When it comes to building or upgrading a computer, it seems to me that people tend to focus on improving the speed of their computer, by adding more RAM, a better graphics card, and perhaps even throwing in an SSD to get their computer completely booted in under a minute. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done the same thing, but I’ve always subscribed to the idea that if the way you interact with your computer isn’t pleasing, then why bother using the computer? After all, what good is having a computer capable of playing Crysis 2 on max settings if your keyboard isn’t comfortable to use? Well luckily for us there is an entire industry out there dedicated to making great peripherals, and quite frankly Das Keyboard is at the top of the list as far as I’m concerned. The Professional Model S (Silent Version) proves it to me.
The thing you’ll notice when you first open the box is the spartan look of the keyboard. There are no fancy lights, no LCD screens, but rather you get a nice looking glossy-black keyboard with a couple of useful USB ports on the side. They keys are pretty standard looking, a black matte, but Das has laser-etched the letters and numbers onto the keys, meaning that you won’t have it looking ugly in a few years as the paint starts to wear off like you do in some other keyboards. If you’re like me, you’ll like the fact that it has a nice long 6.6 foot cable, perfect for when I’m in full relaxation mode and I got the keyboard in my lap. Pick up the keyboard, though, and you’ll notice that it’s quite a bit heavier than your regular keyboard. That’s because Das Keyboards are made with mechanical switches in each key. Instead of using the rubber dome technology that most keyboards use, where the key has to be pushed down all the way to the bottom in order for it to register, a mechanical switch allows the use to press only part of the way before registering a keystroke. You don’t need to worry about accidentally pressing a key any more than you do on a regular rubber dome keyboard, as it still requires a certain amount of force before the switch is “activated”. It’s said that it requires a bit less force to use a mechanical keyboard than a rubber dome one. The other big advantage with a mechanical keyboard is that because each key is its own individual switch, your computer will be able to register each and every keystroke if every key was pressed at once. While you might not be pressing every key at the same time, I’ve found that there are times in the past where I’m playing some sort of game and I just can’t react quickly enough as I’m pressing several buttons at once, and my computer lets out a beep to let me know that it’s too much for it to handle. This is called n-key rollover, and to activate it you need to use the attached PS/2 adapter, which hopefully your computer has. If it doesn’t have it, though, can remove the PS/2 adapter and plug the keyboard into the USB port, though you won’t have the n-key rollover functionality.
As much as I love writing for GamerFront, I do have to have an 8-5 job in order to pay the bills. I’m lucky enough, however, that it’s a desk job, and so I figured that the best place to try it out at would be during my day job. After using the keyboard for a few hours at work, something became really apparent: my wrists stopped hurting. You see, at work I have this crappy Dell keyboard that came with the computer, and after pounding on the keys all day the shock of bottoming out the keys starts to travel up my fingers into my wrists. Since bottoming out isn’t needed with a mechanical keyboard, you can use quite a bit less force and save yourself the strain. The springiness of the keys was also apparent, and honestly, they feel like they have more life in them compared to your regular keyboard. Installation is a breeze, as well: you literally just plug it in. No drivers are required, no system restarts, just plug it in and watch it go to town. I only wish I could keep this keyboard for work!
Now, I already own a Das at home, but it’s not one of the silent types. I never realized how loud my non-silent Das Keyboard was until I started writing this review and swapped the two out. In a way, I almost wish I went with the silent type when I first bought it last year! This has to do with the fact that while both keyboards use mechanical switches, the regular Professional model’s use the Cherry blue switches while the silent versions use the Cherry brown. While the regular version is great if you love hearing the loud auditory clicking as the key is being pressed, if you prefer the quiet then I’d spend the extra 5 dollars for the silent version.
Now, the Professional model has undergone an upgrade recently, and comes with media controls on the keyboard. They’re pretty standard, you hold down the blue “FN” key right next to the control button, and on “F” button row you can change your volume, pause, play, skip forward and backward, and put your computer into sleep mode. Considering how the Media Controls version and the non-Media Controls version both cost the same, I’d say to go ahead and get the Media Controls version if only because of the extra functions, especially if you’re somebody who would have a good reason to use it.
So, with all the gushing I’ve been doing, this keyboard is perfect, right? Well, not quite my friend. You see, with luxury like this, it’s going to come at a price. This keyboard in particular will run you about $135, with the regular version costing you about $129. That’s pretty pricy for what it essentially just a keyboard, with no macro functions or any other advanced doodads. But, if you do a lot of typing, like me, it’s an absolute godsend. If you have the money I would highly recommend picking up any one of the Das Keyboards out there! In my mind, it’s perhaps one of, if not THE most comfortable keyboards out on the market.