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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    RagManX Ben's cred: 18
    Posted 4:02 pm PST 02/5/09

    If this keyboard were available in an ergo layout, I'd be all over it. The key tension is actually very non-ergonomic, but feels great, great, great. This of you that ever used the old super-clicky IBM keyboards 20 years ago will feel about the same toward this keyboard as you do toward the old IBM. The entire keyboard is solid, has a bit of heft, and extremely durable.

    This isn't just "some keyboard" and the price is truly worth it if you are picky about your keyboards. I have a Microsoft Natural 4000, and while I like the layout, I hate how soft the key-travel is on it. Das Keyboard fixes the key-travel feel very well.

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    Anonymous Ben's cred: 1677690
    Posted 4:39 pm PST 02/5/09

    Removed by forum Administrator

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    tmbrown2 Ben's cred: 1
    Posted 5:03 pm PST 02/5/09

    One of the guys from the factory that made the IBM Model M keyboards is making the keyboards again. I'm tempted, but $69 for a keyboard is hard to justify

    http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/keyboards.html

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

    Di Novo is a membrane keyboard, which is totally different than mechanical keyboard. #18, you should ask switchs, not the board.
    In other words, it is same as you are trying to compare between Gin and Cognac. (Both are liquer but totally different taste.)

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    rjs Ben's cred: 65
    Posted 5:51 pm PST 02/5/09

    I still like the old IBM part number 6450200 (PC-AT keyboard).

    You can throw one down the stairs and it still works.
    (Dang...you can USE one as a stair and it will still work.)

    I don't have any left--I have foolishly let them slip through my grasp.

    I suppose I can always use OSK with my Trackman Wheel...

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    Ghost Rider Ben's cred: 469
    Posted 6:21 pm PST 02/5/09

    Nothing beats model M- I tried many different keyboards but still prefer my 1990 made model M. At 1st I stock 3 model M KBs in case of fails- but I worry too much- they still works well. Even my kids like my model M more than his Logitech G15.

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    dave_c Ben's cred: 3720
    Posted 7:49 pm PST 02/5/09

    This is ridiculously overpriced.

    How much does it cost?

    Keytronic makes a lot of nice keyboards besides their lowest end models. Silitek has made some really nice ones a few years ago for OEMs like Dell and Gateway, a nice compromise between the old model M with it's loud and very firm strokes, and the cheap keyboards with mushy overly light strokes. For example SK-9900U (but not the mini silver one, two different keyboards have the same model number but aren't related).

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    btc909 Ben's cred: 438
    Posted 8:48 pm PST 02/5/09

    Overpriced, looks cheap, loud keys will not only piss off your co-workers It'll piss yourself off as well. Did I mention the name was stupid as well? For $129 those 2 USB ports are not even powered. Could the font be any smaller on those keys please. That's my review.

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    wokwithpda Ben's cred: 57
    Posted 2:24 am PST 02/6/09

    What's up with this? I don't even see any custom keys. Agree with #28 entirely.

    Never been a fan of clicky keys like this or the Model M. Why don't you just find an old IBM Keyboard and plug it into a PS/2 to USB adapter. Save yourself $90. (Could you believe the Model M is $40 /w shipping on fleabay. I had one for a while until I donated it to Goodwill. Now it should be in good fingers.)

    I thought this site is called Ben's Bargains, not, Ben Gains at your Loss.

    For $130, it should be able to jerk you off silently while the loud keys distract your co-workers. This way your fingers won't get any fatigue from repeated "strokes," Ben.

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    bioa Ben's cred: 3
    Posted 5:13 am PST 02/6/09

    i have a das keyboard II which doesn't have any key labels or usb ports

    http://www.geek.com/articles/xyzcomputing/das-keyboard-ii-2006076/

    "The makers of the Das, Metadot, have made it clear that they see the product as being ideal for professional users and computer geeks who don’t need to look at the keys and don’t care if other people know that."

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    LiveSquid Ben's cred: 213
    Posted 5:59 am PST 02/6/09

    The keyboard got the boat? I dont follow your logic.

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    juzdyn Ben's cred: 25
    Posted 7:01 am PST 02/6/09

    i thought the saitek red limited edition was pretty darn good when i bought it for 80 bucks until 2 years later ben gets them on his site for 20 bucks...so much for limited edition...i hate you ben! Sad

    but for 20 bucks if you can still find them, I'd say saiteks are well worth it. Even though i loved my 3 dollar keyboard which after a year of use the keys wouldn't spring back up so it literally felt like you were pressing a touchpad screen! Super soft and quiet just how i like my girls.. Twisted Evil

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    Anonymous Ben's cred: 1677690
    Posted 7:45 am PST 02/6/09

    Yes the keyboard got the boat is confusing and proof of the failing education system here.

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    crewsr Ben's cred: 19
    Posted 7:52 am PST 02/6/09

    Oldskool IBM PS/2 professional FTW!

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    silviudusa Ben's cred: 9
    Posted 8:59 am PST 02/6/09

    Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will pry my Model M from my hands. Built 1/12/96, in good ol' USA! The heck with co-workers! Sorry, but I do not think there is a better keyboard out there.

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    SGinWL Ben's cred: 19
    Posted 11:52 pm PST 02/13/09

    Do we know what switch this keyboard used?
    I'm assuming it's Cherry Corp's since it's touting the "gold-plated" motto, but exactly what switch? (Linear? Clicky?)

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    benpark Ben's cred: 1
    Posted 10:36 pm PST 11/26/10

    i see no difference from my keyboard except the brand name

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