One of the top complaints I’ve heard over the past year about various Asus Eee PC netbook models is that the keyboard is set up awkwardly. For some reason Asus decided it would be a good idea to locate the shift key on the right side of the keyboard to the right of the up arrow, which causes many touch typists to accidentally hit the up arrow when they’re aiming for the shift key.

But as I mentioned the other day, Asus has heard your complaints and is beginning to roll out new models with improved keyboards. The first Eee PC I spotted with the new keyboard layout was the Eee PC T101H, which is the 10 inch touchscreen tablet-style netbook Asus launched on Tuesday evening. But Laptop Magazine’s Joanna Stern snuck onto the CES floor last night and spotted 2 new machines with the new keyboard, which are most likely modestly upgraded versions of the Asus Eee PC 1000HA, and Eee PC 1000H.

Both keyboards have a slightly larger right shift key than before, and it’s been moved to the left of the up arrow. Asus has also done away with the old school concave keys, instead using a new “chiclet” design which looks a lot like a MacBook keyboard. I’m honestly not a big fan of the chiclet design and I wish Asus had just moved the shift key while keeping the key shape the same. The Asus S121 and Asus N10J both have keyboards with concave keys and a properly placed right shift key, so the company clearly knows how to do it.

When I get onto the show floor this morning I’ll try to take a few photos myself and try typing on the keyboard to see if it’s comfortable.

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8 replies on “Asus launches line of netbooks with improved keyboards”

  1. <I’m honestly not a big fan of the chiclet design and I wish Asus had <just moved the shift key while keeping the key shape the same.

    Me too! This is a disappointment. I wonder if any survey was taken to see what kind of keyboard people like the most or if Asus marketers just thought it would be cool to be like Apple.

    There is a certain comfort and security one gets from the feel of the concave key tops (speaking of touch typists), a mental notion that they're helping you locate your fingers in the right place. Maybe this _is_ just a notion. At least, I see that there's a fairly big gap between the keys to let you if you're going astray.

    I tried out an HP1000 in a store for the first time a couple of days ago found out just how flat those keys are, and with narrow gaps between them. I was pretty concerned about this, and typed at least 20 minutes on it, a Lenovo S10, an Averatec Buddy, and an Acer A 1. To be honest, the flatness didn't seem to cause any problems except mental 🙂 I did about the same on all of them, except for hitting the up arrow on the S10 a few times 🙂

    I'll date myself and say that I learned to type on mechanical (not electric) typewriters made by Royal, Remington, and Underwood, but I'm willing to give these new keyboards a try and see if there's really any difference in errors made. I hope Joanna Stern will test one with her standardized typing test, as well as you, Brad, and others.

  2. Glad to see Asus listen to their customers and “fix” the keyboard.

    1. Yup, it was sitting on a table at the Asus press conference, but
      nobody really talked about it. The netbook on display had the same old
      keyboard as the S101. But since this machine isn’t out in the US yet,
      it’s possible that we could see a new keyboard by the time it’s

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