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Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review

We've seen many mechanical keyboards, but this is the first designed for professional typists rather than gamers with the Model S Professional.

@TweakTown
Published Mon, Jun 4 2012 1:32 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:01 PM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Das Keyboard

Introduction

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 99 | TweakTown.com
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If you haven't heard the name Das Keyboard, you obviously haven't looked at top tier mechanical keyboards before. Long before companies like Cooler Master, Corsair, Thermaltake and the like, Das Keyboard was one of the top three brands when searching for mechanical keyboards before there were all of these "gamer oriented" mechanical keyboards.

With a company like Das Keyboard, they are more for the typing purist first, with gamers playing second fiddle when it comes to design, layout and options. Now they don't just cover some mechanical keyboards and leave it at that either, they carry a full line of add-on parts to accentuate or customize the Das Keyboard to your specific needs. They offer things like key pullers, colorful WASD and ESC key caps, Linux caps to replace the Windows keys and even things like ear plugs in case your house mates can't appreciate fast paced clicks of the switches found in the professional grade keyboard.

The reason I say it is professional grade and a step above the others is due to the design, feel and use of the plastics and the finishes applied to it. Going a bit further, as most keyboards are comprised of plastic shells and key caps, there is just a certain feel and solidity to the Das Keyboard that I don't typically see. If you are to gram the keyboard and attempt to torque it into flexing, you are going to hurt yourself long before this board will flex and I like the use of the "Darth Vader Approved" Gloss piano black finish that not only matches Darth's helmet, it is a sleek and sophisticated finish for any environment and especially would look great for professionals.

The keyboard we are going to be dissecting in this review will be the Model S Professional mechanical keyboard from Das Keyboard. With the use of gold plated Cherry MX Blue switches that not only offer the tactile feel of mechanical keys, but these also include an extra bit of plastic inside of the key to give a satisfactory click to each and every keystroke you make.

For the gamers out there, don't be afraid to step up to a keyboard like this for everyday use and gaming, it will definitely handle that job just fine, but the real design to this keyboard is to give those who spend long hours typing away at whatever their profession brings them while giving you the feel you always wanted, you just didn't know it until now.

Specifications, Availability and Pricing

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 01 | TweakTown.com

The features found in the Das Keyboard Model S Professional are pretty much within the keys themselves. There is of course the solid plastic outer shell and the PCB with a steel plate to give this keyboard its weight and strength. And there is also a high-speed USB 2.0 hub on the dies with two ports for additional connectivity without the need to reach for the computer case.

The real bread and butter of what will sell this keyboard though is the switches included inside of the Model S Professional and that is the choice to use Cherry MX Blue switches for this mechanical keyboard. This is what I believe makes this a true "typists" keyboard; rather than most mechanical keyboards that depend on lights and flashy bits of aluminum to appeal to the gaming market. This is a keyboard that is built to get the job done and take no prisoners, including your wrists and fingers.

These keys are what Das Keyboard thinks are what will make users hop in their way back machine remembering the feel of the legendary IBM Model M keyboard. That's right I just took you back to a keyboard that was released in the mid-80s and are still clicking away today in most instances. With the Model S Professional's use of these MX blue switches you not only get the tactile feel that drives most people to look to a mechanical keyboard in the first place, but they also have a satisfying audible click in the stroke so that you can feel and hear each and every stroke on the keyboard. These keys along with some built in software give you full N-Key Rollover, six simultaneous keys and a 15ms polling rate to be able to keep up with even the most demanding typists, like those found in videos at Das Keyboard competitions. Along with the 104-key layout, there are LED notifications for the "locks", the piano black finish and their name painted on the keyboard, no thrill, no frills, just business.

Doing a bit of quick shopping to see about the availability of these keyboards we found it's actually quite expensive. Via Google I found almost sixty hits of listing for the Model S Professional keyboard. As for the pricing, well you can go direct to Das Keyboard and pay $129.00 with free ground shipping. If you want to shop around for e-tailers there is a bit of money to be saved. Not including e-bay or non-rated hits, I can see that pricing starts at $109.99 and goes up into the $180 range.

I know you are already saying something like the Corsair cost that and has more to offers. To retort I will just ask this; does it? It really depends on your needs and for me, who is more a typist than a gamer, this Das Keyboard is right up my alley and since I opened it, it hasn't left my desk. I can't say the same for any of the others; they just got one-upped by this.

Packaging

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 02 | TweakTown.com

The Model S Professional keyboard comes in an all white cardboard box that simply uses a red stripe to accent the name. The bulk of this panel is used to show the keyboard included with the company name below it.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 03 | TweakTown.com

As far as information is concerned on the top five panels there really isn't much to be had.

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See what I mean? The front as well as the right side panels simply displays the Das Keyboard name and in fine print is "the mechanical keyboard that clicks".

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 05 | TweakTown.com

On the back of the box there is a description of the key choice and why it was used, a mention of the dual USB 2.0 hub and the 6.6 foot cable and the system requirements. On the right is another image of the Model S Professional with a great reason to buy this keyboard from the creator of Das Keyboard.

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As with the other thin panels, this end of the packaging is no different in what Das Keyboard offers, information wise on this keyboard. I assume they expect the keyboard will speak for itself once you own one.

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Opening the box you will find the cable it wrapped up and stored under the cardboard flaps at the back. As for the Model S Professional keyboard, it comes in a dense foam envelope to help protect this sleek keyboard during transit.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Das Keyboard also add an additional layer of protection to keep that shiny, piano black finish just the way it was when it left the factory with no scratches or abrasions to the surface of this keyboard when I got it.

Packaging

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 02 | TweakTown.com

The Model S Professional keyboard comes in an all white cardboard box that simply uses a red stripe to accent the name. The bulk of this panel is used to show the keyboard included with the company name below it.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 03 | TweakTown.com

As far as information is concerned on the top five panels there really isn't much to be had.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 04 | TweakTown.com

See what I mean? The front as well as the right side panels simply displays the Das Keyboard name and in fine print is "the mechanical keyboard that clicks".

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 05 | TweakTown.com

On the back of the box there is a description of the key choice and why it was used, a mention of the dual USB 2.0 hub and the 6.6 foot cable and the system requirements. On the right is another image of the Model S Professional with a great reason to buy this keyboard from the creator of Das Keyboard.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 06 | TweakTown.com

As with the other thin panels, this end of the packaging is no different in what Das Keyboard offers, information wise on this keyboard. I assume they expect the keyboard will speak for itself once you own one.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 07 | TweakTown.com

Opening the box you will find the cable it wrapped up and stored under the cardboard flaps at the back. As for the Model S Professional keyboard, it comes in a dense foam envelope to help protect this sleek keyboard during transit.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Das Keyboard also add an additional layer of protection to keep that shiny, piano black finish just the way it was when it left the factory with no scratches or abrasions to the surface of this keyboard when I got it.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional

[img]09[/img]

The first unimpeded view of the S Pro shows you what I spent two pages trying to explain. Along with the textured and contoured 104-key layout there is just an expanse of shiny black plastic surrounding it for a bit of an elegant and professional appeal to the design.

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The 74 keys shown here include all the keys you desire in a US layout including two Windows keys and a large enter key.

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On the right are the other 30 keys of this layout. This way you aren't on a 74-key layout with function lock dual purposes to the keys. Das Keyboard wanted all the basics covered with no need for any inconveniences that may slow down the use of this keyboard.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 12 | TweakTown.com

The front frame sits 21mm off the table with just about an additional 7mm until you are on the spacebar. The split on the two pieces is where the finish changes as well. While the top is all nice and shiny, the bottom is a more dulled, textured plastic finish.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 13 | TweakTown.com

The side of the keyboard has a curve to it that I don't see in many keyboards. Usually it is an ever increasing angle as you move back on the keyboard, but not with this Das Keyboard. You can also get a good idea of the contour of the key caps to caress your fingers during use.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 14 | TweakTown.com

At the rear of the keyboard, it is again a mix of the shiny black and the textured black pieces, but this time there is a two meter USB 2.0 cable emanating from this side. The bump at the far end is to add room for the LED notifications and works as a great location to place the company name.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 15 | TweakTown.com

The right side of the keyboard is being shown with the feet underneath extended to show how the curve to this keyboard looks with the back raised. As you can see now it is an optical illusion of sorts, the keys continue to rise to the back but the keyboards frame elegantly curves away from them.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Continued

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Also on the right side of the keyboard, at the back, is where you will locate the two high-speed USB 2.0 ports for easy access to either plug a mouse in here to clean up the cable mess on your desk, or without having to reach under your desk to get to the chassis, you can insert a thumb drive and get right back to business with very little effort.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 17 | TweakTown.com

Under the Model S Professional, the keyboard gets traction and support on the desk with the use of four large pads, one in each of the corners.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 18 | TweakTown.com

I mentioned there were legs that extend for a more ergonomic angle to use this Das Keyboard while it is on your desk. Once these legs are extended it adds 13mm in height to the back for a total of 39mm of height to the back of the keyboard.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 19 | TweakTown.com

I was very sure to check all of the keys, the F-keys, the number pad, the arrows and advanced control keys and each and every key was backed with these Cherry MX Blue mechanical switches. These do have a tactile feel, but use an additional piece in the design to give you an audible click to also confirm the use of each key.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 20 | TweakTown.com

When the Model S Professional is powered up, there isn't that many that changes in fancy lighting or the need for software to go about your business. In reality the only LEDs on the board are denoting the use of the number, scroll, caps locks and of course the tastefully added simple name of Das Keyboard.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 21 | TweakTown.com

I just wanted to take a step back so that you had a fresh image of the Das Keyboard Model S Professional keyboard as you continue through to the accessories and hardware and into the final thoughts.

Accessories and Documentation

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If you remember back to the image when I first opened the box, this bit of cloth was lying on top of it. Das Keyboard ships this to keep that sleek and sexy, shiny black plastic looking brand new while not damaging or marking the surface. Also a bit of a tip, this cloth should be used dry to clean the keyboard.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 23 | TweakTown.com

To power the Das Keyboard Model S Professional there is a two meter, plastic coated, USB 2.0 lead that terminates with two connections. On the left is the USB 2.0 connector to power the hub, while the lead on the right with the included PS/2 adapter attached to it is what controls the keyboard.

Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Review 24 | TweakTown.com

This little piece of paper is all the instructional or informational goods received with the Das Keyboard. It states things like this keyboard requires no drivers for Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux use. To get underway you just need to power down the PC, plug in this keyboard and turn on the PC.

The default plug and play drivers will allow complete functionality of the Model S. They also add their site address to keep up on the latest Das Keyboard has to offers and also a way for owners of Das Keyboards to get additional free goodies.

Final Thoughts

I have really mixed emotions at this point about the Das Keyboard Model S Professional keyboard. I love the simplicity, the sleek aesthetics, the use of Cherry MX Blue switches and the additional USB hub on the side.

What bothers me is that in order to bring this review to my readers, I also agreed to send this keyboard back to Das Keyboard and it was almost like two or three weeks of the biggest tease of my life. In all honesty, if given half a chance, this keyboard would never leave my desk. Just like all the rest of you I am a fan of additional goodies, more specifically I prefer a backlit keyboard, but the feel and usage I had with this Das Keyboard has opened my eyes to what a mechanical keyboard is fundamentally all about. Without all the pomp and circumstance of fancy add-ons, I got to see what a typist's keyboard is all about. With the amount of typing I do, anything else I have currently is going to feel like mud.

While I may be driving my lady crazy over the past few weeks while writing a barrage of reviews this month, I have really grown to love the audible click this keyboard offers. I have had the pleasure of tinkering on some of the older IBM mechanical keyboards, but I never owned one or used one long term. With my time using this keyboard, I think my typing has gotten not only faster, but I find myself typing more correctly as well. I think the audible cue has a lot to do with that, as it sort of stops you in your tracks is the click isn't there, or you think you may have heard too many at once. It truly is hard to see this keyboard go.

When we get down to bang for the buck against the other mechanical offerings I have reviewed, well the Das Keyboard is in a different league. The others are fine for gaming, have their special software add-ons, cool lights and may use different materials. For what I do, which is to sit and type away, sometimes four and up to six or eight hours a day doing these reviews and the Das Keyboard is the one I will recommend for any purist.

This keyboard had its fair share of gaming in a few new titles and I can't say that this keyboard won't perform; it just isn't geared that way. For the $109.99 to $129 price point I have to tell you, this is bar none the best keyboard I have used to date. If you live with someone who can't take the constant clicking this mechanical keyboard offers, I would suggest buying a set of those reusable ear plugs for them. I assure you, once you get used to the Model S Professional from Das Keyboard, you won't really care what they have to say about it, you will be too busy in typing bliss to even hear them bring it up.

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Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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