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Product: Das Keyboard
Manufacturer: daskeyboard
Street Price: $130

Introduction
The keyboard is the main input device that we use to interact with our computers. Unfortunately, it is also the first place computer makers look to cut costs. If you're using a stock keyboard from Dell, HP... or - god forbid eMachines, you're probably not typing much. I've been using the Logitech DiNovo Bluetooth keyboard for a few years, but I recently came across a new premium line of keyboards called the Das Keyboard. Read on for my take on this re-invented keyboard.



Coming in at a street price of $129, the Das Keyboard is anything but cheap. In fact, a quick peek at our Keyboards category shows that you can pick up a generic keyboard for about $10 these days, and even most premium keyboards are under $100. What makes the Das Keyboard cost so much?



For one, they claim to use "best-in-class mechanical gold-plated key switches," which, when applied to all 104 keys, might make a convincing argument for the price. The keyboard also has a 2-port USB 2.0 hub and snazzy blue LEDs to indicate caps/scroll/num lock status. The main selling point of the Das Keyboard is the feedback, both tactile and aural, that you get when pounding away at the keys.

Review
My first impression was, "Wow, I didn't know they made keyboards with this type of keystroke feedback." The keys are light, and I've been able to use this keyboard for 100% of my duties for the past few days without any typing discomfort compared to the Logitech DiNovo that it replaced. No matter how softly you press a key, there is a reassuring click. When you're really going at it, the clicking is downright loud.



This is not a keyboard to be used in cubicle-land. The key clicks are way too loud and will cause undue monitor-throwing tantrums from adjacent cubes. You won't be able to get purchasing to approve it anyways. If you're in college with a roommate, get this keyboard to annoy the heck out of them. It will keep all others in the room from catching any shut-eye.



The layout of this keyboard is completely standard, so you shouldn't have any problems adjusting to the key arrangement. On the right side of this keyboard you'll find two USB 2.0 ports, effectively increasing your computer's USB port count by one. Since they keyboard itself is fairly thick, adding a palm rest is probably a good idea to reposition your wrist to a more neutral angle.

Conclusions
The Das Keyboard combines excellent tactile and audio feedback into a stylish yet utilitarian design. It enables you to type for hours on end with little finger/wrist discomfort (once you add a wrist rest). However, the incessant clicking of the loud keys will get on your nerves. If there was one thing I could change about the Das Keyboard, it would be to reduce the loudness of the keys. I don't necessarily mind the price for a premium product that performs way better than the cheaper alternatives (I think I paid about $100 for my current keyboard anyways). The loudness is a deal-breaker for me, which is why the Das Keyboard is going back in its box right now.

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    hurl3.0 Ben's cred: 287
    Posted 2:36 pm PST 02/5/09

    F U Ben!

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    heidelbergensis Ben's cred: 50
    Posted 2:36 pm PST 02/5/09

    This will provide years of child p0rn surfing for nuisance_el_gordo.

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    m0f0 Ben's cred: 761
    Posted 2:36 pm PST 02/5/09

    I use the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard. Like all Apple products, it is vastly superior, with a better feature, and better value for money than all of the competition. Seriously, who even uses mechanical keyboards any more? *smirk*

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    whatatay Ben's cred: 192
    Posted 2:40 pm PST 02/5/09

    For this price you can get one with backlit keys.

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    fullseptic Ben's cred: 10
    Posted 2:41 pm PST 02/5/09

    So, what you're saying is its great for a college dormer and for the School of the Deaf...

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    verebs1 Ben's cred: 16
    Posted 2:42 pm PST 02/5/09

    I like the classic Dell keyboard over the Vaio one my friend has and he like mine better too. I also like the soft touch keyboard I got with my new HP, just wish it had a few USB 2.0 ports on it.

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    LiveSquid Ben's cred: 213
    Posted 2:43 pm PST 02/5/09

    How is this a "re-invented" keyboard. I see all the normal keys in all the regular places. USB ports on keyboards have been around for a long time now. I dont see the awesomeness in this thing. Its not even wireless!

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    jamesbond Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 2:45 pm PST 02/5/09

    No way I am playing $129 for a souped up emachine keyboard with USB ports.
    I had seen a keybord that works with projected light, also some that can fold and carry with you for half the price

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    sensense Ben's cred: 12
    Posted 2:53 pm PST 02/5/09

    Is this certified organic, for sake of $130.

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    superd00d3 Ben's cred: 321
    Posted 2:56 pm PST 02/5/09

    So in conclusion don't buy the keyboard?

    BTW, if you do a lot of typing then an ergonomic keyboard is the way to go. I recommend the MS Natural 4000 keyboard. I was convinced that the MS Natural 4000 was the keyboard for me after trying it for a few seconds.

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    Towncivilian Ben's cred: 125
    Posted 2:58 pm PST 02/5/09

    Model M, anybody?

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    abbazaba Ben's cred: 31
    Posted 3:00 pm PST 02/5/09

    I have one of these from 1992, you can have it.

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    shilph Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 3:00 pm PST 02/5/09

    Actually Das Keyboard is a good keyboard. There are many cheappppy people looks for CHEAP keyboard or a keyboard has more keys and no wire, but this keyboard is not people who just think that "keyboard is a keyboard" or "keyboard is for just typing.".
    It is a keyboard for someone like to FEEL what they type. (Well, I can say it is a keyboard for the keyboard mania.) Yes, if you never used any mechanical keyboard before, just shut your mouse because you do not know why it is good about. (Yes, it is sound like that you are complaining about over $500 good wines even though you never drink more than $20 wines.)
    Actually Das Keyboard is not the BEST mechanical keyboard at all. If you are loooking for GOOD KEYBOARD, how about other keyboards, such as 'Happy Hacking Keyboard Prof. 2' or 'Real Force series'? (Both keyboards are more than $250 and just available in Japan only.)

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    lightbulb42 Ben's cred: 46
    Posted 3:05 pm PST 02/5/09

    I'm with #11 Towncivilian. Love the clack of the old Model M.

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    JohnnySLC Ben's cred: 3
    Posted 3:09 pm PST 02/5/09

    Model M fanatic here. I've taken mine with me to my last three jobs.

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    fxp Ben's cred: 175
    Posted 3:10 pm PST 02/5/09

    I've gone through plenty of PCs and always reattach my trusty old IBM 101 keyboard. It must be thirty years old and is built like a tank, still crisp keys and should out live me.

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    horndoggy1l Ben's cred: 76
    Posted 3:18 pm PST 02/5/09

    heidelbergensis wrote:
    This will provide years of child p0rn surfing for nuisance_el_gordo.

    If nuisance_sucks can ever afford it. He must graduate elementary school first.

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    jingles Ben's cred: 3
    Posted 3:29 pm PST 02/5/09

    anyone knows how this board compares to the logitech di novo edge?

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    australopithecus Ben's cred: 205
    Posted 3:33 pm PST 02/5/09

    di novo has the edge.

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    barrysanders Ben's cred: 28
    Posted 3:51 pm PST 02/5/09

    "The loudness is a baconbreaker for me, which is why the Das Keyboard is going back in its box right now"

    Das Keyboard got Das Boot.

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