Das Keyboard Model S Professional review - gHacks Tech News

Das Keyboard Model S Professional review

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

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:

  • You obviously get the mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX brown mechanical key switches which the developer compare to IBM's famous Model M which is still held as one of the best keyboards ever produced.
  • The keyboard has a 2.0 meter long USB cable attached to it that you connect to your PC and also offers a PS/2 connector.
  • It acts as an USB 2.0 hub offering two USB 2.0 ports directly on the keyboard.
  • It offers 104 keys including an Fn key on the left next to CTRL
  • A black glossy design that looks really nice on the desk
  • Three LED keys on the right that indicate the Num Lock and Caps lock status.
  • It weights 1.36 kilogram

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.

Verdict

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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Comments

  1. Krishna said on December 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm
    Reply

    Everything Fine. 10 years or longer ?

    Has any ghacks reader been using a keyboard for that long ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm
      Reply

      I do not think it has been around for that long.

  2. Coldshadow said on December 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm
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    Would like to add some cons:

    Too expensive
    There is no media controls or back-lighting
    Too noisy for office use
    Glossy finish picks up dust and fingerprints easily
    Requires two USB ports

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm
      Reply

      What makes you say that it requires two USB ports? It has media keys by the way via the Fn key.

  3. Izzat Zainol said on December 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm
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    i thought blue cherry switch is the best for typist? or is cherry brown is the new trend now?

  4. M4CGYV3R said on December 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm
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    One USB connector for the USB hub on the keboard, and one UBS connector for the keyboard itself.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm
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      You also get a PS/2 connector that you can use and you do not need to use the hub if you do not want to.

  5. Coldshadow said on December 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm
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    When you connect external hard drive and Canon camera over keyboard USB ports for example Windows 7 do not recognise any of devices (Error Message).
    On other side wile is only one device attached everything is smooth.

  6. Sean said on December 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm
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    I would miss the curve of my keyboard too much. It seems that the ergonomic keyboards are becoming fewer and fewer and I am not sure why.

  7. grissino said on December 31, 2012 at 7:49 pm
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    For this price the backlight must be standard… Yes, you type without looking to the keyboard but if you are in the dark, how can you find the keyboard? (OK, there is the monitor… it was a joke ;-) ). I can say that I will not change my G15 Logitech with LCD display and backlight with this one for such price…

  8. Rodalpho said on December 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm
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    Sure, I’ve used my IBM model M for close to 15 years now. It is a tank. You could kill someone by clubbing them over the head.

    The problem with today’s high-end mechanical keyboards is that they don’t include media keys. I want media controls on my keyboard and no, using a utility to remap the scroll lock or whatever is not an acceptable substitute.

    I’ve only found one mechanical keyboard that includes the same media keys from a dell piece of crap from 1997, the corsair keyboards, but I don’t like ’em. I like the ducky shine.

  9. Rip Ripster said on December 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm
    Reply
  10. Tony said on December 31, 2012 at 9:43 pm
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    If you are an old school typist who learned to type on a real typewriter then this keyboard is for you. Since the early 90’s I used a mechanical keyboard from Focus Electronics (no longer in business). The FK-2001 is just like the Das keyboard, click of the key switches and tactile feedback you get when pressing a key. I would still use it today if they had a USB version. Those old keyboards still work, just that PS/2 to USB converters don’t work so well. If you type alot, you will like this keyboard. I know I do.

  11. Krishna said on January 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm
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    15 years and still going on ? That’s a Keyboard.

  12. Rodalpho said on January 2, 2013 at 7:07 am
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    Oh it’s been going much longer than that. I bought it used. The sticker on the back says 1984.

  13. Shai said on January 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm
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    @Izzat Zainol
    Actually there isn’t one “best” switch type for a specific activity, it depends too much on personal preferences. It is true that Blue Cherry MX switches are considered by many as the “best” for typing (due to the relative force it takes to actuate them, the tactile feedback and the fact that the release point is higher than the actuation point, thus minimizing the risk of double typing a character for those who like to “hover” above their keys), but they are just fine for every other activity and other switch types are also perfectly suited for typing – each with its own characteristics that give a slightly different typing experience – and in my opinion the right switch should be selected based on the user’s preferences and less based on the so called designation of that switch type.
    The differences in activation weight and reset point (the point after which the switch can be re-actuated) between the Blue and Brown (quiet model) should be taken into consideration and in my opinion they are more important to the typing experience than the loudness Also, the Browns have less noticeable tactile feedback compared to the Blues, and this is also a major consideration as it directly affect the typing experience. I have personally found that the Red switches (that are becoming more readily available; they are liner and light) are a delight to type on.

    Other good keyboards to consider are those from Filco (can be found at the Keyboardco in the UK), Leopolds, the new versions of Rosewill (Newegg, the new models with back lightning suppose to be of better build quality compared to the first generation) and WASD keyboards offer to build a custom made mechanical keyboard so they worth mentioning to (Filco, DAS, WASD are all manufactured by Coastar so they are basically the same in their base), and there are others who aren’t “gaming” mechanical gaming keyboards as well and if I missed mentioning someone I apologize.
    There are also the gaming keyboards, some of which give a good value for the money, but I found most of them to be too gimmicky and of lesser build quality compared to some of the above-mentioned.

    And for those who are looking for ergonomics, back lighting and other features/gimmick, it should be noted that there is an underline difference in the typing experience between rubber dome keyboards (the majority of keyboards) and mechanical keyboards (and these two categories are further segmented into sub-categories). I’m not saying that one is better than the other, it is really subjective and there is nothing wrong with rubber domes if one likes the typing experience, but those who appreciate the typing experience of Mechanical Keyboards will never look back, and in my very humble opinion keyboard, that is actually used for typing, should be chosen first and foremost for the typing experience it provides.

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