Das KeyboardManufacturer: daskeyboardStreet Price: $130Introduction
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.Image Gallery