Dell hurries to fix faulty laptop keyboards

Shipment of two Vostro laptop models in Europe stopped after discovery of faulty keyboard design

Dell said it has stopped shipment of two Vostro laptop models in Europe after discovering a faulty keyboard design with a few keys out of place.

A Dell customer in the UK, who ordered the Vostro 1310, noticed that the bottom row of letters on the keyboard was shifted to the right. That's because the left Shift key is oversized and a new key, \, is placed between the Shift and Z keys, moving the entire row so that it doesn't comply with a traditional keyboard layout.

"This is not a US/UK layout issue, just a general monumental flaw," wrote the UK customer in an online post, deliberately retaining spelling errors in other parts of his message to highlight the design problem.

A limited number of Vostro 1310 and 1510 laptops with the wrong keyboard layout were shipped in Europe in the middle of April, said Jennifer Davis, a Dell spokeswoman. The company has suspended further shipments of the laptop models until the problem is fixed, she said.

Dell will replace the keyboards for customers who have received the laptops with faulty keyboards, Davis said.

"Customers will be given a choice to receive the keyboard kit or have a tech [representative] come on-site," Davis said. The new keyboard is easy to install, Davis said.

The laptops haven't shipped in other parts of the world, so other regions aren't affected by the glitch, Davis said.

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