Try turning off the NUMLOCK.
I have an acer aspire one 521 netbook. It's three or four years old, but I only use it when I am on holiday/away from home. It works perfectly for all I want - usually picking up email!
No idea what has happened, but somehow the "function key" has locked on and I don't seem to be able to unlock it. I have tried lots of key combinations but no success. Has anyone any idea how to unlock it? I can just about use the computer but it's quite complicated remembering to press the function key every time I want to use certain letters.