Ask Me Anything - Official Das Keyboard Representatives

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AndrewFreedman

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Tom's Community Ask Me Anything – Das Keyboard
Ever wanted to ask one of the big hardware or software giants something directly? Why did they do that? Where did the idea come from for that last product? What’s in store next? Well, now you have the chance!

Tom’s Hardware is proud to announce our latest installment of ASK ME ANYTHING.
On Wednesday, February 11th, we’ll be hosting the next in a series of Tom’s Community Ask Me Anythings with our wonderful guests from Das Keyboard. They'll be answering all of your in-depth questions posed by you, our audience.

This thread will be unlocked, open and live for 24 hours starting at 12:00 p.m. eastern on February 11th, and questions will be moderated and supervised by Tom’s Hardware Senior Community Manager, Joe Pishgar, and a full team of Senior Moderators.


(Above: Das Keyboard's 4C Professional)

Ask Me Anything Rules
• No tech support questions, as these require in-depth personal follow-up and diagnostics.
• All Rules of Conduct apply.
• Keep questions direct and to the point.
• Avoid opinion bias - ie: "Why are all your products awesome/horrible?"
• Be respectful of our guests, no insults, no leading questions.
• Do not post duplicate questions or repost your question multiple times.
• Not all questions may be answered. Questions may not be answered in the order in which they are received or posted.

To reiterate: No opinion bias, insults, leading questions, or breaking the Rules of Conduct. Breaking these rules may result in a one-day ban.
Only registered users will be able to ask questions, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to register now for your chance to participate!

The official representatives will reply periodically over the time the AMA is active using recognized, verified accounts.

Please join us on this date to throw your questions into the mix and ask Das Keyboard what you've always wanted to ask!

What: Ask Me Anything – Das Keyboard
When: Wednesday, February 11th, 12:00 p.m. EST
Where: This thread! Keep it locked!

Our Guests from Das Keyboard are:

• Thomas Simoneaux, Marketing Coordinator (DasKeyboard_Thomas)
• Kevin O’Neill, Product Manager (DasKeyboard_Kevin)
• Ty Rarick, Product Manager (DasKeyboard_Ty)

NOTE: This AMA is now closed.
 

Below0

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Jan 8, 2015
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Hi Das! Thanks for coming by!

Why doesn't the new Das Keyboard 4C come with a removable USB cable? Some kind of design challenge? It would make it really easy to switch out keyboards.
 

DasKeyboard_Thomas

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Great question. The reason being is that a removable USB cable isn't as reliable. Over time, the constant switching and unplugging can cause the cable to eventually stop working.
 

twire83

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since no one else has asked yet, i guess i'll do it.

how come the new 4C's come with Greetech switches instead of cherry? they are simply listed as mechanical on your site and that has confused a lot of people. its also just as expensive as other keyboards that do have cherry switches.
 

DasKeyboard_Thomas

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There are several reason we switched to Greetech for the Das Keyboard 4C. That being said, we can assure you that price was not one of them. To us, quality is everything. And every keyboard we launch, whether it has Cherry switches or Greetech switches has had to pass our rigorous switch testing process. Both Greetech and Cherry are great switches which is why we use them in our keyboards.
 

peppermint556

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Will any of your future keyboards have backlit keys? The all black keys are really slick, but I also love backlit for gaming.

How come some models come with USB 3.0 and some come with 2.0? Will they eventually all be 3.0?
 

Dihedral

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Why is the 4C a better option than current TKL boards, including the cheaper QuickFire Rapid and popular Filco Majestouch? Disregarding the powerful brand, what do you bring to the table?
 

snorlax316

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Your Valentine's day keyboard is hilarious! http://www.daskeyboard.com/blog/clicks-are-in-the-air/
How many of those have you sold?

Why do some keyboard models have the cord in the center, but others have them coming out the side?
 

Dihedral

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Feb 11, 2015
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This. For a premium brand, those are some terrible caps.
 

DasKeyboard_Thomas

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While I am unable to discuss our future product road map, I can answer your USB question.

All of products are high end, but USB 3.0 is for our top of the line product which is currently the Das Keyboard 4. The rest of our product line sports USB 2.0.
 

DasKeyboard_Thomas

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While all are nice keyboards, the Das Keyboard 4C does have a few design features that sets it apart from the rest. The anodized aluminium top panel improves the durability of the keyboard and has a nice sleek finish. The Das Keyboard 4C has two-Port USB Hi-Speed 2.0 hub and full n-key rollover, all fully functional through one USB plug-in with no PS2 adaptor needed. The footbar give you that slight angle, if you need it, and it can also double as a ruler (trust me, the ruler can prove to be very handy).

At the end of the day, it is truly all up to a personal preference.
 

DasKeyboard_Thomas

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Thank you, that picture was my first time modeling. I'd like to think that I did a good job, but I'll probably stick to my day job.

When we decided on the slight design change for the Das Keyboard 4C, moving the USB ports to the left side instead of the normal top right corner as in previous models, that is what brought on the decision to move the cord as well. The distance from the USB ports to the cord had almost doubled. Moving the cord to the left side as well, allowed for the wire from the USB ports to the cord to be shorter.
 

DasKeyboard_Thomas

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With the silk-screened and UV hard coat marking method the durability of the print and the key surface is dramatically increased compared to uncoated or laser-etched key caps. The protective coating is harder than most plastics including ABS, PBT, and POM. Laser etched legends can wear and appear to fade over time [they actually start to accumulate dirt and oils from your fingers] with use as the plastic surface itself is worn by contact.
 

Aegean BM

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Do you have a tenkeyless like the 4C that has the dedicated media controls of the 4? If not, it's on my wish list.

The ten key for work and play is just in my way. The media controls are a must have after trying a competitor's board. Also I really wanted the backlighting the competitor's board had. It looks much cooler than I find useful. I'm back to you for that classic black look.
 

Dihedral

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Feb 11, 2015
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I'm afraid I'm not buying that unless you can show me some unbiased evidence or sources.
 

DasKeyboard_Thomas

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While I am unable to discuss the future product road map, I can say that the different gear is pretty awesome. I personally use the backpack every day. Traveling, coming to work every day, and even to meetings that I might have remote. It is very rare for me to leave home without it. The space pen is pretty cool as well. It has good weight for it's size and it's smooth to write with.
 

DasKeyboard_Thomas

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Feb 2, 2015
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We recently had a Reddit review come out where they took a laser etched keycap and a keycap that was similar finish and they used Acetone wash on both. Here is the link, you will need to view the whole album to be able to see the image that I am referring to.

Hope that helps.
 

rolloverads

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Feb 11, 2015
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Hi Das Keyboard! Thanks for stopping by.

A couple of questions for you...
- What keyboard is on your desk right now?
- What mouse do you pair with it?
- Where are your keyboards manufactured?
- What's your favorite kind of switch?
- How long does it take a keyboard to go from R&D to development to the market?
 

Aegean BM

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Jun 9, 2012
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The numeric keypad, AKA ten key, is completely redundant. It was added to keyboards to attract accountants and other business folks who already had ten key devices. It then became the default configuration shipped from most computer vendors.

"Tenkeyless" is a common request for aftermarket upgrades like high end keyboards.
 

Dihedral

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Feb 11, 2015
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That's a very reasonable response. However, do you not feel that the 'sticker' legends affect the premium feel of the product and the overall design? IMHO they compromise it in this area.
 

Dihedral

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Feb 11, 2015
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Use of the numpad is not that uncommon. It is quicker than the number row for data entry.
 

DasKeyboard_Thomas

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Feb 2, 2015
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You're welcome.

- Happy you asked this question, because I am actually a Mac user. I am using a Das Keyboard 4 with Blue switches. I have also switched between a number of keyboards to help with ensuring the compatibility between our "PC" keyboards and a Mac system. At home, my keyboard switches between a MacBook and a gaming PC, same keyboard just the Ultimate version.
- Mouse is completely a personal preference. Right now I have a logitech mouse, I will change it up every now and then. I will also change up my mouse when I am at home gaming.
- This is an argument that we regularly have, because switch is all a personal preference. Personally, I am a fan of Blue switches. Nothing better than the Click Clack Click sound
- While I think each keyboard and brand is different, I think it would be safe to assume that most take over a year. For us, there is a lot of work that goes into every detail of our keyboards. From the brainstorming of design, functionality, components, and even packaging. Each detail, those that you see and don't see, has gone through a number of discussions and test. Our goal is to not only build a product that you are happy with, but also to build a product that will last.
 
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