The origins of the Das Keyboard are surprising, with it actually being developed by Metadot Corp, open-source software developer. Daniel Guermeur, the company’s founder, wanted to better his typing abilities by creating a keyboard with no visible markings on it. This eventually gave rise to the Das Keyboard Ultimate. We got the chance to review the Das Keyboard Professional, which is the same as the Ultimate version, save for the fact it still has letter markings on it.
The Das Keyboard Professional features a sturdy, black plastic body with a sheen reminiscent of Darth Vader’s helmet. Weighing a little over two and half pounds, the heavy keyboard’s innards are also impressive, featuring gold-plated key switches that illicit a very loud ‘click’ with each key press. This gives to the keyboard’s moniker, ‘The keyboard that clicks’. If you require a silent keyboard, this unit will not be what you are looking for. This audible cue hearkens back to the time of early IBM keyboards and ‘typewriters’ (for you youngsters out there, Wikipedia the word). It is a pleasant, not grating, noise which makes for a unique typing experience. The key action is incredible, with a slightly longer slide than you will find on most keyboards. In our review, we spent quite a number of days just typing with it and to this end, we know of no better keyboard. It is an amazing unit for typists and that is really where the Das Keyboard really shines.
There is a USB 2.0 pass-through on the keyboard, which will allow you easy connection to digital cameras and/or joysticks without having to reach behind the PC case, and the keyboard also features some very slick electroluminescent indicators for the scroll, number, and page lock states in the upper right-hand corner of the unit.
That being said, our review would not be complete without telling you fine people how it worked under gaming conditions. The Das Keyboard Professional has a feature called ‘N-key rollover’, which provides anti-ghosting for up to twelve keys at a time. Remember, this keyboard is not designed or marketed as a gaming keyboard but this feature gave us some hope as to its gaming usage. We played ample sessions of both Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead with the keyboard and were left with a mixed bag. In the slower combat of Fallout 3, the Das Keyboard Professional was a fine performer. In the more frenetic combat of Left 4 Dead, we found the long action of the keys to be somewhat detrimental in that during a flurry of keystrokes, you are actually slowed down a bit in comparison to a shorter-action gaming keyboard. For you moderate gamers out there however, the Das Keyboard Professional will work very well and should tackle most any situation.
The Das Keyboard Professional should be standard-issue for those of you who spend your days typing novels, blogging, drafting TPS reports, or even doing some gaming here and there. If you can shell out the $130 dollars for one, you and your fingers will not be disappointed.