Europe Vostro Keyboard Issue: What We’re Doing

Thanks to Flickr user Jake Gordon for alerting us to a problem with our Vostro 1310 and 1510 keyboard layout. He’s the one that influenced Engadget and other blogs like Wired to write about the issue. There is no way to say it… we made a mistake and want to apologize to affected customers.  I want to point out that this issue only affects some users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It should not be an issue for customers in any other region.

The pictures below will explain the issue a little more clearly. Bottom line, Jake was right on with his observations: we chose to use a larger left-Shift key than the one that commonly ships on industry-standard keyboard layouts. The backslash key was placed in its normal spot, immediately right of the Shift key. The increased width of the Shift key pushes the whole row of keys one position to the right. This is not a workable layout for touch typists. 

The new layout moves the backslash key to the far right of the second row from the bottom, which pushes the rest of the letter keys on that row to their traditional positions. While this location differs from some layouts, the larger left Shift key is beginning to appear on more systems there.

Here’s what we’re going to do: we plan to contact all affected customers, beginning today. All affected customers will receive an updated keyboard. They will have two options: we can send the keyboard and required BIOS update directly to them, or they can choose to have a field technician replace the keyboard onsite.

Swapping the keyboards is a pretty simple process. Take a look at the field service manual for the Vostro 1310 and the Vostro 1510. Soon, we’ll publish a video that walks folks through the process. Update: Here’s the video:

Customers who don’t want to wait can contact Dell directly via e-mail:

Please use the words Vostro Keyboard in the subject line. Here is the information we need from you in the e-mail:

  • Name
  • Daytime Phone Number
  • Order Number
  • Service Tag Number

EDITOR NOTE:  DELL-Kelly C had posted an updated blog with additional information.  To make sure that everyone has the most up to date news about this issue we’ve turned off comments to this specific blog post.  Comments can still be posted at the updated blog post. 

Due to the volume of comments we’ve copied them over to their own seperate page while migrating this post from Dell’s Small & Medium Business blog to Direct2Dell to enable easier viewing of information by our customers.  You can read all the original published comments on their own seperate page

About the Author: Bill Bivin