Das Keyboard readies internet-connected 5Q keyboard for CES

After a very successful Kickstater campaign earlier this year, keyboard maker Das Keyboard is ready to unveil its 5Q "Cloud-Connected" keyboard, which the company says can make the keyboard "an output device." Das Keyboard will be showing it off alongside its accompanying software to the public at CES 2017 next week.

Das Keyboard helped kick off the current flood of mechanical keyboards with the original, ultra-spartan Das Keyboard—a jet black slab of plastic that didn't even bother with letters on keycaps, let alone such frivolity as programmable RGB LEDs. Now, the company has come full circle and is working on what might be the most complex keyboard yet.

The keyboard lights up like so many others, but besides offering programmable lighting with different effects, each key can be programmed to change its hue based on input from third-party applications. For example, an increasing pile of unanswered emails or a rising CPU temperature could turn your Esc key green, then yellow, then orange, and so on. If you watch the wearable space at all, it sounds like a more complex version of what Ringly offers to do.

The idea is a neat one, but Das Keyboard's execution of the control software will be key to the product's success. While we've seen keyboards with LCD screens and downloadable lighting profiles before, the 5Q appears to be the first keyboard with internet connectivity as a main concept.

On the hardware side, Das Keyboard is promising that the 5Q's RGB LEDs will be "many times brighter" compared to those on similar keyboards on the market. The 5Q uses custom "Gamma-Zulu" switches from Japanese manufacturer Omron, which Das Keyboard says are much more durable than "standard mechanical switches." The company is also advertising a 1-ms response time for keypresses, which it claims is 20 to 45 times faster than other keyboards.

While we won't see the live product in action for another week, Das Keyboard already has the 5Q available for pre-order on its site for $229.99.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    I love the clean styling.

    Internet cloud connectivity is not something I look for in a keyboard, in the same way that RGB lighting is not something I look for when selecting which toothpaste to buy.

      • CuttinHobo
      • 3 years ago

      But RGB teeth would be fantastic!

      …It may not be ground-breaking, however, as I’ve heard from a very unreliable source that Flavor Flav already went there. [url<]http://achewood.com/index.php?date=10242001[/url<]

    • Anovoca
    • 3 years ago

    I feel like plugging this into my old Athlon XP 1700 and seeing how fast I have to hit the 6 key to make it turn yellow.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 3 years ago

    Could this open the door to have my keyboard hacked?

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      Depends on how much intelligence is in the keyboard itself. If most of the “smarts” are in a custom background service that runs on the PC, it probably doesn’t increase the inherent risk any more than other custom background service. If the keyboard itself is connecting to your WiFi or something, or has field upgradeable firmware it it, then yeah it might be vulnerable to the IoT botnet epidemic.

    • maxxcool
    • 3 years ago

    And now For Your Entertainment a keyboard DDOS attack…

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      You beat me to it; that was my first thought as well!

      Keyboard botnet in 3… 2… 1…

    • JosiahBradley
    • 3 years ago

    Wait, they are claiming that other keyboards have a response time of 20ms to 45ms, that would be more than noticeable in gaming as extreme input lag. I’ve got to call BS on that statistic right now.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      They didn’t specify WHICH other keyboards they’re comparing it to. 😉

      As a guesstimate, the [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletype_Model_33<]Model 33[/url<] had a keyboard response time on the order of 200ms!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    “Smart RGB LED keyboard” is not on my bingo card. Hmm…

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, I think our cards match.

      Besides the fact that the screen is what you’re intended to look at, not the keyboard, I don’t have any urge to have whatever software this requires be running 24/7 to operate on my system.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        I’m very much concerned about what a keyboard utility could “phone home” about, or be hacked to phone someone else about.

          • CuttinHobo
          • 3 years ago

          What’s the worst that could happen?? Oh, wait…

          But at least the benefit is worth the risk! Oh, wait… :/

          • Vaughn
          • 3 years ago

          You mean like a remote keylogger since your keyboard is now communicating to the internet nahh that will never happen…..

          On a side note I just picked up the Logitech G810 on sale at Best buy for $99 yesterday so I won’t be touching this I’m good.

          And agree with other poster I can already the alerts for all of those apps on my monitor why do I want to look down on my keyboard for it?

          Sounds to me this was designed more for the backers of the project than general public.

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