I made the decision to buy myself a shiny Das Keyboard for Christmas. The present arrived a bit early and I have been hacking away on it ever since. I was not really sure if I should publish a review at all but finally made the decision that it could be of interest to some of you as well.
First question is obviously why I made the decision to buy a $135 Dollar keyboard when I could get a much cheaper keyboard from other manufacturers. I had a couple of reasons for that and not all were based on logic, I'm afraid to say. First of all, my past keyboards always lasted for about a year or two before I had to replace them and the idea was to buy a quality keyboard that would last through the ages. I'm trusting reports on this one as I can't yet say if Das Keyboard will outlast the other keyboards that I used in the past or not.
Second, I always wanted to try a mechanical keyboard, and especially so after a friend told me that his typing speed improved considerable after switching to one. Faster typing is always good which is probably the main reason why I made the buying decision.
If you never heard about or used mechanical keyboards you are probably wondering how they are different from regular keyboards. Well, the main difference is that they are using physical switches underneath keys which require less pressure to be activated. With a little bit of practice, you can type faster and with less exhaustion as you do not have to hit the keys quite as hard as before.
Das Keyboard Model S Professional is the soft version of the keyboard which is quieter than the regular model the manufacturer offers. It is still louder than your regular keyboard though which you may need some getting used time to, and if you are working with others, they too. It depends a lot on how you type. If this is your first mechanical keyboard you will press the keys down more than you need which will result in more noise in the beginning. Once you start realizing that you only need to hit the keys gently to send the data to the computer it becomes quieter and more comfortable to work with.
The selected keyboard has been designed for heavy typers, not gamers or media enthusiasts. While you do get a full qwerty keyboard in all its glory including a numpad, you do not get keys that shine in the dark, an extra set of media keys or LCD displays. That's fine by me as I'm not gaming on the machine anymore but may be something that turns away gamers. You can buy accessories like the WASD key set which you can use to replace the WASD keys on the keyboard with green key caps for better identification. If you are purist when it comes to gaming, you will do just fine with the keyboard as it may give you an edge over regular keyboard users as you may be able to hit keys faster than they do thanks to the different design of the mechanical keyboard.
Lets take a look at the hardware that you get when you purchase the keyboard:
Once you have connected the keyboard to your PC you can start to work with it right away. If you never worked with mechanical keyboards before you will have difficulties in the beginning. I know I did. The major problem I had was that I sometimes hit the wrong key on the keyboard as it is much easier to hit keys when you are working with the keyboard. It took me a good ten days to get adjusted enough to the keyboard to notice an increase in typing speed and accuracy that I probably would have never reached with standard keyboards. The one thing that is still irritating me is the Fn key on the left which I sometimes accidentally hit when I try to hit the Windows-key.Then again, you can use the function key in combination with the F-keys for multimedia controls. Other than that, I'm typing faster and more accurate than before which as a professional writer is a good thing, of course.
While I do not really care about looks, especially when it comes to keyboards, I have to admit that it looks as professional as it can get. Add to that the heavy weight and you got a great looking heavy piece of equipment on your desk that should get you through the next decade or even longer without budging.
You are probably wondering if you should get the regular version of Das Keyboard or the silent version instead which I got. The manufacturers of the keyboard have uploaded a video to YouTube that compare the two keyboards for you.
As you can hear, the silent version is less noisy than the regular version. If you are noise-sensitive, or work in an Office with other people, you may want to consider picking the silent version instead of the regular version.
Here is a video review of the Das Keyboard Model S which is pretty good.
If typing is your profession, either as a writer or programmer, then this keyboard will likely improve your typing speed and accuracy, especially if you are using a regular keyboard right now. You need some getting used to time before you really start to see progress and that can be a frustrating experience a times, but once you are over that, you will notice a gradual increase in both speed and accuracy that makes more than up for that.
While I can't yet say if the investment will last for the next ten years or so, I can say that the investment was worth it for now, as I type faster and more accurate on it.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.