In Canada, you can buy some computers with different keyboard layouts: US Standard, Canadian Multilingual, Canadian French. When I ordered the MSI Wind netbook I wasn’t aware of the choices and accidentally picked up the Canadian French version. The problem is I am used to the US Standard keyboard layout, I use it at work and on my iMac. This makes using the MSI Wind netbook difficult and a bit annoying. This is of course compounded by the fact that the keyboard on the MSI Wind netbook is a little bit smaller than the regular size keyboards. I was often frustrated when using the MSI Wind netbook, my typing speed was halved and my typos were doubled.
One day I decided to change the keyboard. I found NCIX was selling the US keyboard for C$49.99. Given the netbook is only about C$350 these days, it does not make sense to pay that much for the keyboard. I found a much cheaper vendor on eBay with free shipping and it costs US$20.
Here is a side by side comparison of the two keyboards before I switched them.
To remove the existing keyboard, flip the netbook over and remove the battery. Locate the 3 small clips that are securing the metal backing of the keyboard. Carefully pry them away to unhinge the keyboard. The clips are quite small so you have to be extra careful.
Once unclipped, you can flip the netbook right-side-up, open the screen and tilt the keyboard out of the front side.
The keyboard connection can be disconnected by flipping the black cable clip up.
Carefully remove the end of the ribbon cable from the connector.
Slide the ribbon cable connection of the US keyboard to the connector. Then flip the black clip back to secure the cable.
Once the clip is firmly secured, check to ensure that the cable cannot be unplugged from the connector. You should be able to snap the keyboard back to the clips easily.
Here is the finished MSI Wind netbook with a US Standard keyboard.
And Windows 7 booted up without any complaints!
Updated 2009-12-20 with Wim’s suggestions.