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Last reply by 01-15-2015 Unsolved
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2 Bronze

Studio XPS 16 - Keyboard Issue / Duplicate Characters

Hi folks

Just curious if anyone else is experiencing the same thing with a new Studio XPS 16 (40) laptop keyboard. Despite tweaking all the advanced settings re keyboard, inc key strike filters / "bounce", repeat and delay rates etc, every fifth or sixth word (or sometimes more frequently), I keep getting double strike / repeated chaaracters in words where they shouldn't be, unless I type REALLY slowly, almost one key at a time (versus my normal 4-6 finger typing! ;-).

I'm pretty sure it's not my typing style, as we have 4 other different Dell laptops, plus a desktop PC with separate keybooard, and it never happens on any. I've also never had this occur in the last 15 years in using a whole variety of different laptops and PC's in the office. Soo I think it must either be something to do with the physical construcction of the Studio XPS keboard or the software driver. But it's driving me crazy having to go back and correct every other word in e-mails and doocs constantly. Interested to know if anyone else has had this annoyance, and if so and they cured it, how!?

(Reposted due to the thought police having removed my first post for the most innocuous of very mild frustrateed expletives. So sue me for being somewhat irritated at having paid $2,500 for a brand new laptop which takes twice as long to type on as my old one, due to constant manual error coorrrectioon - as it was clearly built with zero quality ccontrol! - Perhapss Dell if you put as much effort into QA and integration testing as keyword search bots and administrator policing, these forums wouldn't be ABSOLUTELY chock full of disgruntled customers wondering if they should have bought a MAC instead).

Thaat aside, any views, experience or tips from other aaffllicted users much appreciated.

Many thanks


Replies (90)
2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Dear Riscy

I was waiting to see if you got a reply from a Dell tech person that might be monitoring this thread before giving youj my 2c worth.

The consensus (frankly mostly by me) is that the Dell KB has a design hardware problem that will be noticed only by 'firm typists'. When I contacted Dell they insisted the problem was in faulty assembly etc and replaced a ton of parts. Of course this did not fix the underlying problem. It requires that they write a new driver for the keyboard. Or (more costly): build some new electronics.

During my exchanges with Dell tech support, I did alert them to this web page to point out I was not the only one with problems. They looked and responded that there were only a couple of complainants (me & 1 other). Since then though there have been a few more. So my suggestion to you is this:

Get onto Dell tech support with the online chat facility.

Tell them you are have problems with the keyboard.

Copy and paste the link to this page in the chat window.

Tell them you think there is a design problem with keystroke anti-bounce filtering that needs a new keyboard driver or perhaps even a more substantial re-design.

I recommend you resist offers to replace the keyboard, since it will not fix the kind of problem some of us are having (though of course it might fix other problems).

The folks you 'chat to' appear to have little authority of their own, but they might start to flag the problem to the Michael Dell Hotline if they start to see enough people reporting problems.


Option #2: Ask for a replacement machine with a different keyboard. If you are passed 30 days since purchase though, then they appear to be programmed to say no.


Option #3: (if you are lucky like me): donate the machine to someone else in your company with a lighter touch, and get your company to buy you a machine with a better keyboard.


Option #4: Pour yourself a large vodka with freshly-procured fruit juice - or some other chemical distraction perhaps. Put on some high quality headphones. Play yourself some nice music at high volume. Recall the Zen Saying that "It is already Broken" applies to everything, new and old alike. Nothing is perfect. Certainly not the Dell XPS series keyboard. Come back with better Karma next time.


2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Hi I had a similar problem with Dell Studio XPS 13.

What should I do about it?



2 Bronze
2 Bronze

You had me at "Hysteresis"... ;)

I think you're right.  I know a little about this from tinkering and I think they'd benefit from a Schmitt trigger on each key.  It's unnerving at times.  For me it's the T key that most commonly repeats...but really all do every now and then.  But since your post, I'm thinking a lot more about how hard a bang each key down.

Here's hoping Dell can fix this IN HARDWARE at some point in the near future!


2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Hal: I think you are on to something re. typing technique. I was taught to play the piano with strong emphasis on 'proper' technique with the outcome that I hit the computer KB keys with a hammer-like action relatively quickly, using perhaps 7 or 8 fingers. But I am far from a touch typist (the strike is neither soft, nor can I type without looking at the KB). After the KB was replaced by Dell, I demonstrated that the problem persisted to the engineer. He remarked that it was not surprising the problem had not been reported extensively elsewhere because most people do not hit the KB in such a manner.

I did keep a log of keys that were double-striking to see if there was a pattern. Rather than this being something to do with a particular area of the KB, it might be that it has more to do with which keys I am prone to strike more forcefully.

BTW, I am not sending this from the Dell, hence the absence of repeated characters. It is a Eurocom D900F, which has probably the best computer KB I have ever used. The Dell KB has the feel of a cell-phone by comparison.

My thoughts on a fix are that the problem is in the keystroke 'bounce'. All switches bounce to some degree, as can be demonstrated on a single-sweep storage oscilloscope. There may be many tens of discernible bounces on a 'scope trace per key stroke with perhaps a few milliseconds between each bounce. Hence it would be quite an overhead to have any filter operation performed in software, i.e. where every bounce is recorded faithfully by the hardware and then only one strike selected by the software. I expect therefore that the KB / switch output is fed to electronic 'filters' that introduce hysteresis (latches, flip-flops, D-type triggers, ...) right at the front end of the electronics, close (diagrammatically speaking) to the switch output.

Assuming the above, the problem would be difficult but not impossible to solve in software.
The best would be if the KB electronics has already built some facility for altering the hysteresis of the front-end electronic filters that could be better tuned by a new driver.

Or, if not, then Dell could supply a new driver with a routine that removed double occurances of any characters that were separated by a sufficiently short time interval. This would have the advantage of not altering the responsiveness of the KB to legitimate rapid typing. If Michael Dell is reading this, perhaps he can give it some thought.




Michael  / Joe 90

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Yes, I experience a similar variableness to the problem. Sometimes it's just one word in twenty and maybe auto-spell will correct it as I type. Other times it's practically EVERY word, many of which are not ppicked up bby auto-corrrect which I then have to go back over and manually correct.

As you say Joe-Nninety, sadly this makes an otherwise great (if a tad hot!) laptop useless for extensive writing, which I also do a lot.  I have 4 other Dell laptops (as well as a Vaio laptop and a Tower PC with Logitech ergo keyboard) and have never had a problem llike this before - in fact never on ANY PC or laptop in 20 yrs for that matter!

Interestingly, I've had my wife (who can touch-type) test it extensively, reading out very long passages of text rapidly for her to transcribe, and it NEVER occurs even once with her using it. The heat may well have something to do with it getting worse, but I think the primary cause is perhaps the sensitivity of the ballistics of the keys. When I type (4-6 fingers, fast,) my hands are "hovering" above the keyboard, wrists not really resting in place, and my right hand crossing left & vice versa to find keys in a way I've learnt to type fast using poor technique!  But I suspect due to being a bloke with biggish hands, hitting keys with full weight of hovering forearm, and doing this fast, is contributing to / causing the problem. Whereas the Mrs, resting her delicate little wrists on the rest and just tapping keys with all 10 fingertips in bullet-time - problem never manifests!

Perhaps also the reason why there seem to be relatively few complaints about this pretty seriously debilitating (from an efficient use perspective) problem on the web. Most fast typers are touch-typers?, and most 2-4 finger self-taught typers do so relatively sllowly - But then there are a few of us who can manage around 50 -70 wpm avg using 4-6 fingers (which is in the range of an average touch typist), who are sort of "haammeering away" at an over-sentive keyboard? - Plus I wwonder if this is also a male oriented problem, due to weight and strength of hands / arms?

I'm wondering whether a new / different keyboard softwaree driver from Dell / Microsoft or Logitech would do the trick. I would hate to have to relegate this laptop to, I don't know what!? - a paperweight ! - after spending $2,500 on it just a couple of months ago. But, having read both your expeeriences, I'm a 99.999% sure it's not a hardware issue and haven't the time to waste with a Dell hardware fix or swap out, which soounds like it would achieve nothing.

Any thoughts on software keyboard drivers or further utilities which coould help create a "software" damping effect without adding undue llatency?

Just out of interest, does this happpen on EVERY keyboard character and numbber? - would be interesting for us all to test by typing out manay paragraphs from newspaapers into say MS Notepadd (which doesn't have auto-correct), and/or just drafting using all the charaaccters, multiple times.



PS - I've deliberately not corrected all double-strikes in the above, just to further illustrate the point! - But this one is not bad by normal standards!, however, not had much caffine yet, so probbably not up to full typing steam!, and laptop only been on about 30 mins, so not quite ready to fry my breakfast eggs on it yet! ;-)


2 Bronze
2 Bronze

My sympathies are with you. The problem does seem to come and go. Just when I was getting used to the odd random repeat, there is a spate of more frequent repeats. I wonder whether the problem is temperature-related? 

In my case a second repair was attempted by Dell on the machine, replacing the motherboard. However, due to loss of confidence in the performance (of the keyboard) the machine has been permanently relieved of its duty as tool for report-writing and demoted to being a standby in my company.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Same problem here...mine was purchased around July 1, 2009.  The problem may have diminished, but just when I think I'm out of the woods, it jumps back at me.  Presently, it appears that the Alt key is periodically getting stuck... there's no physical/mechanical evidence of this, but I get the effect of it...for instance, typing an uppercase P (capital P) suddenly Windows Media Player launches.  I've confirmed StickyKeys and all other similar features are turned off.  The trick to solving that one is to jam on the shift and alt keys a number of times to clear it out.  Then everything is back to normal.


2 Bronze
2 Bronze

The original keyboard was replaced by Dell. The problem of un-wanted repetitions remains, although perhaps it is slightly diminished. It seems it is a design problem with the anti-bounce filtering for this keyboard. Probably not a problem for someone typing slowly and gently, but in the end is an unacceptable overhead (in post typing editing) if you write a lot, rapidly and with a strong strike. I would recommend against this machine for serious typing.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

I have the same problem on the same machine. Same attempted remedies do not work.


- Michael

8 Krypton

Contact Dell Support and arrange for a replacement computer.

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