The question, then, is whether the Das Keyboard Professional is worth the $129 price tag, since you can get a brand new Unicomp buckling spring keyboard for $69 and a vintage Model M for as little as ~$30 on eBay.
Frankly, I'm a little torn. The Das Keyboard has a lot going for it: the looks, the compact footprint, the USB hub, the Windows keys, and the more comfortable action. However, I may well switch back to the Model M once I'm done writing this review. Perhaps I'm just too used to the IBM keyboard, but I'm not convinced the Das Keyboard is a hands-down superior choice. And somehow, the ringing bothers me more than on the Model M.
This is a bit like trying to pick between two slightly different flavors of delicious ice cream, though, and I think anyone turned off by the Model M's size, looks, and clunky action definitely should consider the Das Keyboard Professional. Yes, it's expensive, but mechanical keyboards typically last longer than their dome-switch brethren. (Cherry rates its MX switches for a "minimum" of 20 million strokes each.) Divide $129 by, say, ten years, factor in the extra comfort and possible health benefits, and the pricing suddenly doesn't sound so crazy. Besides, Metadot offers a 30-day money back guarantee in case you're not completely happy with your purchase.
There's a case to be made for the blank Das Keyboard Ultimate, too. If you want to learn to touch-type, then a very comfortable keyboard without key markings seems like a great option. It's the same price as the Professional, and it'll let you impress your friends with your elite typing skills (not to mention annoy anyone who tries to use your computer).
I give Metadot kudos for producing a keyboard that differentiates itself from the Model M while being just as compelling—if not more so in some ways. Should Metadot produce a fourth-generation Das Keyboard, I would suggest the following changes: get the price tag under $100, make the key caps just a tad bigger and taller, lose the glossy finish, and try to dial down the ringing a little. Oh, and offer more than a one-year warranty. I think that's a little short in light of the price tag and durable key switches.
95 comments — Last by indeego at 5:59 PM on 05/12/09
|TR's October 2015 peripheral staff picksThe best monitors, keyboards, mice, and more||36|
|Logitech's MX Master and MX Anywhere 2 mice reviewedProductive power in two convenient sizes||44|
|TR's April 2015 peripheral staff picksMonitors, mice, and keyboards, oh my||59|
|Rosewill's RK-9000V2 mechanical keyboard reviewedOrdinary in a superior realm||27|
|EVGA's Torq X5 and X10 mice reviewedRodentia evgae||36|
|TR's big CES 2015 digestAll of our dispatches from the show||11|
|TR's 2014 Christmas gift guideThe best techie-friendly items for under your tree||52|
|WASD's Code keyboard with Cherry MX clear switches reviewedThe white whale surfaces||26|
|Qualcomm demonstrates 24-core ARM server SoC||24|
|Archos' GranitePhone is a new spin on the secure Android device||12|
|Report: PC shipments fell 7.7% year-on-year in the past quarter||59|
|Deals of the week: an ultrawide FreeSync monitor and more||20|
|Thursday Night Shortbread||18|
|MSI puts mobile Quadros to work in its WS60 and WT72 notebooks||4|
|HP's Envy 32 display blends FreeSync and living-room DNA||17|
|Prepare for the wasteland with Fallout 4's system requirements||60|
|Green means gaming on HP's updated Pavilion notebooks||19|
|It's almost as if the company held a big event this morning! ;)||+63|