How to adjust keyboard sensitivity
February 20, 2006 1:05 PM   Subscribe

How can I fix or adjust the keypad of my new Dell laptop to prevent the cursor from jumping to other spaces, other lines, highlighted blocks of text, even calling up random functions. In the user's guide installed on the HD there are instructions for adjusting the touch pad, but not the keyboard. Over at Dell Hell I find nothing. I'm on the road, limited Internet access, could use some personal experience.
posted by NorthCoastCafe to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Dell's keyboards aren't what they used to be. Sounds like you might have a problem with a faulty keyboard.
posted by birdherder at 1:29 PM on February 20, 2006

The cursor jumping, and highlighting blocks of text makes me suspect a mouse.
Do you have a optical mouse hooked up to it as well?
Is that mouse on a glossy surface?
If yes, insert mousepad between mouse underside and said glossy surface.

If not, then I second bad keyboard
posted by JonnyRotten at 1:38 PM on February 20, 2006

Maybe try looking around in this question.
posted by chiababe at 1:40 PM on February 20, 2006

Umm, sounds like your palm is hitting the touchpad. I had some serious issues with that until I readjusted my typing style.
posted by antifuse at 1:40 PM on February 20, 2006

I had the same problem with my Dell Latitude C610; couldn't figure out for the life of me why all of the above things were happening, and, like you, found only instructions for adjusting the touchpad's sensitivity, and not the keyboard...

Then I figured out it was the palm of my hand on, you guessed it, the touchpad that was causing said weirdness. After dialing down the sensitivity for it, the problem was solved. Give that a try.
posted by porntips guzzardo at 1:40 PM on February 20, 2006

For the record:

Keyboards don't have sensitivity in the way pointing devices do. Each key is a switch, it is either closed or open, there is no inbetween.

The real world isn't discrete though, which in some sense leads to the concept called bounce. End users normally can't adjust the debounce circuit, and it sounds like that isn't your problem anyway.
posted by Chuckles at 1:52 PM on February 20, 2006

I throw in the touchpad scenario. It constantly gave me similiar problems til I just turned it off. No loss to me, as I didn't use it before and if without mouse, I use a nub in the keyboard to navigate.
posted by Atreides at 1:56 PM on February 20, 2006

If it's a Synaptics touchpad (and I'd bet it is), their newer drivers attempt to detect palm hits and deal with them appropriately. I suspect it just shuts off the touchpad while there's typing going on.
posted by CrayDrygu at 2:33 PM on February 20, 2006

Keyboards do have some degree of sensitivity, but as far as I can think of just the delay time between how fast a letter begins repeating after it is held down, like a trailing number of rrrrrrrrrrs, that can be set fast or slow.

I've got an old Dell Latitude (366mhz) whose keyboard has decided to type the 10-key numbers hidden behind the IOPKL:,./ keys when the function is pressed, without pressing function. Pressing function makes the real letter come up, so in order to type normally I'd have to hold Function down, or else it looks like some variety of leet speak. I hope this is not a commonplace Dell laptop problem ;-P
posted by vanoakenfold at 3:03 PM on February 20, 2006

Agreed on the touchpad. Look into the drivers. On my Fujitsu Laptop there is an option in the (custom) Mouse Control panel to disable the touchpad while typing. This was a HUGE problem for me until I found this option.

Basically, while you are typing your palm hits the pad moving the mouse.
posted by stew560 at 3:10 PM on February 20, 2006

I've had vanoakenfold's problem with the FN key backwards-ness. I ended up having to reinstall windows... ouch.
posted by adzm at 1:56 AM on February 21, 2006

rather than disabling the touchpad entirely, just try disabling "tap-to-click."
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 4:48 AM on February 21, 2006

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