I Hate this Keyboard!


The word “performance” usually means CPU, memory, disk, or video performance to most people. That’s usually what I mean by it too. But after several months of experience with one particular notebook, I’ve found a component that has destroyed performance more than any other: the keyboard.

When PC Pitstop did a bloatware survey last year, we had several notebook PCs that we couldn’t return. I took one of them, the Toshiba Satellite A135, to use as a Windows Vista test system. Initially, I tried leaving all the preinstalled crapware on the system to see how it would perform. After a few weeks of that, I couldn’t stand it anymore. At least the crapware situation can be fixed, though, unlike the keyboard.

I hate this keyboard.

Take a look at the pictures of this notebook. On the left side, next to the keyboard, are five bar-shaped buttons. One is the power button; the other four are media player buttons. You can launch Windows Media Player with a single dedicated button click! You can play, pause, stop, or skip songs! Throw away your IPods, lads and lasses, and put the Toshiba Satellite A135 in your pocket!

Toshiba Left

Somewhere inside Toshiba headquarters, a hardware designer was thinking, “What users really want is four buttons to the left of the keyboard that control the media player. Let’s put lots of space between those little buttons too, so they take up a lot of room and we can put hieroglyphic labels above them.” Never mind that Toshiba also ships crapware that runs and provides on-screen controls for that. No, Toshiba must have done some expensive market research that concluded users were rioting in the streets for those dedicated buttons.

Wide-screen notebooks offer an opportunity for a keyboard with normal key spacing. Toshiba decided that a scrunched-up keyboard was just fine. But hey, anyone can shrink keys to a tiny size and make them hard to press. Toshiba engineering kicked it up a notch and decided that the typical PC key layout needed some of the same attention they paid to designing media player controls. The Delete key is usually in the upper-right corner, but Toshiba moved it to the bottom right, near the space bar. To balance out the stupidity, they moved the tilde key to the bottom-left side of the space bar.

Toshiba Right

To compound the craziness, Toshiba decided to put the context menu key in the coveted spot vacated by Delete. Half of you are probably thinking, “Context menu key? What’s that?” It’s the key most keyboards have that will open the right-click menu when you press it, and it usually has a picture of a cursor and a menu on it. You can get the same functionality by pressing Shift-F10–or of course, by right-clicking. To keep the context menu key company, they squeezed the Windows key just to the left. I am totally mystified by this choice. On most full-sized keyboards the Windows and context menu keys are next to the space bar, but Toshiba swapped them for the Insert and Delete keys? What were they thinking?

I am a touch typist, so keyboard layouts make a huge difference in how quickly I can get my work done. Most of the time, I work on PCs with reasonable keyboard layouts. This makes the Toshiba Satellite A135 even more of a challenge to use. Every once in a while I need to use the Delete key. Reflexes send my hand up to the upper right, only to be foiled when a right-click menu appears on the screen. I also find myself pressing the hard plastic area just to the left of the stubby tab key, just above the all-important media player launch button.

I hate this keyboard. Oh, did I mention that already?

Oh, and I typed this on my old Gateway portable computer. It only has 384MB of RAM so it doesn’t run XP all that quickly, but the keyboard is a dream. Darn, I really miss those Toshiba media player buttons. NOT.

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91 thoughts on “I Hate this Keyboard!”

  1. I have this laptop now and I want to replace this keyboard with a modern, functional layout. I don't know where to find one.

  2. While I don’t have a Toshiba anything, my Acer still gives me grief. Usually, whenever I’m typing up something long, my palms touch the touchpad (which ought to disable when typing) and *POOF* I’m typing somewhere else entirely, fouling up my whole document. There must be a better way. I’ve tried using the touchpad disable key, but guess where Acer put that? Right. Next. To. The. Start. Button. So if I misaim, I blow my whole computer sky high.


  3. I hate the Toshiba so much. What I hate about it (which I think is related to the keyboard) is this: very often, it spontaneously, with no apparent connection to what you are doing on the keyboard, changes “pages” (flicks over to a page forward, if any, or back). So, it just did that, and ended up wiping out a long email I was writing, which I will have to start completely over. I HATE IT!!!! I will not buy this model again.

  4. I have a problem with my toshiba satellite a-135. soon after re-start a beeping sound never stop, only by cliking on Esc this thing stop. after that the password is already been field with a bunch of dots. also the S letter is not working at all.
    What can i do to fix this problem.

  5. Good Day

    Just wanted to share my new experience.

    If your Windows XP fails to run due to an error corresponding to lost HAL.DLL, invalid Boot.ini or any other critical system boot files you can fix this by using the XP installation CD. Simply boot from your XP Setup CD and enter the Recovery Console. Then run “attrib -H -R -S” on the C:Boot.ini file and delete it. Run “Bootcfg /Rebuild” and then Fixboot


  6. I am the proud owner of another Toshiba Satellite laptop with a krazy keyboard. No matter what I am doing, whether I’m typing in Word or another other application or even just moving around with the touchpad, my cursor will randomly jump around whatever window I’m in or even open new windows – it’s particularly fond of spawning multiple IE instances one on top of another or hiding my current email message window behind everything else. ARGHHHH. Very frustrating. And it is a shame because it’s the only thing that keeps this laptop from being GREAT.

  7. I have an A105 notebook and really like it. Have not had any trouble and have lugged it all over the place. It is my primary computer. I have a wireless keyboard for use at home but usually don’t use it.

  8. Oh, this is so funny! I did not read through all postings, so this may have been covered. I have an “old” Toshiba Satellite 1955-S803. I still use it on trips; sometimes! I always have a keyboard and mouse plugged into it since the IR has never worked correctly. I bought a “Service Policy” that was USELESS. It would have cost me more to mail and repair the damned thing than go out and buy a new laptop.

    The keyboard is “removable” as is the added mouse. Neither ever worked. I should reword that. If you pressed down really hard on a certain spot while the keyboard was locked into position, it would sometimes work. But, it would only work for about 30 seconds, so you had to type really fast.

    The only good thing I can say about the Toshiba laptop, was it was a workhorse. I stayed in a trailer when my house was being built, and I had a printer, fax machine, mouse, keyboard, extra modem, and heaven knows what else plugged into it with a USB extender. Well, two, four port USB extenders. And the Toshiba never blew up!!!

    I used it for my MS Roads and Trips for awhile, but now I have a Prius that has a navigation system. Poor Toshiba laptop! Gawd, it’s annoying…Kathy in Williams Oregon

  9. I’ve had my Toshiba for a little over a year now. I agree that the keyboard sucks…
    That is, it sucks until you use it for 3 days and figure out where all the keys are. Then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the keyboard. Heck, they even put the ~ key in easy reach next to the space bar — that makes signing my wiki comments easier! (~~~~ adds a sig/date)

    Every time I start using a new keyboard it feels weird at first. And then you use it and you get over it. Dave, if you don’t like your computer that much I’ll be glad to take it off your hands 🙂 I absolutely love my Toshiba.

    (PS: You forgot about the best part of the whole computer: the little thumb wheelie for volume. Now I don’t have to take my hand off the keyboard when an awesome song comes up!)

  10. What a bunch of whinging bunnies a lot of you are.

    I use a wide range of different desktp computers and laptops with many different keyboards and 99% of the time, generally without problem. Yes I’ve had a couple of desktop keyboards die, but one was after coffee was spilt all over it! The other was an ancient H.P keyboard – very ancient.

    Both my wife and I have owned Toshiba Satellites A30s (Pentium IVs with XP Home) for about 3 years and cannot sing their praises highly enough – they’re great. Far superior to anything else out there – H.P., Dell, Acer, Sony, IBM etc. The build quality, performance and support are second to none – better than most.

    If you don’t like what you bought, you obviously didn’t do enough research first. Caveat Emptor – buyer beware, you can only blame yourselves.

  11. I too have a Toshiba laptop and it is used everyday. It it is a Tecra A8. I have had it for about a year now and in that year the paint has started to wear away and the screen is falling down. Most laptop should not do this after a year. I am very disapointed with Toshiba. This laptop is not worth the $3000 I paid for it. Toshiba pick up you act!!!

  12. It’s still a lot better than the Gateway keyboard. In Gateway’s infinite wisdom, they placed the Fn key right next to the Ctrl key. If you do a lot of ctrl-c, ctrl-v, etc., you are constantly hitting the wrong keys.

  13. I am another one who was unfortunate enough to buy a Toshiba laptop. The layout of the keyboard was the least of my problems. Mine was an A60 and I rue the day I bought it. It overheated even when doing nothing, and the battery would only last longer than 20 mins if the thing brightness was way down low, in which case it was impossible to see anything unless it was a dark room. How can Toshiba get away with making such junk???

  14. stay away from hp and dell.they are usless junk.buy an alienware or go to systemax.com and help support made in the u.s.a. my computer from there came with a 3 year warranty and is manufactured in the u.s.a.and the customer support is amazing.

  15. i’d never buy a cheap computer.i have an Alienware for my laptop.beat that.and i have a logitech G15 keyboard as my choice for my desktop.even though it’s primarly for gaming,it works great for many applications with the Gkeys.you’ll need to record them to the specific key,but it’s great.

  16. I LOVE my keyboard – on a HP Pavilion laptop wide screen – they used the extra space to put a number pad, so the whole thing is like a normal keyboard – THE reason I bought that particular laptop.

    My boyfriend has the other solution. He bought a wireless keyboard and mouse, and uses that with his laptop. Can set the laptop, keyboard (normal size and style), and mouse ANYwhere he wants.

    Hey, we both love our laptops and keyboards!!!!!!!

  17. As with all things of manufacture, not all product is created equal. Have been using a Toshiba A205 for over a year and have had LESS problems than my previous daily driver made by DELL. Who ever buys anything without test driving it to make the dash is user friendly is NUTS. Once a product is in use, it is entirely up the the user to maintain and get used to its maintenance requirements. PC Pitstop is must for that service.

  18. Well, I am an old timer. I still plug in my Northgate Ultra keyboard (circa 1984) and can type like h— (I learned touch typing in high school). A weird layout but it sure beats any of the keyboards on the market in the last 10 years or so. It types like an IBM Selectric typewriter (the one with the ball). I also use two IBM keyboards on other machines. If you can find one of these, get it. You will never go back to a crappy made in Asia keyboard, laptop or desktop.

  19. Pfft. This keyboard is pretty bad, yes, but at at least feel lucky that it has a full-size right Shift button. The HP dv9500 laptop I’m using now has one the size of a normal alphabet button and it drives me crazy. Not only do I have to squish my hand together to type a question mark, but it’s flush against the “Up Arrow” key, so I frequently (twice already while typing this message)accidentally hit that and end up typing either a line above where I want to, or I end up hitting both the Shift and the R. Arrow key so it highlights (and subsequently overwrites) the last line and a half of text. All of the buttons mentioned in this article are ones that I use such that I move outside of my neutral typing form to hit them – in other words, it’s easier to adjust to them, rather than adjusting to a key that is within the normal hand movements of typing, if you get what I’m saying.

  20. I have owned 3 toshiba laptops from 1996 and ALL of them had the delite key in the same place. I now have another a laptop with the delite in the upper right corner and am still looking for it, down by the space bar. As for the touchpad, yes, if you toch it while typing it will affect where the typing will show up on the page. On my Toshibas they didn’t have a touchpad. For me I would perfer NOT having a touchpad. It does take time to remember where the keys are. Remember practice makes perfict.

  21. Oh and to anybody that has keyboard problems that can’t be fixed immediately, you have at least one other option besides a USB keyboard…use the on-screen keyboard under accessibility options. My fiance spilled some water on my laptop and I had to use it for a while. Cheers!

  22. I have an older Toshiba laptop that also has the buttons and the different keyboard layout. I hated the media buttons and also installed all the bloatware as you did, but the smaller keyboard and different configuration actually turned out to be a boon for me. I have small hands so it helped me type better, and having the tilde key in an unusual place allowed me to set it as autorun while playing Everquest II. Don’t ask how I played Everquest II with a 1.6 megahertz Celeron M, it was pretty painful…but it was a handy place for a shortcut key like that 🙂

  23. Have had this P205 for a couple of weeks now and love it. This is my first Toshiba and is loaded to the gills. Touch typing no prob. Hitting the touch pad while typing turn it off. A couple of keys are in a different spot then on my Dell but so what doesn’t take a rocket scientist to re-adjust your habits to the new keys. Liked my Dell, liked my Hp. Guess what like this Toshiba too.

  24. At least that keyboard has a tiny CAPS LOCK key. As I keep hitting mine by mistake when trying to hit the usually smaller SHIFT key the first thing I do with most keyboards is prise off the CAPS LOCK key so that as I look up to the screen I no longer discover my ammendment to War and peace is not all in reverse capitalisation.

  25. I also own a toshiba satellite, though it is an ultraportable. The key, however, have the same layout as you describe. I am also a tough typist and feel your pain. It’s not bad once you get used to it though, had this one for about a year.

  26. Hate Toshiba and the keyboard/layout !!! It has repeatedly earned its nickname of TOSH*TA, THE CRAPPY LAPPY.
    – To Jann Kinzinger, join the club ref the A70. In my quest for speed I too bought an A70 3 years ago. I have never been more disappointed. The A70 is a better vacuum cleaner with the cooling air intake underneath the computer – stupid design(ers). This is most certainly the cause of your overheat problems and blue screen/shutdown. I blow high pressure air thru my air intakes to clean the filters on a monthly basis and this seems to have stopped these problems although it may not be too good for the fan bearings but obviously does not help the keyboard issue. The paint has worn off my ‘A’ key but that is about all !!
    Although warranty support does seem good I note with dismay & frustration that Toshiba has never provided any BIOS updates or Vista support for this model !!!
    HP will certainly be my next model as soon as I can justify the expense !!!

  27. Ones keyboard has worn out three times in just under two years (Toshiba sat 313 m series) they are simply not up to the task due to the printing of the letters on the keys so they rub off in under five months , Jolly bad show toshiba

  28. This article is interesting, but as I just bought a Toshiba laptop, I was wondering about removing the bloatware. What is safe to remove and what do I need to leave in. Seems to take up a lot of space. I too, am having trouble with the keyboard, but mine in half french and half english, which just added to the problems. It is an A210 model.

  29. ironically i own a 135-4427. yes the keyboard is strange and it does have those odd keys on the far left that i never use. i have had no problems and i love it. the only real problem i have is with vista and system resources. currently i am running just ie7 and 75%of my physical memory is being used. in my opinion and many others besides me since vista is such a hog with resources 2gb of ram should be the minimum. i have just gotten sp1 without crashing and if there is a performance enhancement i must be missing it.

  30. I also am very disapointed with my Toshiba Satellite. I bought the 17″ model to get the 10 numeric pad. I enter a lot of numeric data daily and use it as my main computer when on the road. BUT the 10 key pad is my number 1 headache. There is no recess area below the zero key as there is below the space bar. Since I and most touch typist use the thumb to depress the zero, this raise area prevent my depressing the zero. Thus I miss the zero 90% of the time even with the keyboard elevated at the back. Number 2 is the skate mouse area. The palms do once in a while touch it and zowie you are some where else typing away. The corner sweet spots are a mess. I would like to be able to switch them off and use only the mouse function. I do switch off the skate mouse function when typing, a real problem when filling out forms though. I too am very disapointed in this lap top, since I could have purchased twice the box at half the price for a desktop. Toshiba seems to be following Microsoft in throwing it out there….. don’t test it….. they will buy it anyway. Toshiba isn’t the only game in town, and I won’t be playing in there ball park next time.

  31. Omar Abdel Haleem

    Hey, it’s not that bad. The keyboard works great for me; yes, it takes a couple weeks to get used to the changes, but after that it’s smooth. Be flexible, relax.

    On another note, my Satellite A135-S4527 is not so good on Vista, so I’ve gotten rid of that and switched to Ubuntu for my O/S. This has increased the performance to scintillating levels.

    If there’s anything I would complain about, it’s that Windows is miserable and open source, especially Ubuntu, is the way to go.

  32. Our A-135 is great with a wireless-keyboard. Whoever designed the layout has never, ever used a Laptop before; Or they are a Sadist!

  33. I have been using a Toshiba Satellite P200-123 for six months – it was a desktop replacement for an ancient Evesham PC. I have no problems with the keyboard, the layout is clear and the keys themselves positive in their action. Neither is the touch-pad any problem (although I generally use a wireless optical mouse). All in all a fine machine – much better than my previous desk-top PC.

  34. I`m felling a little strange here, I do use the Windows and menu keys (How odd of me)and I like and expect them tobe in the same place on all the keyboards I use. Just as an aside my Pavillion laptop disables the touchpad wile typeing so that the cusor stay put untill I move it

  35. I like most things about my toshiba…. Just not the keyboard so Ijust plugged in an external mouse and keyboard and use it as a desk top.

  36. I have a A205 and I am loving it. I use it for just about everything along with a HP desktop. The switching between the two keyboards has gone unnoticed. I just think if you are having this much trouble and dislike this brand so much, why not just get another. What is all the complaining going to do for you?

  37. I recently got a Toshiba Satellite S201 from my daughter, who had replaced it with a newer one. One of the first things I noted was the layout, but it took no time to adjust (I touch type). What bugged me was not the location of the special function keys, but the fact that after looking up at the screen, I was typing half-words, half page or more away from the location where I started. I’m trying to learn how NOT to touch the touch pad — isn’t there something wrong with this picture???

    I can honestly say that the best desktop or portable (luggable) keyboards I’ve used are 25 years old, made by Texas Instruments for their entry into the PC market … and, I loved the arrow keys in a real plus configuration with the Home key in the center … I’ve always hated the inverted – T arrangement. Perhaps the beloved Gateway keyboard was a spin off from Texas Instruments (before Gateway was Gateway, they sold the Texas instrumnt Professional Computers and accessories).

    Cheers … now how is it that we can disable that darned touch pad???


  38. Funny, everyone keeps on saying that the layout of this thing is a pain…. I am typing on a Toshiba keyboard right now, and I am a touch typist…. guess what? I have no problems with it.

    Now, the reason that Toshiba moved the Windows and Taskbar keys to the upper right of the keyboard was simple and to the point: NO ONE REALLY EVER USED THEM!
    That’s right: even on my desktop keyboard, I never used those two keys because I have a mouse with a ‘right click’ on it, and I have my computer set up so that the bottom bar in Windows Vista is ‘Always on Top’ so I can get to it easily, except when I have something in ‘full-screen’ mode when I am definitely not going to want to use it.

    If the man in this story doesn’t like the computer THAT MUCH, simply trade it for a computer of equal value that you like at a local computer store. Many computer stores that are not the ‘big name’ guys will allow you to trade in or trade up to a newer or better computer, and will simply refab and resell your old computer.

  39. Victor Melendez

    Well,here is another anti Toshiba laptop owner. It has given me more headaches than I can think of. Left it as a backup and switched to an HP that works like a dream.

  40. I think the position of the DEl key can be confusing. I bought the A135 for my wife and didn’t notice the difference until she was having problems deleting text without wanting to and didn’t know why. I could not figure it out until I compared the keyboard on my HP Pavillion Dv5000 and saw that the DEl key on the HP was in the “normal” spot. She was accidentally hitting the DEl key. Once we figured that out and watch what we are diong it is less of a problem. Other than that I like the A135.

  41. I have a U205 and love it, chiefly because my previous Acer Ferrari was such a dud. The keyboard arrangement is excellent, the tactile feel is excellent. But the wierdness that results from accidental touchpad contact is annoying.. Also, the screen brightness is no longer keyboard adjustable for some unknown reason. All in all though, it suits my needs better vthan any laptop I’ve ever had.

  42. I’ve got a Toshiba laptop and I like it – sorry – it forms part of a mobile recording studio. I bought it refurbished from Morgans and it is a delight. The only fault I’ve found is a lazy “K” key. Hence all my documents are stored in Mie Lockey whcih I can’t change. I bought two grand daughters Toshiba laptops from Morgans and they are great.

  43. Talk about Toshiba keyboards!! I have an A35 for about three years or so. Everytime I type a “Y”…the cursor jumps to another line or opens another IE page…the thing is crazy..and no one seems to be able to help me to correct the problem!! Is this typical of Toshiba keyboards???

  44. I have a Satellite also. HATE the keyboard and the touchpad which is way too touchy. I have large hands for a woman and long fingers. When I bought this thing my old computer had just passed on and I had to have one. It was the last laptop on the shelf with any real speed and memory. Now I’m stuck with it because money doesn’t grow on trees around my house. Won’t make this mistake again.

  45. Ok, I am a bit new to all this computer stuff.

    Is it possible to swap the keys to their “correct” position and then reprogram the keyboard?

    Just trying to think outside the box.


  46. I think all of you need to GET A LIFE!!!!!
    Are you so set in your ways that you cannot adapt to something different.

  47. Aha, so that’s what that funny little cursor/menu button is for. There are many strange keys on my Acer laptop, the use of which I know not. One down, a whole top line of them still to go.
    My cursor bounds about like a hare in March. My friend hates this laptop because of this irritating habit. It also deletes whole lines of text without warning. I think there are “short cut” keys under VERY deep cover in there somewhere.
    Incidentally for those of you who didn’t know this – The @ key is not in the same place on all keyboards. Half of ours at work need one key pressed to get an @ and half the other. Leading to a room full of annoyed data entry processors, because we use it to get pre programmed “comments” into our data entry boxes. Mayhap there should be laws, like there are for weights and measures, standardising such things.

  48. I agree with the entire rant. The keyboard producing this reply has the same funky setup except that my media player controls are to the right. I want my damn 10 key too! there is plenty of room here.

  49. I love this computer. I have owned Toshiba laptops for 10 years now and the only thing I dont like about the keyboard is that its of center That makes typing annoying. Other than thatn I am satified with my Toshiba Tecra A-9

  50. To those of you who say I am looking a gift horse in the mouth because I got this wonderful Toshiba laptop for “free”: PC Pitstop *paid* for this computer, and I am part owner in the company. We could not return it because it was past the 10-day/20%-restock window. I am stuck with it, and I do mean stuck. Kind of like a keyboard key.

    @Ron Ag, this is not a review of the whole computer by any means. It is a rant about a keyboard that breaks every layout convention and rule of ergonomic design.

  51. Adrienne Foffe'

    i use my Satellite about 12-14hrs each day and i actually prefer the smaller kb…and i am really glad Tosh moved the delete to a place that makes sense. i can touch the pad & the surround at the same time w/no issues, and i havnt hit the left media panel accidentally; however, my media buttons are small & round & slightly sunk-in & need to be deliberately pressed to initiate which may be why they dont bother me. i hav never used the windows or context keys on ANY computer, so i am thrilled theyve been set out of the way…and on a side note, i chose TOSH for my dvd recorders, vcrs & tvs too…one of my tvs is over 10yrs old & hasnt been replaced cause it works beautifully still.
    SO…if yu dont like the laptop, feel free to send it to me!…i cld use a backup!

  52. Susan

    I had the ‘jumping cursor’ with my Inspiron and cured it.If you have a stick control disable it and then try typing.

  53. Thank you for this article AND also for you folks who replied to it!

    I am retired, so that should indicate my computer savy(poor)!

    All this input about key functions has given me a lot of good info about what to use them for! I have an HP Pavillion dv000 with a 17″ screen and Vista Home Premium. To say the least, it’s a learning experience. Thanks again to all who put their 2 cents in about this problem-you sure helped me indirectly!

  54. I guess Toshiba smartened up as the A205 Satellite doesn’t have the weird side buttons. I’ve had mine for nearly a year already – my Vista system and everythign works fine. It’s been a great backup for my XP desktop.

  55. I don’t have the same Satellite, but I have noticed how awkward the key arrangement is on mine. At work, this is solved by using a great Logitech LX710 wireless keyboard. When I have it at home, I’m mostly web surfing, so it is not as big of a deal.

  56. The above ‘review’ is CLEARLY a bashing (in disguise) against the whole Toshiba brand in favor of…(read final words at bottom).
    Clearly biased crap ‘review’. He saved himself from critics by saying the laptop was given ‘for free’. I must say I never had a Toshiba laptop nor I never had anything from this brand. I would buy them anyday. I have a Sony Vaio nr110e which is way better than any …(you name it).
    When I started reading above ‘review’ I started thinking it was written in favor of other ‘favorite’ brand of the author. And I was right. Read the last paragraph and you’ll find his ‘preferred’ one.
    Who said $$$ ?

    Holy crap!

  57. get a life guys.

    are ALL TV buttons and their remotes the same.

    I’ve been using Toshiba’s for over 10 years and never have a problem when usign another system with a different keyboard layout.

  58. The keyboard on my Dell Inspiron drives me crazy as well. I’ll be typing at my usual 90 wpm when suddenly the cursor has moved and I’m typing somewhere in the middle of the document. I think – I’m not entirely sure – that my palm has hit the touchpad and scrolled up. Or it could be when I go to hit backspace I aim too high and hit the page up key instead. At home I have a Kinesis Freestyle 2-part keyboard plugged in, which, while it’s wonderful for my wrists, has its own layout eccentricities.

  59. I have a 105 and wish the power/media keys were above the function keys and out of the way like my 6 year old Compaq. I am a 2 finger typer and the only key that bugs me is the location of the delete key. Is there a program that allows you to reassign key locations? These programs were avaliable for DOS.

  60. I just threw my Toshiba laptop in the trash. It was not only the keyboard, it was the whole thing…a lemon since I bought it. First it was their TV sets, now their laptops.
    Tosh*ta, you deserve the name!

  61. Never really noticed. However, I have noticed that if, whilst using the mouse pad, you accidentally touch the edge of the pad surround at the same time as the pad, the machine goes off and does its own thing. It could open a new tab, add unwanted letters or symbols, page up or down, literally anything. Took me ages to realise what did it. It’s like it short circuits itself. Static perhaps? I thought I was going mad!

  62. You are way off base. The delete key belongs where Toshiba has put if for years. I hate Dell keyboards where it is next to the backspace. If I want to move my hand up there, I might as well use the backspace for most deletes.
    While I’d rather have the windows key where the tilde is, it’s no big deal.
    Try it for a while and you won’t go back.

  63. I have a toshiba satellite lap top. I LIKE IT. I am using it right now as in a previous note — you got it for free either quite U’r bitching or get rid of it.

  64. Not sure of the purpose of this article. I have learned nothing from it. I have an A135 and like it.

    Stop the winning and do something productive. In other words …. get over it and yourself.


  65. I have a Toshiba Notebook P205-S6267 and love the wide Keyboard and am also a touch typist. Of course the layout is like a real keyboard and not as described above.

  66. Oh yes – mine has the same sucky key layout, too, but with WMP controls along the top. They’ve never worked – don’t care!

  67. Ha! You hate it now – just wait a few years, when the key symbols have worn off, as is happening with my Equium, and you’ll hate it even more! True, my keyboard is heavily used, but white paint is NOT a suitable medium for marking keys. I have a 50-year-old typewriter, and the keys are still perfectly clear, because the symbols are actually embedded
    in the plastic. That’s how it should be done.

  68. I know what you mean about small keyboards. I have a Sony PCG-V505DXP with a small keyboard and will never have a laptop with one again. Also, when typing, if I mistakenly touch the mouse pad with my thumb it’s anyone’s guess what will happen next.

  69. Terry W Spencer

    Actually I like the media keys to the left. It allows one to place CDs without turning the computer. the rest of the layout is a bit awkward.

  70. Ha! Ha! Ha! The ONLY complaint you can make about that specific laptop is the keyboard design? Right. I am the not-so-proud owner of a three and half year old Satellite A70 that has been the bane of my existence the entire time. It is, by far, the most miserable piece of electronic crap I have ever encountered – and is the laptop that I spent the most money to acquire. It has crashed every four to six months, and been returned to its maker five times (once from Tucson, the rest from Michigan). It’s had overheating issues, two hard drive failures, a screen overheating, and other maladies. I have seen the blue and black screens of death so many times I no longer fear them. Two days ago, while working in QuickBooks, the laptop just shut itself off. No reason. Just “click” and off.

    It has repeatedly earned its nickname of TOSH*TA, THE CRAPPY LAPPY.

  71. Since you are having difficulty with a Toshiba keyboard, I thought I’d tell you my experience. The keyboard malfunctions. For example, if I press “e” continuously a “4” shows up every 16th time. The same is true of several other letters; every 16th stroke produces a different letter. The keyboard was not under warranty, so I had it replaced at my expense. The problem persisted. Toshiba said it must be the motherboard, which was under warranty, so they replaced the motherboard. The problem persists. I’ve resorted to using an expternal keyboard. Maybe you might know the explanation for this phenomenon. Thanks.

  72. Andrew L. Rhubottom

    I’m typing this from a Toshiba Satellite p-105, a 17″ wide screen with a keypad (which I use almost exclusively for numbers),and love it, with one minor exception.I wish the right hand shift key were larger. It might be wise to point out to your readers that all Toshiba laptop keyboards are not bad, lest they be turned, unneccessarily, against Toshiba in general, a very good brand. Personally, I find voice recognition better, since my typing skills are horrible.

  73. Dave (a different one)

    So plug another keyboard into the Toshiba. Then you have no squishy keys and no goofy layout. Of course, if you’re using your notebook like most people do, as a PORTABLE computer, it’s kind of dumb to have to lug another keyboard around, but if you’re at home it’s easy enough to do.

  74. Arghhhh! I know just what you mean. I am typing on a Toshiba Satellite 135 as we speak. I too have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune trying to find the delete key (among others). I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t realize just how much the keyboard had been massaged until I read your article. It seemed more difficult to use-I have big hands and I have had problems hitting the wrong keys at times, probably due to the scrunching to make room for those stupid media keys on the left. Thanks for the explanation.


  75. I could not agree more I get more typos because of the crappy keyboard layout. I have owned this laptop now for over a year now. Works great, nice video, not to bad sound either and well backed when I had a warranty work. I never use the media player buttons and I have found them to more a problem than a help. With me you are preaching to choir about this keyboard. The keyboard it really does stinks! Pass the word

  76. My Toshiba Satellite came with Windows XP Home Media Edition which was intended by Toshiba to be easily operated by the media player buttons. Still, I agree that the rearrangement of the keys is so frustrating that if I had tried the keyboard in advance I would not have purchased this laptop. Dave, you did not even mention the stubby Enter key!

  77. Dave,

    You are 9 months too late–my Toshiba laptop has been relegated to backup–I am considering a HP replacement, but I may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.


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