Das Keyboard (III) Professional

The Das Keyboard (“The mechanical keyboard that clicks”) is, in my opinion, probably the best keyboard I have used in my 20+ years of using computers. From AT&T’s offerings in the 80’s to the latest Dell desktops; IBM, Dell, Gateway and Asus laptops (including the current crop of ‘netbooks’), I’ve tried plenty of different types and styles of keyboards and attempts at replacements like pen/stylus input devices and nothing in my mind has ever replicated or replaced the joy I felt banging away at the keys of my father’s AT&T (possibly a PC6300, it’s a matter of some debate in my family) in the late 80’s. That was equipped with an IBM style mechanical keyboard (DIN connectors!) as was common at the time.
As it has been 15+ years since I last used that wonderful old machine I had almost forgotten the experience of typing on one of these classic monsters (monsters in terms of size and weight, not something else). Recently at work I have been doing some work with some of the older and balkier servers, HP’s with model M style keyboards. Except for their age (they need a serious cleaning) and their lack of some of the keys that we have become accustomed to (the so-called “Windows” keys) they are pretty good, but not as crisp or balanced as the originals.

That is where the Das Keyboard comes in. It’s springs are not only just as crisp as the original Model M’s but only require a soft touch to register so once you adjust to the soft touch you don’t get the sharp shock you get with keys bottoming out under high pressure.
The Das Keyboard is a simple 104 key, keyboard (the standard 101 keys found on every normal US keyboard plus the 3 additional “Windows” keys) and pretty much nothing else. It’s only apparent nod to the perpetual feature creep in the tech sector is the addition of two low powered USB 2.0 ports, otherwise there is nothing added.

It’s just a keyboard, nothing else.
Sure, but it is probably the best, most comfortable and most fulfilling keyboard you can get aside from the originals which are getting more difficult to find these days, espicially if your machine doesn’t have a DIN or PS/2 port for the keyboard. The Das Keyboard has a bit of an advantage in the ascetics department too, particularly if you have a newer computer with the modern style blue LEDs and black finish.

In summation: if you find yourself nostalgic for classic computing experiences but don’t find yourself nostalgic for the beige box aestetics, try the Das Keyboard. If you want to make yourself look really “1337″ you can try the Ultimate model too which has blank keys, which looks pretty damn cool.

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