Here is a story of a blot on the great MacBook Pro landscape, which is the european, so called ISO, keyboard.
The “Apple Extended Keyboard II – ISO layout” is a keyboard specially designed for the (retarded!?) European market. The layout complies with ISO 1091 standard on the “Layout of printing and function keys.”
Here in Poland we had already some attempts to have an original Polish keyboard layouts in early 90ties. However it turned out because of economical and practical reasons that we can simply type on regular US ANSI keyboards and use right Alt key to produce accented characters – so called Programmers Layout.
European Return by: Sonic Julez
Given that, once I was ordering my MBP at French Apple Store I had a choice giving my new MBP US ANSI keyboard or English European keyboard and finally French layout. Then I scratched my head and I’ve selected English European, assuming that this one will be the same as in most PC laptops sold in Poland. So regular ANSI layout, but having Enter instead of Return and some fancy symbols in place of Shift and Control buttons. Of course there was absolutely no preview at Apple Store how the keyboard will look like, previously I have seen MBP on promo photos (coming from US) and at Apple events in Paris, but I haven’t noted the layout since it was Freeeeench.
What was my surprise once I realized browsing that I have chosen most f… up keyboard layout I have ever seen. Few days after I ordered my MBP I was browsing some reviews and photo galleries of my looked forward MBP. And then I was shocked… most of the E.U. reviewers were mentioning horrible keyboard of MBP while US reviewers were mentioning that it is simply awesome. It was too late to rollback or change the order. Moreover Ash Searle’s review “I hate my Macbook Pro” made me really depressed, even that the most of this review may be little controversial, the Return button case is really true and SERIOUS.
Since I am really used to sightless typing I expect Enter/Return below my right small finder. I realized that it won’t be possible with my new MBP. Call me an idiot, but I couldn’t even get a decent sleep during the nights before I have received my new laptop.
Then I got it. Just have a look at the photo above. WTF is that!? Has Steve Jobs ever seen this layout. I know that it is supposed to be a retarded ISO layout, but c’mon is it a bad joke of US Apple’s engineers? How do I suppose to put my finger in this small gap to press Return?
US Return by: Justin Roselt
I was really upset, finally I came across some post on MyApple.pl saying that you can replace the keyboard for extra charge. First I called Apple service in Paris, but they wanted 50€ for the keyboard + 80€ for the work. Price for the piece was acceptable but 80€ for unscrewing and screwing back the new keyboard was a bit too high. Then I tried convince myself I can live with this retarded layout.
Nah… once I came back to Poland I have set up a date with SAD – Polish Apple reseller and service provider. It is amazing how many times you can try calling the company that never picks up the phone when you are desperate like I was. Finally I have managed to get through and the nice lady told me they gonna replace it for the price of the piece (50€) and no extra charge for the service. Woohoo!
At last at the day of the “date” I made myself 1 day trip to capital city leaving my laptop for few hours and visiting some friends around. Finally I was having normal ANSI keyboard like all Americans do. :-P