Adesso and the challenge of quality control

Perhaps the explanation for my experiences with Adesso keyboards is as simple as my having a heavy hand, but still, it’s hard to know what conclusions to draw when product after product fails from a company.
But let me start at the beginning, or at least near the beginning.
Apple used to make a really great ergonomic keyboard that not only split, but let you actually adjust the center angle of the board to fit the width of your shoulders and natural keyboarding posture. A wonderful device and I went through two of them, never thinking to stockpile a few extras before they decided to discontinue the product.
When the last of those started to fail on me, I scoured online shopping sites, local stores and even the Apple Store itself, looking for a really good ergonomic replacement that was Mac-friendly. The best choice I could find was the Adesso AKB-805MAC, so I bought one.


Within no more than a week, the keyboard was failing on me, not generating a space character when I tapped on the bar and variously missing other key hits unexpectedly. Darn frustrating.

Adesso AKB-805MAC keyboard

I called Adesso and they said “send it in!” so I did, but I went out and bought another of the 805MAC units that same morning because, well, I needed a keyboard.
While waiting for the first to be replaced (fixed?) the second one began to fail out of the box, this time with a column of keys failing: the ‘u’, the ‘j’ and the ‘m’ (look on a keyboard, you’ll see what I mean about a “column”).
The replacement keyboard arrived and it too had problems, again with the space bar. Unbelievable.
So I called Adesso back, explained the situation, was told that they were considering discontinuing the particular keyboard I was using, and that they’d send me two replacement keyboards if I’d send the two I had back to them. I did, using an old non-ergo keyboard for a week or so (yech) in the meantime.
You can guess what’s happened now. Of the two new keyboards, one of them is again exhibiting the same problems with the right spacebar not sending a space to the computer, causing me to have to change how I’m typing to ensure I hit the spacebar harder, which of course completely defeats the ergonomics of an ergonomic keyboard.
I’m ready to throw the $#@$#@ keyboard out the window and boycott everything from Adesso for a few years at this point.
How can a company stay in business with such poor quality control? How can they keep shipping keyboard after keyboard without getting an earful from their retailers and customers? I can’t possibly believe that this is something to do with how I use a keyboard, after I’ve had four (five? I lose count) fail on me in disturbingly similar ways.
The irony of the situation is that I really like the AKB-805MAC because it has direct keyboard controls for iTunes, which are incredibly convenient (think “mute” when the phone rings). But there’s no way I’m going to buy another Adesso keyboard at this point.
What’s your experience with keyboards? Do you use an ergonomic keyboard, and if so, which one? Clearly, it’s time for me to buy yet another keyboard for my Mac/PC setup…

5 comments on “Adesso and the challenge of quality control

  1. FWIW, I have an extra somewhat-used Apple Adjustable Keyboard you can have. I was saving it for… I dunno. It just seemed too cool to not save. (I’m in Boulder, too.)
    For about 8 years I’ve been using Kinesis keyboards. See:
    http://multipart-mixed.com/productivity/kinesis_contoured_keyboard.html
    As you can tell from my picture, they take *heavy* use and keep
    working great. I also consider their design far superior to most
    other ergo keyboards. Only quality problem I had was with my latest USB model, which had intermittent issues that I tracked down to a bad internal cable connection. I fixed it myself, now it works like a champ, too.

  2. I have Dell Latitude laptop, I’m on my third (!) keyboard, and it’s failing. Last replacement I even modified the mounting with the blessing of Dell technical support — I even exchanged digital photos with them of what I was doing. I’m still amazed that a product with such a basic flaw can be marketed.

  3. I also purchased an Adesso touchpad keyboard and experienced issues right out of the box. I have never had issues with any other brand keyboard that I have purchased before. Therefore, I tend to believe that Adesso has somee QC issues with their products they need to address or they will not maintain any sense of customer satisfaction or loyalty.

  4. I’d been using Adesso ergos for years until my Adesso AKB-805MAC started getting funny after a few years. The letter C mysteriously vanished or, more precisely, never appeared when beckoned. I have to say tht it was a lovely keyboard despite its eventual failings. It was the first Adesso with keys that weren’t attached like something out of a Leggo kit. (No offense Leggo people. I’m sure your blocks attach just fine, but they’re not supposed to be used for a keyboard.) Anyway, I’m living in France and it’s damned hard to find an ergo board, let alone with a QWERTY set-up. I would be very much obliged to any suggestions. Especially if someone’s found one at a decent price.
    All the best.

  5. I was cleaning my 11 year old Microsoft ergonomic keyboard (I tend to eat at my computer, so I know there were a few sandwiches down under those keys) and I removed the space bar and couldn’t get it back on. So I admit, it was my error. I ran out and purchased a new ergo keyboard- the Adesso 850 before I started getting angry at myself for breaking the 11 year old board.
    Well, I was really liking the Adesso, with the little touch pad and all and then it got strange. I tend to type in WordPerfect (yeah, I’m old school) and after typing a while, the Adesso started highlighting words where ever I put the cursor. This got to be beyond frustrating. I thought it was the software. I thought it was me. I thought it was anything but this ‘new’ keyboard I just bought. When the highlight disease came I had to save my document, shut down and reboot my computer. I can’t legally type how annoying and frustrating that became.
    After reading everyone else’s problems at least I know it is not me or the software, but this inferior keyboard. What a shame, because I really like this board. Adesso could have a good product if they would just make it work right and stop stealing people’s money.
    I don’t know what route to take now. Sending the board back to them, to only receive another inferior board is like dealing with a cell phone company on and empty stomach. It would clearly be a suicide mission.
    Any suggestions? Any directions? I must have an ergonomic keyboard as I do a lot of typing and a regular keyboard is a setup for pain and suffering.
    Help please.
    Thanks.
    PJ

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