Dell Mini 9 Spacebar / Keyboard Issues

I recently wrote about some issues I’ve had with my Dell Mini 9. Since I received my Mini it’s had issues with the keyboard, primarily that the space bar wouldn’t respond. Something I’ve heard several other people say; leading me to believe it’s a flaw in the design.

A quick chat with Dell support and a new keyboard was on the way. Shipped FedEx Priority Overnight no less.

I ordered my Mini within hours of it being released, so it’s a fairly early unit. When I received the new keyboard I was rather disappointed to see the it was marked “A00” – which is Dell-speak for version 1.0. So obviously when I saw that, it was a bit frustrating. What’s the point in replacing a flawed keyboard with another flawed keyboard?

After removing the existing keyboard I found something I really didn’t expect; the existing keyboard was marked “A02.” So my early model Mini has the newer keyboard! So, let’s take a quick look at what we know so far:

  • A00 – This keyboard has the same layout as the A02; the keys are printed a bit darker making it harder to see in low light. The keys are a bit stiffer when you press them, and all the keys seem to respond reliably.
  • A01 – I’ve yet to see any information on this one, though we must assume it exists.
  • A02 – This version has brighter printing on the keys though seems to have a defect affecting at least the space bar and perhaps other keys. Pressing the keys, they feel somewhat cheap or flimsy.

These details are for the US-English, 61 key layout,  Dell part # M958H. There is also an US-International version (U061H) floating around with a somewhat different layout that some people may prefer.

Though I don’t like how dark the A00 keyboard is, it does seem to correct the issue with the keyboard missing presses. The process of changing the keyboard only takes a few minutes and the instructions cover everything you need to know.