One of the main complaints I hear about Asus netbook keyboards is the awkward placement of the right shift key. On the Asus Eee PC 700, 900, and 1000 series of netbooks, the shift key on the right side of the keyboard is located to the right of the up-arrow, making it difficult for touch typists to hit. I personally use the left shift key more than the right one so this doesn’t bother me much, but it drives some people crazy.

Well, it looks like Asus may be planning to change its keyboard layout. Netbook 3G found a user manual for the Asus Eee PC 1002HA/Asus Eee PC S101H, and there’s a picture of a keyboard that doesn’t look like any Eee PC keyboard I’ve seen so far. The right shift key is on the left of the up arrow, and there’s an additional Fn key to the right of the up arrow. 

The Asus Eee PC 1002HA I recently reviewed had the typical Eee PC keyboard, so either this is the keyboard we’ll see on the Eee PC S101H, or it’s a misprint.

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11 replies on “Asus may be preparing a new Eee PC keyboard layout”

  1. Help! Just purchased a new Asus PC w/ Asus keyboard. I cannot get sound by depressing keys on far right. Have ck’d and speakers are hooked up correctly. What am I not seeing???? thnks a bunch!

  2. Or instead of providing a small accommodation by way of a midget-sized right shift key, Asus could just get with the program and blatantly copy the keyboard layouts of the two most critically acclaimed keyboards in the netbook market: the Samsung NC10 and the HP Mini 1000. ….Duh.

  3. <>>

    Brad, you make it sound like it’s a *choice* whether people use left shift keys vs right shift keys, but it isn’t. Having a small right shift key slows down the fastest touch typers

    In typing class, when learning to touch type (which is defined as typing at high speeds without looking at the keyboard, and using all fingers to type, not just index fingers) they teach you that when you want to capitalize letters on the *left* side of the keyboard, you must use the right shift key. Likewise, if you want to capitalize letters on the *right* side of the keyboard, you must use the left shift key.

    My #1 reason for not owning an Asus 1000H is because of the small right shift key. Statistically, 50% of letters on the left side of the keyboard which need to be capitalized cannot properly because a typist cannot find the right shift key.

    So, it is not a matter of preference of whether you use left vs right shift key; rather, it is out of necessity that the shift keys be normal sized.

    Anyone who claims that it doesn’t matter that the right shift key is small is all right, that they’ll use the left shift key…….are obviously hunt and peck typists who use their index fingers and need to look at the keyboard when typing.

    1. You’re assuming that there’s only one way to type. I never took a
      typing class, and I type around 80wpm without looking at the
      keyboard. I know I’m not the fastest typist in the world, but I
      wouldn’t call myself hunt and peck. And I rarely use the shift key on
      the right side of the keyboard. I also find I’m able to type just as
      fast, if not faster on the Eee PC 1000H keyboard as I can on a larger
      keyboard (I have relatively small hands and sometimes find that small
      keyborads where the keys are closer to one another help me type

      In general, I’m not a fan of saying there’s only one way to do things.
      I DO think that Asus made a big mistake with its original keyboard
      layout, because a lot of people find the shift key location
      frustrating. And I never exactly said you have a choice about which
      key to use. I said if you find you use the right shift key a lot,
      avoid netbooks that have this awkward layout. Some people, like me,
      won’t mind as much.

    2. I’m a touch-typist like Chris (and have considered making comments similar to some of his ;). So my choice of a netbook has been much complicated by the strange key placement choices made by Asus, Lenovo, and others.

      But, if you have or want to buy a netbook with bad key location, you can swap the right-shift and up-arrow key assignment or even make both of them shift keys, etc, if you like, using key-remapping software, some of which is free or has a free trial version.

      I haven’t done this yet myself, but apparently it’s pretty easy for XP or Linux using free software such as KeyTweak for XP or this FAQ (here) for Linux. (Be sure not to accidentally click the “sexy ubuntu wallpaper” link at the latter site 😉 Or just google “reassign keys,” “remap keys,” “remap Asus shift,” etc.

      The results won’t be as nice as a real, large, properly placed shift key, but it would certainly be better than trying to feel across 2 or 3 keys for the tiny shift.

    3. I’m with Brad. I touch-type 100 wpm and took typing classes in grade school, but I never use the right shift key. I don’t know when I picked up this habit, but it was well over a decade before I became aware of it just a few months ago, while reading about the 1000H on this very blog. When I read about its small right shift key and its consequences for those who used it, I had to look down at my keyboard to confirm that a right shift key even existed; the thought of using it had never crossed my mind. Turns out I use my left ring finger to type a capital Q, A, and Z, and use my right index finger to type a capital B. It (obviously) feels perfectly natural to me, and I rather doubt that the time I would save over the course of my life by using the right shift key would outweigh the time I would lose in adjusting to it.

      I’ve since heard from friends who use the right shift key exclusively; just goes to show that different typing styles and preferences can exist even among touch-typists.

  4. Thank you, Asus !!

    Now we need this keyboard on an EEE PC with a 6-cell battery.

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