back to article Dell hits all the wrong keys – again

Dell isn’t having much luck with keyboards this summer. The computer giant admitted Friday that some of its XPS One machines have been wrongly shipped to the UK with US keyboards. We were alerted to Dell’s latest embarrassing keyboard blunder after El Reg reader Chris told us about a friend who recently bought a Dell XPS One …


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  1. Mark Lockwood

    He was lucky...

    it wasn't a French keyboard. There's nothing more annoying than having to hold down shift to type in numbers.

  2. christopher

    Don't worry.

    If you do need a replacement keyboard then contact us by e-mail.


  3. Kenny Millar

    So ?

    Well, they bought DELLs, what did they expect?

    It's the EasyJet of IT.

  4. Steve

    choice is good...

    Amazing how they can *wrongly* do this so easily, but if I WANT a US keyboard, say to match the one I use in work, they tell me it isn't possible...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Problem solved

    Ultimate, that is. I don't know what's so professional about the Professional model. Professionals don't need white crud on their keys... :-)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    I have a UK keyboard, but my OS is set to US.

    and consequently I still have to type " when I want @.

    And " when I want " when I'm at work.

    You would think that I could just change my typeset to UK, but for some reason my OS likes to revert to it's US roots... maybe it's homesick or something.. who knows.

    at least the alphanumeric ones are all in the same place :o/

  7. Mountford D

    He didn't have to DIY it himself...?

    What? No DIY instructions from Dell on how to remove keys and rewire the keyboard??

    When one of the F2 key hinges snapped after 4 days on my brand new Inspiron laptop, Dell sent me a replacement keyboard with a URL to some instructions on how to remove the keyboard and fit the replacement. The instructions involved dismantling the brand new machine and fiddling about with delicate-looking ribbon cables which I decided against. A tiny drop of superglue soon fixed the problem.

  8. Tim Roberts

    the obligatory lame limerick

    oh my God! that new keyboard from Dell

    has made all my type go to hell

    now when I type @

    I only get " that

    no wonder I'm struggling to spell

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Typical Shop Bullshit

    "However, the computer retailer couldn't help and told him to contact Dell direct about the cock-up. "


    Under UK law, as PC World sold the item, it is up to PC World to correct it, the customer should NEVER have to contact the manufacturer for faulty goods.

    Then again, pay peanuts.....

  10. David Perry
    Thumb Up

    @ Kenny

    Every dell I've worked with has been rock solid! They did all come with the correct keyboard though, or just bought base units off ebay and shoved them in racks rooms or used existing mice/keyboards/screens...

  11. Tall

    Dell are still the best

    Dell have the best products in most PC categories on A-List well as having the best tech support! well as growing faster than the market rate!

    I love Dell

  12. Adrian Jackson

    Why would anyone want a Dell keyboard anyway?

    Although I wouldn't buy a Dell desktop myself, a number of companies I've worked at have used them, and every time the first thing I've done is replace the keyboard (and sometimes the mouse) with something a little more civilised.

  13. Richard Lloyd

    I prefer US layout myself

    Having used US layout here at work in the UK (out of choice - happened to have some machines that came with them), I actually prefer the layout to the UK one (the only snag is no pound key, so I have to spell it out or cut'n'paste it), especially for UNIX/Linux systems. Trying to find cheap US keyboards here in the UK is next to impossible though - I buy 3 or 4 of them at a time whenever they appear on UK retail sites...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark Lockwood

    >>it wasn't a French keyboard. There's nothing more annoying than having to hold down shift to type in numbers.<<

    Errr... Numberpad?

  15. Steve

    Told to call Dell by PC World?

    The correct response is "Yes, I will contact the manufacturer - right after I call trading standards to report you and contact the local paper to give them my story."

  16. Anonymous Coward

    May I just add that...

    ...that was not the link I was looking for. Could the moderatrix kindly keep her tiny fingers off of my URLs? Thankyouverymuch. The substitution makes me sound like a drunken lemur...

  17. mike2R

    To be fair to PC World

    Not sure why I'm sticking up for them but the article simply says they couldn't get him a replacement. They may have offered him a refund as they were unable to provide a suitable replacement, which would satisfy their legal obligation.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    key bored

    i'm just amazed to hear that a US company actually knows other countries exist!

    now yanks - for your next challenge see if you can design a web form which disnae throw up an error and tell me i'm only allowed to use 'letters' when i enter my name [coz it has an accented character]. because, guess what? - there are other languages on the planet apart from 'merkin english' as well!

  19. Iain
    Paris Hilton

    Comparison website

    Dell is like a French car. If it works and stays in one piece it's a pretty good thing to have (CV5!). But unfortunately fairly regularly you get a blooper which tells you that 2+2=blue screen+(smoke x new fuse). My Dell has been a right little trooper (apart from having to manually percussively adjust the case to fit a new graphics card) after nearly 5 years, but friends have had Dell's which passed on to Silicon Heaven after just 1.

    The only major problem I had was the keyboard. Which I replaced with a superiorer one anyway. Umm. Not sure what my point was. Be lucky, I guess.

    Paris, because I would like to see her @

  20. Clive Galway

    @ "I prefer US layout myself "

    >the only snag is no pound key, so I have to spell it out or cut'n'paste it

    Hold ALT and type 0163, then release ALT.

    That'll give you a £ sign. Do not forget the leading zero.

  21. Paul Brandon

    @Richard Lloyd

    If you want a pound sign on a foreign keyboard, hold down alt and type in 0163. Had to do that a lot with a German Keyboard, which is a very interesting layout (It's a QWERTZ keyboard over there)

  22. John H Woods Silver badge

    Qwerty sucks

    Why am I nearly always reduced to moving my keys around (with a screwdriver) in order to get a Dvorak layout (for the sake of my kids - I can touch type). And you have to look _really_ hard for keyboards that have all the keys the same size!

  23. Stuart johnson

    Anyone remember Gateway2000s remappable keyboard?

    I had a great keyboard - it could remap any key anywhere else, and any series of keys to one single one. I'd still have it if it were'nt for the lack of windows key!

    Wish you could still get programmable macro keyboards but with the W/Key!

  24. David Cornes
    Paris Hilton


    Keyboards?? They're like *so* last century man! Don't you know we all should be talking to and writing on our computers nowadays, man?!

    Paris, 'cos she probably talks to minions who do the typing for her :-D

  25. Dale


    Note, that is Alt+0163 on the numeric keypad.

    On my laptop, Alt+Fn+0163 on the virtual numeric keypad also works. The normal number keys don't.

    Another thing, if you open the Windows Character Map (if it is installed - usually under Accessories), and click on a character in the grid, it will show you the Alt+ number combination to generate it. Useful for doing things like ½ (0189) and © (0169) when using software that doesn't have other ways of generating them.

  26. Luke

    Swedish keyboard is the best in Europe

    It has $ £ and €, all the Nordic characters of course, and all accents for French as silent keys (except c-cedille).

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Apple already did it....

    Am surprised that no-one has pointed out that Apple supply all their English language machines with the " and @ reversed. For the UK version they do include a £ key, which is nice, but then you spend ages looking for the damn # key.

    And I recently had the privilege to use a French AZERTY keyboard on a Mac laptop. Who in their right mind swaps the W with the Z ? Why is the M to the right of the L? And why are the punctuation marks are all over the place? The Japanese keyboard makes more sense!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    American keyboard - American prices?

    Given that there is all this rubbish from the US manufacturers to justify charging shed loads more for the same kit in the UK than the US I am amazed that no anti-trust type groups are making more fuss of this sort of thing.

  29. Jeffrey Nonken
    Thumb Up

    @Anyone remember Gateway2000s remappable keyboard?

    Oh yes. Those were great for playing Doom, the cursor keypad was arranged in a true cross instead of that stupid inverted T. I had a lot of fun mapping those.

    Keytronics made those IIRC. I actually managed to get one non-Gateway branded, it was grey and ugly and had some other minor differences that I forget now.

    Windows key? Oh yeah, the key that when you hit it by accident (while playing Doom, or maybe it was Quake) kicked you back into the desktop and got you killed. I found a program that would disable it! Almost never use it myself.

    I actually have two or three of those keyboards left over from work. Grabbed them before they threw them away, knew I'd never see their like again. Of course I have AT-to-PS/2 adaptors too. :)

    Hey, did you know you could remap so you couldn't remap them any more? Did that once by accident by reversing the sequence, I think I remapped both ctrl keys out of existence. Was kind of embarrassing, I couldn't even ctrl-alt-reset the keyboard. Fortunately I managed to dig up a copy of the utility Gateway used to send with them and copied the programming from another keyboard, or maybe it had a reset function. *whew*

  30. Tim J
    Thumb Up

    My preferred keyboard... the somewhat bizarrely named IBM/Lenovo "Preferred Keyboard" - it's the best, no nonsense keyboard out there that I've come across, you can't go wrong with it.

    I just thouht that, whilst we were on the subject of keyboards, I'd chuck in my tuppence worth.

    The UK model can be purchased here:

    (And no, I don't work for any company that would benefit if you were to all go out an buy one tomorrow!)

  31. Michael

    @ Stuart Johnson

    >>>I had a great keyboard - it could remap any key anywhere else, and any series of keys to one single one. I'd still have it if it were'nt for the lack of windows key!

    Program one of the keys to be (CTRL + ESC)

  32. Andy Taylor

    Re: Apple already did it

    When I switched to Mac, I thought that the @ and " keys being reversed would be a major annoyance. After 7 months, I now get more annoyed when I go back to a PC with a proper UK keyboard.

  33. Michael Kean

    Just remap it?

    Hmm :) Couldn't you just use (KeyTweak) to remap the key combinations? For example, my right ALT key is now a back button so I can browse without waking the SO. (My Toshiba laptop has the loudest mouse buttons I've ever heard, and when you're lying on your side it's hard to navigate to the back button with the trackpad.)

  34. Gordon Crawford
    IT Angle

    and the other 2 years

    If we are upgrading our computer every three years , what are you doing the other 2 years with you computer budgets?, Me , a new high back office chair , better mouse [ logitec trackman wheel ] , hi def monitor, AND a keyboard i like [ type matrix EZR-2080- dvorak ] I mean really , why buy comps and put them in closets to justify your it budget? Do your staff a favor and buy some productivity comforts .

  35. Nordrick Framelhammer

    Won't touch Dell with a 10 ft barge pole

    I won't touch Dell with a 10 foot barge pole. They are overpriced, you can never be sure if the product is going to be faulty or not as more than one time Dell have been caught selling kit knowing it was faulty, and their customer service is so crap that they closed a part of their customer forum so that they did not have to have to see the flood of complaints about their lack of service.

    A friend of mine was looking at a ew gaming PC loking at a Dell with a bundled low end video card and a 40Gb HD. We were able to spec up a PC using far better components for 1/2 the Dell price using retails stores!

    My employer went through a computer hardware and support reappraisal not so long ago. Dell were the bottom of the heap.

  36. John Lodge

    PC World

    PC World? That is possibly the worst IT retailer on the planet bar none (IMHO). Over the years I have sampled the delights of DSG and consistently found them wanting.

    I am astounded that they are still trading, they arn't that cheap, the staff in the main are somewhere between brain dead and incompetent and th a counre customer service is truly dreadful.

    It is said that a country gets the government it deserves, likewise with technology retailers too!

  37. Katie

    Dell and PC World

    The reason that PC World would have advised the purchaser to contact Dell is that they don't hold stock of spare parts from the manufacturers - so any replacement keyboards etc will have to be ordered from said manufacuturer. Now although PC World sell Dell machines they don't provide any support - Dell do, so any customer with any fault with any Dell machine has to call them for help.

    I think that the person that got the Logitech keyboard from PC World got a good deal!

  38. Bruce Sinton
    Paris Hilton

    Wots wrong with US Key boards

    I have had US Keyboards supplied with my computers for some years now.

    Mind you that is because here in New Zealand we now have more in common with the USA than England/Britain. Your may recall about 1970 you went into the Common Market and told us to get stuffed .etc, etc.

    Peace be with you, and with her

  39. John Boy

    Dell Keyboard Fiasco - it continues....

    I recently bought a Dell Vostro 1510 - BIG mistake.

    They supplied it with a non UK BS Standard keyboard - where the \ key is down the bottom right - between / and shift. It should be down the left between shift and Z.

    Dell are refusing to do anything about it - they admit that they are supplying keyboards into the UK that do not meet the British Standard. Their arrogance has to be seen to be believed - I am currently trying to get a full refund from them - blood and stone come to mind. As a heavy business user I'll ensure that many Dell orders will be lost because of this - they deserve it

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