Dell netbook coming in August, sans Function Keys

Posted on 05 June 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

That apple-red Dell netbook you may have spotted a few weeks ago is expected to be hitting the market in August, but its keyboard will be lacking a dedicated row of F-keys. For certain users this is nearly preposterous. However for some, such as myself, it isn’t that big of a deal. I personally could live without a dedicated row of function keys. I don’t use them frequently enough to justify a whole separate row. That being said, they should still be accessibledell netbook through a modifier key which at this time APCmag is saying that is not the case.

It’s true that the alpha keys are all of a good size, although others are noticeably slim, and the function keys have been dropped altogether: the Fn modifier activates hardware-related shortcuts mapped onto the keyboard, with no facility to call up the usual F1-F12 keys. [my emphasis]

It’s one thing to remove the row of keys entirely, but not providing a way to press them at all is a peculiar decision on Dell’s part. It may have something to do with the target audience. While tech enthusiasts will inevitably end up buying the Dell netbook if it turns out to be a quality product, Dell says it is targeted toward students and first time computer users. If Dell’s audience for this netbook is truly first time computer users, removal of the row of function keys makes a bit more sense. First time computer users are certainly not acquainted to keyboard shortcuts and only a small percentage would make use of them. So why not remove these keys and be able to make the rest of the keys more finger friendly? Sounds logical to me at least.

The yet to be named 9″ Dell netbook is predicted to feature Intel’s Atom, and knowing Dell, XP and Ubuntu will most likely be choices for the OS. Specs have not been announced yet but Dell says they will bring the product to market “…later this summer”, expect to specs in the next few weeks.

What is everyone’s opinion on big companies (HP , Sony, Dell) getting into the netbook explosion?

Recommended Reading

Most-viewed handheld PCs. Updated daily.

Dell Latitude E7440
14.0" Intel Core i5-4200U
Acer Aspire Switch 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745
ASUS Zenbook UX305
13.3" Intel Core M 5Y10a
Acer Aspire E11 ES1
11.6" Intel Celeron N2840
ASUS T100
10.0" Intel Atom Z3740
Toshiba Portege Z930
13.3" Intel Core i5 3427U
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10
10.1" Intel Celeron N2806
Acer Aspire One D255
10.1" Intel Atom N550
Dell Latitude 11 3150
11.6" Intel Pentium N3530
Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-131
11.6" Intel Celeron N2807