Tuesday, January 20, 2015

An open letter to HP: Lamenting the fatal flaw of the HP Elite v2 keyboard

Dear Ms. Whitman, CEO, Hewlett-Packard,

A few years ago, when starting a new job, my new co-workers suggested that I might try the HP Elite v2 keyboard. I borrowed one at work for a short time and noticed immediately how pleasant it was to type on that keyboard. I loved it.

Soon after I got one for work, I got another for home and made sure that I always had one at work and at home. The keyboard is light and thin. It has very short keys for a very short keystroke. My fingers seem to bounce back from the keyboard in a way that I have not seen on any other. It is easy for me to crank out characters and to find the home keys.

The Elite v2 is a dream to type on and I really don't want to use another. It is by far, the best keyboard I have ever used, but there is one fatal flaw with that keyboard.

There is no USB cable version of the same rig. I have one at work and now no longer have a working example at home. The flaw in the Elite v2 is the Bluetooth controller. They tend to fail after a year or two on my computer at home and I'm really tired of buying keyboards and living with the anxiety of end of production for that keyboard and imminent Bluetooth failure. I will never buy another one of these keyboards again, unless they make it a USB cable powered keyboard.

Perhaps you're aware of the problem and have planned obsolescence in the most glaring and obvious way. I get it. HP makes great printers. I have seen HP printers groan on for 10 years or more and they keep churning out clean, easy to read pages. But this keyboard is so singularly unlike an HP product, I have a hard time believing that it should even bear your mark.

I needed a replacement, so I went to Best Buy and could not find the Elite v2, and really didn't want one. So I bought the HP K3500 keyboard, with some hope that it would match the experience that I had with the previous keyboard. Amazon reviews were saying that you had made improvements to the Elite v2 in the K3500 and although it is a nice keyboard, it is not even close to the Elite v2. The K3500 is also a Bluetooth keyboard, but I'm hoping that this one will last longer than the other one. And I am finding some way to get used to it, so for $20, it seems like it will do the job. I still want to return it, though. I have a few days to go and I might have found a replacement already.

The Elite v2 still makes my heart sing when I type on it at work. The problem I have with that keyboard, the only problem, and what I think of as the fatal flaw, is that Bluetooth controller. Eventually, the controller dies and every few years, I find myself buying another one.

Madam CEO, I'm done buying Bluetooth keyboards of any kind. I'm never going to buy the Elite v2 again until I see that it has a true USB cable to plug into my computer. Bluetooth is nice for the occasional typists, but for writers like myself, only the best will do.

So I'm checking out SIIG, IRocks and there is a Dell model that have piqued my interest. I'm sure with time I will find what I need. Maybe even Monoprice has a keyboard for less than $10 that will do the job. But you won't see me buying another one of your keyboards for a long time.

Please, please, please! Give me the Elite v2 keyboard with a USB cable for power and all is forgiven!

Or you can just forget the whole thing and I will find some other manufacturer to get the job done right.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Scott C. Dunn
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