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My old keyboard finally died. Kaput, dead, it will be missed.

I've read many good things from coders about the MS Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, but when I went to the store they only had the 7000 bundle (keyboard + mouse). The keyboard looks nearly identical to the 4000 other than being wireless and not having the LED indicators in the "dead zone".

To the point: I'm not sure if my keyboard is defective or needs to "break in".

My Enter key (above right-shift) is very difficult to use. Prior to making this purchase, I read in several places that the key resistance on the 4000 series is fairly healthy. THe keys feel fairly solid in general and match the "heavy resistance" description. However the Enter key does not work at all unless I hit it perfectly dead-center (and then it works very smoothly). If I hit it slightly to the left or right of center, it sticks and does not go down.

I'm wondering...

  1. Are the 7000 and 4000 keyboards essentially the same?
  2. Has anyone else had issues with their Enter key / is this a common problem?
  3. Is there anything I can do to reduce the friction for better action?

I'm trying to save myself a trip back to the store if this is a common experience for new keyboards in this family....

MS 7000

UPDATE:

Based on Journeyman's answer, I didn't feel comfortable lubing the keyboard myself. I returned it to the store today. Unfortunately they didn't have any of the same model in stock, but they did have the 4000 keyboard available. The keyboard looks nearly identical but feels completely different. My original 7000 purchase must have been poorly assembled, or is simply inferior to the 4000.

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ISO enter key (L/reverse L) or american style enter key? –  Journeyman Geek Oct 25 '11 at 5:31
    
@JourneymanGeek "american style" I guess?? Added image with the offending key highlighted. –  Farray Oct 25 '11 at 15:09
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've not had either keyboard but Jeff Atwood seems to confirm the first point

With the second, it might be a quirk of the rubber dome design - they tend to rely on plungers on the keycap to press on the dome, and sometimes are a little unforgiving of off center keypresses.

With the third , some people swear by dry PTFE lube or teflon powder with more ideas here - never tested it myself so, use at your own risk. I believe any petroleum based lube would be a VERY bad idea however

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I am currently having the same problem with my 4000 keyboard that work got me a week ago.

  1. yes, they seem very much the same.
  2. Yep, having the same issue.
  3. The user on one of Journeyman's links came up with this solution:

    I put a sliver of Teflon tape (that used for connecting plumbing) against one edge of the key (not all the way around). This seems thick enough to take up the play introduced after months of typing, and prevents the key from twisting and therefore binding in the cylinder. Lets see if it holds up...

http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?15557-What-grease-should-I-use-on-a-silicon-dome-keyboard

I'm not sure if I'm going to take it back or try to fix it with the tape at this point.

I popped the key off and there is only one plunger on the enter key. Annoying to see MS skimp on one of the most used keys on the keyboard.

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