I recently purchased an Acer Timeline 1410 11.6″ laptop for a big trip; it was a sweet deal from Staples and met all my criteria.  I’ll get a review up shortly.  When I got home I saw it had one of the new Canadian keyboards.

Let me take a step back here and explain.  Until a few years ago every PC sold in Canada from a major manufacturer came in two SKUs: English and French.  Basically this boiled down to a different keyboard and a different language version of the OS.  Someone got the idea to combine and English and French keyboard into one, let the user choose the language of the OS on first boot and the single Canadian SKU was born!

Take a quick look at the keyboard above and you may not notice the differences so I’ll point them out:

  • half length left shift
  • new key beside left shift
  • double height enter with odd sizing
  • | key moved beside enter

Some may be thinking this is no big deal, and it isn’t if you’re only using this PC and don’t mind relearning key locations.  Unfortunately I use a lot of different PCs in my job and at home and could not get used to the new layout; fortunately Acer components are pretty standard and I was able to order a replacement English only keyboard from eBay.