So I just picked up a Surface Book and paid a good price as it has an AZERTY keyboard rather than a UK QWERTY. I decided I could live with it if needs be but when it arrived I set about seeing what options I had
The first thing I did was set the language options to UK – that way I can type as if I am on a UK keyboard even if the keys themselves are in the wrong place!
So now my on screen keyboard is correct and reflects the positioning of the typed keys (if not their positioning on the keyboard itself!)
I then looked online to see if there were options for replacement keys – I found several companies on EBAY that sold sets of QWERTY stickers that could be stuck on top of the existing keys. But I didn’t like that option as the backlighting would be impacted and it would probably end up looking a little tacky.
I also found this company who could supply individual keys albeit at a bit of a premium price:
I noticed that there was also a video on their site outlining how to attach the new keys which gave me some confidence that I might be able to remove some of the existing keys:
And so I decided to attempt a basic rejigging of the keys such that they reflect, as far as is possible, a QWERTY layout instead of the AZERTY layout that the keyboard came with. I found a plastic tool that I already had in my toolkit which proved good at getting under the keys in order to remove them (see pic).
I settled on this – I don’t think I will be purchasing any keys as the guts of what I wanted was already there, just in the wrong order. (Though it is nice to know that if I wanted to finish the job I can do so for a small premium!)
Job (almost) done!
NB If you are trying something like this the trick is to prise off the keys from the top of the key itself (at least, that is the approach I took)