Das Keyboard 4C Professional Review

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amk-aka-Phantom

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Close to $150 and it's not using Cherry switches *and* the markings are not laser-etched? Non-removable USB cable - do they even understand why people opt for TKL keyboards instead of full-sized ones? (Hint: it's often portability, and you do NOT want a cable sticking out while transporting the thing) And finally, no backlight. Why does everyone laud Das Keyboard so much? This product outright loses to CM QuickFire Rapid-i or Razer BlackWidow Chroma Tournament Edition. (Yes, I'm aware DK offers other models too, but if they can't get something as simple as a TKL right... then again, surprisingly, not many manufacturers can)
 

alidan

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Close to $150 and it's not using Cherry switches *and* the markings are not laser-etched? Non-removable USB cable - do they even understand why people opt for TKL keyboards instead of full-sized ones? (Hint: it's often portability, and you do NOT want a cable sticking out while transporting the thing) And finally, no backlight. Why does everyone laud Das Keyboard so much? This product outright loses to CM QuickFire Rapid-i or Razer BlackWidow Chroma Tournament Edition. (Yes, I'm aware DK offers other models too, but if they can't get something as simple as a TKL right... then again, surprisingly, not many manufacturers can)
razor black widow, if you take the keycaps off you void the warranty, as for the cm, i cant tell if its plate mounted keys or not.

as for backlight, i hate it.

as for das in general, i have an older version of their pro full keyboard, and i believe that the caps are laser etched, it was 120$, honestly can't complain about it outside nitpicks and a crappy space bar i had to mod to get to work correctly.

sadly i got the keyboard right as my hands were going to hell so yea, it gets limited use apposed to what i was planning to use it for.
 

avatar_raq

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I got the much superior Corsair K70 RGB for $150 off amazon and it has cherry MX switches with highly customizable back lights that can be turned off altogether.
 
I also prefer no back light on my keyboards. The keyboard is for professionals as implied by its name. Most professionals can type in the dark without needing to look at the keyboard. I've found the times when I do need to look at my keyboard in the dark that the light given off by my monitor is sufficient illumination.

With that said I don't think this keyboard is worth its price. For a similar to slightly higher price you can customize the keyboards made by WASD Keyboards.
http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/
 

smithbs

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I used to have a das keyboard professional, and ruined it by touching it and giving it a static shock. Unfortunately, DAS keyboard doesn't sell just the logic board, and they don't offer to repair the keyboard. I bought this to replace it, and didn't care for the greetech switches.

They had a similar weight to the cherry switches, maybe slightly heavier, but were really scratchy. I ended up returning it and got a WASD keyboard.
 

scolaner

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Good point about the non-removable USB cable. But I would disagree with your assertion that people like TKL ONLY for transport. Lots of people just like the compactness of them and don't need the numpad.

Also, interesting thing about the keycaps...I think these on the DK 4C are not especially attractive, but they swear by the durability. Laser etching looks beautiful but can wear over time. So it's kind of a judgment call.

Why are you concerned about the lack of Cherry switches?

 

amk-aka-Phantom

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Good point about the non-removable USB cable. But I would disagree with your assertion that people like TKL ONLY for transport. Lots of people just like the compactness of them and don't need the numpad.

Also, interesting thing about the keycaps...I think these on the DK 4C are not especially attractive, but they swear by the durability. Laser etching looks beautiful but can wear over time. So it's kind of a judgment call.

Why are you concerned about the lack of Cherry switches?
Well, I did say "often"... I also don't transport my keyboard frequently and indeed prefer TKL keyboards primarily for the space on the right they free up. But when you're paying $100-150 for a keyboard, a detachable cable is a very minor thing to factor into its cost and can end up saving you a lot of pain even if you don't travel with it. I'm sure a lot of people had their pets or children ruin their peripherals' cables, for example...

As for the Cherry switches, it's quite simple. We can all agree on their overall quality, and in my opinion, when you've got something that works well and can be trusted, any change to another manufacturer is a risk that's passed onto the consumer.

What's even more important is that most mechanical keyboard enthusiasts have tried at least several keyboards before deciding on one, and most of these keyboards were likely equipped with Cherry switches. Try one Cherry MX Brown, you've pretty much tried them all - you know what to expect from another keyboard with them. Greentech? I have no idea. See smithbs's reply above - "similar weight to the cherry switches, maybe slightly heavier, but were really scratchy". That's a gamble I personally really wouldn't want to take. Also why I'm still not fully convinced about Razer's TKL (not much choice after CM admitted they can't give me a QF Rapid-i where LEDs don't die after a few weeks) - they're using Kailh switches and even though they're "close" to Cherry's Brown and Blue, I'm still cautious. So naturally, I'm disappointed to see a potential alternative crossed off my list.
 

scolaner

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I don't disagree that a detachable cable is a nice feature, but I've had OEMs tell me they have concerns about the longevity/endurance of that. Now, that could just be mumbo jumbo, I don't know, but that's the line I've been given.

I've used exactly one keyboard with Greetech switches, so I certainly wouldn't dispute smithbs' personal experience, but I did not have the same experience with this unit. (It's possible that Greetech's manufacturing consistency could be an issue, though. That's something to hopefully explore with larger sample sizes. Other 4C Pro users out there have any feedback?)

You make a good point that when you're dropping so much cash it's sensible to stick with what you know. But I would by wary of dogmatically adhering to Cherry. There are other great options out there. :)

Plus, some OEMs opt for Cherry switches simply because they're popular. The Das Keyboard folks did a lot of legwork before deciding on switches. They went to the factories, looked at the manufacturing machines, etc. They didn't make the decision lightly, for whatever that's worth.
 

Urzu1000

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A phenomenal waste of money for a single keyboard without a number pad. I've seen basic Logitech keyboard/mouse combinations for $15. They work fine and have the exact same functionality. They're just a bit less "clicky" due to being membrane.
 

amk-aka-Phantom

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I don't disagree that a detachable cable is a nice feature, but I've had OEMs tell me they have concerns about the longevity/endurance of that. Now, that could just be mumbo jumbo, I don't know, but that's the line I've been given.
It *is* mumbo jumbo. How do external hard drives and smartphones put up with this "wear", I wonder? :D They do have removable cables, after all... Agreed about the dangers of being dogmatic though.

A phenomenal waste of money for a single keyboard without a number pad. I've seen basic Logitech keyboard/mouse combinations for $15. They work fine and have the exact same functionality. They're just a bit less "clicky" due to being membrane.
Why is that every single article about a TKL keyboard gets a bunch of people like you? Don't you get that not all products are tailored for your preferences? I never use the NumPad and for me it's just a deadweight. I also type for at least 10 hours a day for both work and pleasure (IM) and I'll gladly drop $100-150 on a quality keyboard that has great feedback and travel. I'm on one of these crappy cheap Logitechs at the moment (K200) and while it's better than any other keyboard in this price range that I've seen, it still loses miserably even to basic mechanical ones. It's like saying that a minivan is "just a bit slower and less responsive" than a sports car. Correct, but irrelevant.
 

bit_user

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It'd be nice if they let you put the riser at the front. The main thing you want to avoid is bending your wrists. For some people, that's easier if the keyboard slopes away from you.

Anyway, I've been astounded at the amount of fuss over the type of switches, in high-end keyboards, yet they all still use the awful, rectangular layout design.

Check out the Kinesis Advantage. It's not cheap, but it's the best design I've ever used. They've made that style for so long, I'll bet the patents are even expired. Maybe someone can make a cheaper clone with a proper ESC key.
 

alidan

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professional is what they call the line with the letters on the keycaps, the non pro don't have anything, possibly media keys are painted on, but nothing more.
 

iam2thecrowe

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Just a different set of priorities when choosing performance parts for my pc I guess. A $150 keyboard seems like a waste of money when you can get pretty good gaming keyboards for a lot less.

edit: I do have a logitech g15 which is a bit more than just pressing "a" i guess. But it has things i use like programmable keys and LCD display that works with fraps, displays cpu utillization etc. So its a bit pricey compared to standard, but has more than just fancy buttons for still a lot less than this Das Keyboard.
 

jamus34

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From everything I've read on DAS they are continually going the route of cost savings at all costs. a DAS Keyboard from 3-4 yrs ago > current run DAS keyboards. Especially at that price.

I would have loved to get a Ducky but I couldn't wait 2 months for it to come in so I "settled" for a CODE keyboard. So far I have no complaints. White backlight that I can easily turn off. built like a tank, removable cord...it pretty much hits all my pressure points.
 

pilsner

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I like the idea of TKL keyboards - I do not need the numpad, and I can use every extra bit of free space on my desk. But this keyboard here really is too expensive for what it offers. When I bought a new keyboard two months ago, I stumbled upon the German company "Lioncast" - they sell gaming keyboards with Cherry switches, and have a TKL keyboard with either Cherry blue or brown ones for 90 Euros, the "LK20". Seems to be only available on German Amazon, though.
 

bit_user

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Another big benefit of dropping the numpad is being able to shorten the distance your hand has to move, when switching between typing and mousing.

I've been without a numpad for 15 years, and never missed the darn thing.
 
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