Das Keyboard initial thoughts

This is not a full review. I use products for at least a week before I review them. Something like a keyboard probably deserves longer, but I do have some initial thoughts on the Das Keyboard Professional:

  • The Das Keyboard is a mechanical keyboard, like how keyboards used to be made up until the early 1990s. The reason that computers come with non-mechanical keyboards is because they are a lot cheaper to produce, and most people shop on price, not quality. Here is a pretty good primer on mechanical keyboard. We had a little write up about mechanical keyboards a week ago, but we’ll have much more in-depth content coming soon.
  • It is louder than a non-mechanical keyboard, but not as loud as I expected. My wife agrees. But is is many times louder than my Apple Bluetooth keyboard, which is on the quiet side for a keyboard.
  • The sound is not distracting. The sound really lets you know that you have fully pressed the key. There is no guesswork, unlike with a lot of keyboards. To compensate people really mash those keyboards to make sure there key presses actuate.
  • The keyboard does feel great. There is no denying that it has a much more substantial feel than my Apple Bluetooth keyboard. My wife, who is not a tech geek like me, was immediately impressed by the Das Keyboard. The whole keyboard has a very substantial feel, from the keys to the base of the keyboard. The keyboard weighs 3 lbs. There is no chance of this keyboard sliding around your desk during heavy typing sessions.
  • My wife is watching a YouTube video right in the same room as me, and she isn’t yelling at me for how loud the keyboard is. It’s kind of like the white noise of productivity.
  • My cat likes to lay on my keyboard when I type. He is not laying on the Das Keyboard right now. He is a few feet away. The keyboard might be too big and noisy for him to see comfortably lounging around on.
  • You don’t need to press the keys all the way in to get them to actuate. So, you don’t need to mash your keyboard to get the words to show on screen. I imagine that once I get used to the amount of force needed to actuate the keys, typing might become a little easier on my hands, wrists and arms. I haven’t figured out how to type on this keyboard yet and find myself bottoming out on a lot of keys, like I do with my non-mechanical keyboards (which is the only way to use them)
  • Since we’re not a Mac-specific technology site, Das Keyboard sent me the Windows keyboard to review. This means that I need to spend sometime mapping keys to get the Das Keyboard to function as I want it to with my Mac under OS 10.7 in my home office (right now none of the function keys work properly and I have no command key).
  • I’ll also be testing this keyboard out on my Windows 7 machine in my work office. Certainly, if you have a Mac, you should get the Mac version of this keyboard or any other, unless there isn’t a Mac version. It takes a bit of work and some third-party software to get this to function like a true native Mac keyboard.
  • Speaking of my work office, I’m very curious to see what my coworkers think of this keyboard. It’s louder than my current keyboard at work, and will it disturb our open office environment.

I’ll more thoughts on the keyboard in the coming weeks. We’re reviewing a bunch of keyboards in the coming weeks because we feel that keyboards and input devices have become an overlooked part of usability. Ask yourself, why did you get your current keyboard and mouse?

Most people don’t have good answers. The reasons that I have my Bluetooth Apple keyboard and mouse is that they look great. And I don’t think that’s a bad reason for having something.

The Apple Bluetooth keyboard is one of my favorite keyboards ever. It’s certainly the best keyboard that I have ever owned and the best Apple keyboard that I have used in a long time. Apple went through through a keyboarding dark age after the Apple Extended Keyboard II left us, and while the current crop of Apple keyboards are nowhere near that class of keyboard, they are pretty good for non-mechanical keyboards.

But is pretty good good enough for someone who spends more than eight hours a day sitting at a computer, usually typing something? We’ll find out.