Dell to fix screwy Vostro keys

Vostro 1310 and 1510 models with a shifted bottom row of letter keys.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
Jake Gordon/Flickr

We're not much for touch-typing, preferring instead to use a highly advanced version of the two-finger method we call the, uh, three-finger method (left and right index fingers, plus the right thumb). Still, anything even slightly out of the ordinary on a keyboard can throw a major roadblock in the way of our productivity.

Dell turned a few heads earlier this month with the European keyboard layouts for the latest Vostro laptops. While the U.S. model we reviewed seemed normal enough, our friends across the Atlantic found that some Vostro 1310 and 1510 models had a bizarre bottom row of letter keys, all shifted one key to the right. For example, the "z" key (or "zed" over there) sits not between the "a" and "s" keys, but between the "s" and "d" keys on the affected models.

After one Vostro user noticed the weird layout on his new laptop and posted photos to Flickr, Dell jumped in and now says:

"There is no way to say it...we made a mistake and want to apologize to affected customers...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."