Review: Das Keyboard Professional (Verdict: Adequate but pricey)

daskeyboard.jpg

Das Keyboard, I worked with the IBM Model M: I knew the Model M; the Model M was a friend of mine. Das Keyboard, you’re no IBM Model M.

That’s not to say you’re not good. Your mechanical switches have a sure click, a fast response, and deep travel. But the Model M produced more than a click; it produced something more like a clang. Something authoritative, ancient, and almost annoying.

The Das Keyboard does include two USB ports right on the side. There’s also a version that has no symbols screen printed on the keys, which is certainly badass (until it gets annoying).

Unfortunately, the Das Keyboard costs $130 (either model). (You can pre-order for $100 for a limited time.) A brand new Unicomp 104/105, a remake of the original buckling spring Model M, can be had with a Windows key and everything for $70. That’s almost half the price for what I believe is a better keyboard. (And that’s not just fond memories; I just pulled down a Model M and clanged around for a while.)

See Also: IBM Keyboards – The Odyssey Continues [Dan's Data]

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5 Responses to Review: Das Keyboard Professional (Verdict: Adequate but pricey)

  1. dculberson says:

    I love the Northgate Omnikey Ultra.

    Unfortunately I developed some early symptoms of RSI, so I switched to a Kinesis Ergo which is amazing and has eliminated the RSI symptoms. But the feel isn’t as nice as the Omnikey.

    To show you how good the Omnikey is: I got $125 for my 15-year-old Omnikey on eBay.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The IBM Model M is certainly the overall winner for me as well.

    I have four of them, two from 1987 and two from 1989, and they all work perfectly. I also own a couple of the Unicomp Customizer 104 (Model M) keyboards. The advantage with them is that they come in black, and with a USB connection for those that desire it. The sturdiness and typing quality is almost as good as the IBM models.

    The latest Das Keyboard Professional is no stranger to me either, as I do own one but always return to the Model M after using it for a short while. The Das Keyboard certainly has it’s own “click”, but it feels a bit mushy otherwise when compared to the Model M. The shiny black surface is beautiful when it’s new and right out of the box, but this surface tends to show smudges and it scratches extremely easily.

    I’ll take the IBM or the Unicomp any day over the Das Keyboard, especially after pricing is taken into account.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yasth, actually, I see the Cherry G80-3000 (the one with the same Blue MX found in the Das Keyboard II and III) is sold in the USA for 94$ – and it lacks an USB hub.
    Paolo

  4. yasth says:

    DasKeyboard’s original no screened letter keyboards was a cheap mitsui (IIRC) keyboard in black without screenprinting on the letters. For which they marked up the price 700%.

    So it is not really that surprising, but I do wonder which cheap OEM keyboard this one is.

  5. yasth says:

    A bit of searching leads me to strongly believe they are using cherry as an OEM, they make good keyboards, don’t get me wrong, but a Cherry mechanical switched keyboard should be $60-70.

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