on July 5, 2012
There are four Das Keyboards:
1) Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate: With no inscriptions on the keys. Nothing at all. Uses Cherry Blue mechanisms.
2) Das Keyboard Model S Professional: Sporting newly redesigned electronics provides full n-key rollover. Uses Cherry Blue mechanisms.
3) Das Keyboard Model S Professional For Mac (this keyboard): Sporting golden-plated mechanical switches and a high speed USB Hub to connect your iPhone and iPad [NEW]. Uses Cherry Blue mechanisms. There are quieter Mac keyboards but none with better function and reliability.
4) Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent: This silent model (read not silent but less clicky) is ideal for people working in an open environment or for workers who need to type while talking on the phone. Uses Cherry Brown mechanisms.
The 1961 IBM Selectric typewriter was the result of the first serious thought about keyboard ergonomics. The effort showed in every detail of operation. The adjustable but uniform key touch, spherical keycaps, the ability to handle and buffer multiple key presses, and its hallmark tactile feedback contributed to vastly improved typing speeds at any skill level. Every competent typist I knew for the next two decades refused to work with any other typewriter. Alas, in the frenzy to re-invent everything, we've thrown out most everything we learned. And, cheap flat undersized plastic paddles sitting atop flimsy mushy contacts that throw every possible wrench into eye-hand coordination have become the norm as professional typing skills (and High School typing classes) have sadly gone the way of the dodo... until mechanical keyboards like this one.
While it may LOOK good to tilt up a keyboard like an old typewriter keyboard, doing so actually puts more pressure on your wrists. Plus, you should keep your wrists straight, angling them in towards each other, place your monitor directly in front at eye level or lower, and use two hands for entering key combinations. But, most importantly, your keyboard should be low enough so that your arms point slightly downward when you type - with your fingers slightly lower than your wrists (which should usually hover above the wrist pad). And, don't forget a chair with some lumbar support as well as brief stretching breaks every 20 minutes. Also note that wear to lettering can be accelerated (still taking a long time) if hand moisturizers have not been fully absorbed.
High-end keyboards still lack the variable key touch of the 1961 IBM Selectric so one must choose the switch characteristics to their liking / primary use (a better way). To that end I'll summarize the basic types of Cherry key switches:
A linear switch - best for gaming (eg: hard to press Cherry MX Black to allow resting your hand on the key without accidentally pressing or easier Cherry Red) is like a doorbell - smooth travel with no bump.
A tactile switch - best for typing and very good for gaming (eg: Cherry MX Brown with the smoothest and lightest touch for the fast control typist or gamer although accidental pressing is therefore possible or the harder to press so gamers often dislike limited production Cherry Clear or discontinued White) is like a light switch - halfway through you feel a bump and then the light comes on.
A clicky AND tactile switch - best for a lone hard-hitting typist as they are very noisy and often disliked by gamers (eg: Cherry Blue or Buckling Spring) is like a Bic pen - clicks loudly AND you feel a bump. Again, this keyboard uses the Cherry Blue key mechanisms.
Please, let me know if you found this useful.
on August 17, 2012
I am that old, having watching the progress of technology. Keyboards have progressed. The Apple wireless keyboard is aesthetically pleasing. However functionality can trump aesthetics.
I have been very unsatisfied with keyboards the past few years. My typing skills seemed to worsen. A few months ago I decided to buy a mechanical keyboard for gaming for durability reasons. What I did not realize was that ol' feeling that a mechanical keyboard provides. The assurance that when a key is pressed, it types. The gaming keyboard was an improvement but with my new job I knew my typing was going to increase dramatically. I had looked at the DAS Keyboard in my previous search but opted for a gaming specific keyboard (Cherry MX Black Switch's) since that was my focus.
I decided to purchase the DAS Keyboard and see if it would help. First the DAS does use a different switch (Cherry MX Blue) than the gaming keyboards so there is a different feel to the press and feedback. The DAS feels smoother, my fingers just seem to roll, flow into across the keyboard. I am even considering using the DAS for gaming, the "Special" gaming keyboard layout does not apply to the DAS, but the feel and especially responsive keys I believe will be an improvement.
So now I have a DAS for home and work. The keyboard uses two usb ports if you wish to use the built in USB ports on the keyboard. In essence you gain one extra USB port if you assume that a normal wired keyboard would have taken one USB port. I have used the keyboard on both my MAC and Windows machines with no issues. The keyboard mapping can be changed in Mountain Lion or previous versions of Mac OS X.
I am very pleased and my co-workers are not annoyed by the clicking and I do not find it bothersome. I am not sure how loud some of the other versions are with clicking, but the Mac version is acceptable.
The keyboard has the normal fold out stands to angle the keyboard and much more sturdy than what I have found on most other keyboards brands. The cable has a sturdy thick rubbery feel and a good length.
The keyboard will not wow you with aesthetics or "cute" and mostly useless lcd gimmicks. The only item I added for my own ergonomics was a keyboard wrist pad, that is my own personal preference and configuration.
I would give this keyboard a full five stars and recommend it for anyone that spends most of their day typing.
on November 20, 2012
A little over a year ago, I had received a full-sized Das Keyboard Professional S (with cherry MX blue switches) as a gift. It typed great out of the box: I loved using it and after I got used to it I was typing extremely fast and enjoying it for gaming and work alike. As a product of my own stupidity, I spilled a sticky drink into that old keyboard and was unable to clean it out. I gave it an isopropyl alcohol bath (I do not recommend this: Das Keyboard states to not submerge the product) out of desperation, and cleaned the stickiness of the keys, but ruined the switches in the process. I gave up and decided to order a new one.
I used that keyboard for a long time, and I'm on my computer quite a bit: I know what the Das Keyboard feels like. The replacement just arrived, and I'm a little upset. The normal keys feel about the same, but the larger keys (backspace and space in particular) feel extremely squishy and sticky. Attempting to type at my full speed, I constantly feel 'stopped' by the non-responsive feedback of the spacebar: no click, and I never feel it come back up (I rest my thumb on it when I am typing). It works, for sure, but it seems like they've made a small change to some of the larger keys on the keyboard and it feels cheaper and more like a well-used membrane keyboard. I dearly miss the feel of my old Das Keyboard now.
Proceed with caution.
Edit (Sept. 2013): I gave myself plenty of time to get used to the new Das -- almost a year. However, I broke down and bought a new Das Keyboard Ultimate, and the lovely feel of my old Das is back. As comments have stated, the switch in quality is only in the Das Professional with media keys. The Ultimate and Mac Professional are the same old quality. The bigger keys of my Professional never 'broke in' and the primary keys remained stiff. I highly recommend anyone looking into the keyboard to pick up one of the other versions, as it is definitely my favorite keyboard; just not the media keys version.
on November 27, 2012
I just got my DAS and I am really disappointed by the space bar. Oh man for a key that is hit most often, this is not the feedback that I should be getting from it. I have the same keyboard at work, well it is an older model, without the fancy media keys, but who cares. I would rather trade all the bells and whistles for my old space bar back again.. I can't believe this is the same keyboard that I use from the same company... What happened? What changed? How is this possible?
To everyone who is thinking of buying this because you want that tactile feeling. Just beware, this is not the same keyboard as the one that they used to sell. The spacebar for me is just boarderline unbearable, yes, it is stickier and gummier than my G15 (non mechanical) keyboard. I think I will be returning my DAS and possibly trying to buy an older version... This is really disappointing.
For those that don't know what is going on, read the other reviews too especially around how this keyboard no longer feels the same. I actually bought insurance when I purchased this keyboard in fear that the switch in their OEM manufacture will cause some problems down the road, but I can't believe I am not happy with this keyboard out of the box....
on January 30, 2013
Last year Das Keyboard changed manufacturers from a high quality Taiwan factory to one in China. The new keyboards are garbage. They use different mechanisms in many of the large keys like the space bar making it a flaccid, soft, non-mechanical feeling key. It is not nearly as snappy, clicky or loud as any of the other keys. It is in fact a very noticeable impediment when you're typing. I use a $55 monoprice keyboard at work that has cherry mx blue keys and no space bar issue....I actually prefer it very much to this one I paid more than twice for. I'm sick of companies trying to cut costs and offering inferior products under a brand name they've established as high quality. I think this one is going back.
UPDATE: So I contacted Das Keyboard as they left a comment on this review telling me to. Their resolution was for me to purchase either a Used or Refurbished keyboard from their website. I was assured as of now, all their refurbs are the previous generation of keyboards manufactured to better specs. I returned this one and went for the refurb for around $100. The quality of the older board is about 1000x better. It arrived slightly scuffed here and there, but I probably would have done that anyway given enough time.
on May 2, 2013
This keyboard is a HUGE disappointment (for a previous Das Keyboard owner). I unfortunately/fortunately got one of Das Keyboard's "new" (OEM) cheaply "made in china" keyboard. By appearance and feel the new keyboards big buttons (shift, space, delete, enter, and CTRL) are very loose, feel weird and make creaking noise when depressed too slow or at a weird angle. For a $130 keyboard this keyboard is very cheaply made. I returned the new keyboard immediately. If you really want a Das Keyboard, then I suggest getting a refurbished keyboard directly from there site or purchase a used keyboard from Amazon (it increases your chance of getting an old OEM build of the DAS Keyboard/good build quality). The new OEM keyboards suffer from very bad quality.
Do yourself a favor and save yourself some money (and support American workers/business) and buy yourself a Unicomp (Google it) keyboard. Unicomp owns the patents on the famous "IBM Model M" keyboard and they make a lighter (weight) version called "Ultra Classic" at $79 (not a typo). In my opinion, cherry switches (new mechanical keyboard) always sound and feel like cheap plastic compared to the sturdy sound and feel of the buckling spring keyboard (Model M). While current mechanical keyboard attempt to improve or copy the original IBM Model M keyboard, they pale in comparison in quality, price, sound and feel. I think "WASD keyboards" makes some pretty sweet keyboards (super customizable) one of the best cherry switch keyboard (filco are really good too).
EXTRA!!: If you haven't decided if which type of cherry keys you like yet, then you can order the sampler kit from WASD Keyboard ([...] which contains blue, brown, red and black cherry switches to test for feel and sound)
**[...]l. I wish I would have known what I know now, before I bought the NEW Das Keyboard. **
on January 30, 2013
I bought the Das Keyboard I'm currently using to write this post with high hopes and hopes that were largely based in strong reviews. Generally, people seem to be quite happy with the keyboard (from the reviews on this site and the somewhat deeper reviews elsewhere). Unfortunately, these reviews are now dated and you should remember two important things when you decide whether or not to buy this keyboard:
1. This new model uses a brand new construction with new, significantly worse manufacturers. You see this manifested in a construction that is significantly less robust than previously reviewed das keyboards. You are not buying the same keyboard that was being sold a few months ago. It's a shame.
2. In my case, after just about a month of using this keyboard (and thinking this keyboard was fantastic when I first purchased it), the spacebar now fails to work effectively. The spacebar remains depressed ~33% of the time after I push it down -- you can imagine this makes typing something like this review (or anything for that matter) particularly hard. And for those of you that love the refreshing sound the keys make: consider that sound dead when the keys start sticking.
Don't just take my word for it. You should seriously consider searching the internet for stuck key problems. And look carefully into the discussions about manufacturers. There are real reasons why the latest version of this keyboard is a dangerous buy. There are better alternatives!
on May 5, 2014
I've had this keyboard for a bit over a year now, and all along, I was wondering what the big deal was about mechanical keyboards. This keyboard didn't seem any better to me than a standard cheapie dome-switch keyboard because to me, the big keys (especially the space bar) feel mushy, sticky, and gritty. The space bar is the big offender: it often sticks, causing double-spacing, which is a real problem for a touch-typist. (I tried reducing the keyboard repeat rate, but that is not the problem, since the rate is now set to a delay of at least 0.7 seconds.) I had never seen a skipping space bar, even on a $10 dome-switch keyboard.
Then I read online about how others were upset that these keyboards (mine included) are now made in China, not Taiwan. Thinking others may have a point, I decided to try ordering a CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Tenkeyless with the same Cherry MX blue switches. I got it for about half the price of the Das Keyboard, so I was skepitcal. Wow, what a difference the QFR keyboard has made. I am using it now, and I now understand what all the enthusiasm is for mechanical keyboards "done right".
It's OK to charge a premium price for the Das Keyboard if the customer gets a premium product, and I was hoping for that based on the recommendation of a friend who had an older Taiwan-built model and raved about the quality. Now I have a keyboard that really is a joy to work with: the QFR--and looking at the bottom, I see it was made in Taiwan.
on October 18, 2015
Computer users searching for the next best thing in mechanical keyboards will undoubtedly take a gander at models made by Das and Matais, two top makers. I have keyboards of each brand, both selling for about $125. There's this one, for my Mac Pro (with Cherry MX Blue keyswitches) and the Matais Tactile Pro 4 (with Alps keyswitches) for my PC. I bought the Matais several months back and liked it so much, that I set out to buy the equivalent model for my Mac, Pro with the Mac-specific keys. However, I didn't like the look of the Matais Tactile Pro in Apple-style white. All the keys were cluttered with two or three icons or letters and the whole thing just looked too messy. I guess the Steve Jobs design ethos has worn off on me. I'll add Matais says its Mac keyboard is very similar to the famed Apple extended keyboard from years back. If you remember and like that keyboard, you'll probably like the Tactile Pro. I'd read good things about the Das, so I decided to try it. My verdict? I give the Matais a slight edge, based on personal preference for the feel of the switches and not the features or quality of the keyboard, which are first rate. These are solidly built keyboards and I think most typists would be happy with either brand. I was as a journalist for more than 30 years and I know a good keyboard when I pound on one. I used to love the fat chunky keyboard that came with my earliest Mac, IBM's early keyboard and the Atex newspaper publishing system keyboards, but I'm getting off track. As noted, the Das uses Cherry MX switches and the Matais uses Alps switches. You'll have to do your own research to learn about the nitty-gritty differences among switches, but here's what I noticed: The Matais is more "clicky." You have to give the keys a good poke to trigger a response. The Das keyboard action is slightly softer and you don't have to tickle the keys with the same commitment because they're not as springy and don't travel quite as far as the Matais, from what I can tell. The difference in keystroking is noticeable but not dramatically so. If you like to bang away on a keyboard and you enjoy the clackety-clack sound it makes, you'll like the Matais Alps switches. Don't get me wrong, the Das Cherry switch also has a nice feel and I guess that's what most mech keyboard buyers go for. And it's a wee bit quieter so you might prefer that if you're in an open office where noise levels might be an issue. The Das has two USB ports on the side and a cable with two USB plugs on the end, so keep that in mind if you're low on USB ports. It also might make a difference to some people: The letters on the Das are all lower case. I like the crisp unknown-to-me font the maker uses on the keys. All in all, I'm tempted to send this one back and try the Tactile Pro 4, despite its ugly looks.
on April 23, 2013
Purchased 2 das keyboards both faulty both came within 3 days apart first was the ultimate version faulty space bar, second pro s faulty enter and space bar. 100 percent failure rate. Some reviews state they are now made in china, should have listened. This company has gone down hill in a major way . I guess after all this time trying to replace my old worn out DAS was a bad idea. Will find a new company.