button (on mine, the spot where it presses the button was a bit worn, so I could see the spot easily).  Then put the space bar cap back in place & test.  If it still misses spaces, you might need to thicken your spacer a bit.  If it makes spaces too easily (for instance, if after you replace the cap, it starts constantly spacing), then you'll need to choose a thinner spacer. 

It worked on mine.

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RE: Inspiron 15 3521 Has very annoying keys and space bar.

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Same problem here. I saved up for months to buy thiscomputer, but this is a disgrace DELL! <ADMIN NOTE: Profanity removed as per TOU>keyboard obviously made in China? Wherehave the high-quality days gone? I mean, just look above at thesentence I just wrote, sometimes the spacebar works, sometimes not. And I have to thump the damn thing so hard that the hard disk will not last 6 weeks from the desk vibrations. I regret having sold my mac now. At least they built working keyboards. I run abusiness via internet. There is no way I can use my new Inspiron for that it seems. Do you even test your equipmentbefore selling it?

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