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Das Keyboard II: A Switch for the Better 257

Posted by timothy
from the black-like-a-springfield-xd-45 dept.
Last year, I reviewed the original Das Keyboard, the all-black, all-the-time keyboard from MetaDot, and found it disappointing. MetaDot was kind enough to pass on an example of their next generation keyboard for comparison. The upshot is that the new version is quite a bit better than the original: it's now equal in keyfeel to the best keyboards I could find at local superstores, which dampens my major complaint. It's still a cool-looking but questionably useful all-black, and is still more eye-candy than finger-food. Just the same, this unique product now bears more consideration. (Read on for the rest of my review.)

A switch of switches:

The packaging may be nothing special, but it's much more graphically appealing than the plain cardboard box in which my sample of the original Das Keyboard arrived -- it wouldn't even look out of place in an Apple store. I was happy to see Larry Ewing's iconic rendering of Tux on the outside of the box, too, alongside old-style MacOS (really! But it does also work fine with Mac OS X) and Windows XP icons. Considering that it's a USB keyboard, a pretty mature technology, there's no surprise that it's Linux compatible, but I still enjoying seeing a penguin on the box; I consider Ewing's penguin marketing genius. I wish more companies with products just as easily Linux compatible would take advantage of the freedom they have to advertise this.

Now, on to the keyboard itself: it's still black-all-black. The only labeling is the printed "Das Keyboard" in the upper left corner, and a sticker with the usual regulatory and manufacturing information on the underside ("Designed in Austin, TX"). And if it matters to you, the current iteration of the keyboard is made in the Czech Republic, rather than China as was the previous version.

However, Das Keyboard is no longer a dead ringer in for a black-painted classic IBM Model M board; the lines have been made a bit straighter overall, and there's now a slightly rebated edge on left and right sides where the Model M is straight. Viewed from the side, the "dish" of the keys is now quite a bit shallower than that of a Model M design as well. That sounds like bad news for those of us fixated on older keyboards for their superior hand-feel, but since we're not quite in the realm of IBM-style clackityclack keyswitches anyhow, that difference is fairly subtle. And there's one nice thing about the new board's design I'd like to see in more keyboards: the "F" and "J" home keys are more deeply cut than the rest of the keys on the keyboard (by something close to a millimeter); this makes it easy to get one's hands realigned in (on rather on) the dark.

Noise aside, the new Das Keyboard is now equipped with mechanical keyswitches (made by Cherry, as is the keyboard itself) rather than the typical membrane assembly found in most keyboards nowadays and one of the things I wasn't keen on in the original. It's a good change. The new version is actually fairly pleasant to type on, and for touch typists of moderate or greater proficiency, the unlabeled keys should be no problem. I'm still skeptical of the advantage of all-black keys to those trying to learn to type (or improving their speed), but the keyfeel is no longer a distracting liability, so I'd upgrade claims on that front from "silly hokum" to "an open question."

According to a company representative, the new key switches are rated for "50 million key strokes instead of 30 million key strokes"; I'm sure somewhere around keystroke 29 million I'll sigh with relief. Such numbers are pleasant to know about and hopefully reflect a reasonable methodology, but I suspect no keyboard's keycaps are going to last long enough to keep up. Still, the new keyswitches are far more responsive, and -- at least comparing the particular examples I have of the old and new versions -- far louder. It reminds me in fact of middle generations of the Dell "QuietKey" board (which were never quiet, despite the name). So if you must type around any light sleepers, perhaps you should treat them to some warm milk before bedtime. And though I prefer the slightly deeper dish of the old version, it's an easy trade for the new one's improvement in keyfeel.

Small bonus: the new one's USB cable is a few inches longer than the old. That's about all there is to say about the connection.

The long and short:

Das Keyboard is still not my ideal keyboard, and you pay a bit more than my budget deems reasonable for the novelty of a keyboard that looks like an ideal prop for the next misunderstood-teenage-hacker movie (about $80 from ThinkGeek). But I can type reliably on the new version, which I simply never managed to do on the old, so they're doing something right. Given the improved key response, I can even imagine buying into -- or at least reconsidering -- the claims of improved typing speed or confidence as a result; I've certainly surprised myself by tapping this out with less temptation to look at the keys than I usually have (and that's after quite a few years and a few thousand hours of at least desultory tapping at both computer keyboards and actual typewriters), so for one with more self-discipline than I have, the all-black keys might be useful enough to try out.

On a five-star scale then, where I'd probably probably give the old version only one, but I'd award this one two and a half stars.

For Bonus points:

The previous version of Das Keyboard was (except cosmetically) a clone of the Keytronic 3600 series; I'll shoot some subscription pages to the first reader to point (in the comments below) an otherwise identical keyboard, but with factory-labeled keys. Note: I don't know that such a thing exists, but have fun looking.

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Das Keyboard II: A Switch for the Better

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  • +5 to ePeen (Score:5, Informative)

    by metasecure (946666) * on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:10PM (#15457365)
    Since the article neglected to provide a picture, or link to the product website, click here - http://www.daskeyboard.com/ [daskeyboard.com] Call me stupid, but I just don't see what the big deal is. I guess it's analagous to something we have in Canada known as "French immersion" - they put you into a French school where no one speaks (or is allowed to speak) English and supposedly you'll learn French much faster. This allows you to learn touch-typing faster? Dubious. In my opinion, all it's good for is showing off to non-touch-typists and maybe increasing the size of your e-peen slightly.
    • Two words: "geek points"
      • Wouldn't a real geek simply use a solvent to take the letters off the cheap black Dell keyboard they "midnight requestitioned" from the office and save themselves $200 or so?
        • by Anonymous Coward
          A real geek WEARS the letters off of his Model M.

          For mine, MNSOP90[; are gone, only 93 more to go?
          • M N S O P 9 0 [ ;
            Heh. Sometimes it's easy to spot a lisper.
            • When I was in high school, typing class was a prerequisite for computer programming, and they had 30 typewriters in the class with no letters on the keys, just like these keyboards. Instead, there was a large diagram of the keyboard WITH the letters stuck on the front wall. If you couldn't remember where a letter was, you looked up at the board instead of down at your hands.

              It made a huge difference learning to type. That's not just my opinion, everyone thought it was strange at first, but all agreed tha
        • Actually, I'm pretty sure a real geek would spray-paint their keyboard camoflage before a particularly grueling hack session.

          Hack the planet!

          • Nah, we'd airbrush on a naked woman, pinup/WWII style, with the important bits resting on certain important keys...
        • It only costs $90 in the first place... dunno how you expect to save $200 unless you help yourself to some other office supplies as well...
    • Oops! (Score:4, Funny)

      by op12 (830015) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:17PM (#15457436) Homepage
      From the site: "We have teamed up with Cherry to equipe the Das Keyboard with the best and longest lasting key switches in the industry."

      Look out for that unlabled "pe" key! It must be right next to the "p" key.
    • I don't think it would help you learn to touch type, I think it would hurt. The only part I think it would help is after you have learned the key locations and to touch type but you look at your fingers because you don't "trust" yourself yet. Back in school I remember seeing many kids get to this stage in typing class. Many don't get past it. They just don't type enough to get over that hurdle. Something like this would help them.

      That said, it's easier to just cheat. Why is IM so full of "LOLs" and "U R so

      • I don't think it would help you learn to touch type, I think it would hurt.

        My experience is that it neither helps nor hurts. I learned to touch type in pre-computer days, in a "typing lab" where none of the typewriters had labels on their keys. Then about a decade later I decided to brush up my skills on my own, using a regular typewriter and a practice book I got from the public library. Comparing the two experiences I have to say there was little or no difference. Then again, maybe the first time I got

    • Re:+5 to ePeen (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hackstraw (262471) * on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:43PM (#15457695)
      Call me stupid, but I just don't see what the big deal is.

      I don't either. I've designed and studied keyboards over the years and the best way to type faster is to type more accurately. 30 words per minute accurately is much faster then 100 words per minute inaccurately. These are estimates here, but they are based on my own measured speed.

      The best thing to do to a keyboard to increase keying speed is to make the backspace much more difficult to use. Back "in the day" when people had to type on typewriters and they had things like carbon copies and whatnot where a single mistake meant that the whole thing had to be redone if there was an error, or it took considerable time and white out to correct the problem, people learned 1) to type correctly the first time and then 2) to type more quickly _with_ accuracy.

      Sure you can use a split keyboard, a kenesis keyboard, a dvorak layout, or even a custom one, but until you get accuracy together nothing else will increase your speed or productivity.

      • I've designed and studied keyboards over the years

        Forgive me, but I believe that's a -5 to ePeen.
      • by j1m+5n0w (749199) on Friday June 02, 2006 @05:52PM (#15458251) Homepage Journal
        The best thing to do to a keyboard to increase keying speed is to make the backspace much more difficult to use.

        I disagree. Perhaps mistakes make typing much slower because the backspace is already far too difficult to reach? And perhaps the typist may decide to write something else after having typed it? For awhile, I had a keyboard set up with semicolon and backspace swapped, and I liked the arangement much better, even when coding C, which requires a semicolon at the end of most lines. Perhaps you think me a horrible typist if such an arrangement is an improvement (and maybe you'd be right), but realistically, much of what a person types will need to be erased shortly thereafter anyways, not because it was mistyped but because the typist changed his/her mind. Keyboards should accomodate the way most users use them in real life, not maximum speed for copying text. We have OCR software for that.

        • For tasks such as typing, your nervous system has an "action queue" - you decide which letters you are going to type about half a second before you actually type them. If you make no errors, you can keep up a constant speed much faster than a letter every half second - but every single letter error you make typing takes a long time to correct, reguardless of how quickly you can reach the backspace key.

          • A typer typing at 40 WPM with no mistakes needs to type a bit over 3 characters per second to keep up th
    • Re:+5 to ePeen (Score:2, Insightful)

      by enyo (814279)
      I really do think that typing without printed letters on the keyboard helps to learn how to write good and fast. I also think that you do not have to buy a 'Das Keyboard' for that, but that you can remove the letters yourself if you want to.
      1 year ago, I started learning dvorak, and since I didn't want to buy another keyboard for that, I just learned to write with this one, keeping a window open with the dvorak layout image, which is quite the same as having a keyboard without letters. I always used 10 fing
    • It can also be used as a deterrent for non-touch-typists, particularly technologically illiterate relatives, who might want to use your computer.

      My dad used to bring his own keyboard up to my room whenever he wanted to do something on my computer because the letters on my ultra-cheap keyboard had long since rubbed off, but if he hadn't had miscellaneous spare keyboards lying around, he would have been out of luck.
      • It can also be used as a deterrent for non-touch-typists, particularly technologically illiterate relatives, who might want to use your computer.

        This is EXACTLY what I need to keep co-workers from borrowing my desk while I am out of the office!
    • they put you into a French school where no one speaks (or is allowed to speak) English and supposedly you'll learn French much faster

      Two thirds of my co-workers speak French but in seven years working for Thales I haven't picked up a single word. Otherwise I would have to listen to all of the crap spoken around me. French is almost like a cone of silence for me.

      Getting back to the keyboard I can understand knowing how to find Q, W, etc. But what about % and &? I always have to look.

    • "I guess it's analagous to something we have in Canada known as "French immersion" - they put you into a French school where no one speaks (or is allowed to speak) English and supposedly you'll learn French much faster. This allows you to learn touch-typing faster? Dubious."

      "Supposedly"? In which instance do you think that you'll pick up French faster: taking it for one hour a day, or for five hours a day? I took core French in high school and can construct two or three sentences. My wife went through

  • by Umbral Blot (737704) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:17PM (#15457435) Homepage
    It's nice to try new things once in a while, but the dark green bars with black lettering make for poor section dividers, not to mention that it usually makes sense to divide an article into relatively equal sections. Even weirder we have the quote: "On a five-star scale then, where I'd probably probably give the old version only one, but I'd award this one two and a half stars." The article title however implies that the new keyboard is better than the old one, which usually implies that it in some way is up to standards that the previous version wasn't However a 20% to a 50% approval is still failing, by any standard. A better title perhaps would have been: Das Keyboard II: Not Quite as Bad.

    • On my monitor which has never had good gamma at the black levels I didn't even *see* the black text on the green bar until I read your comment. I've tried no end of adjustments but eventually I realized that any site worth reading does create this problem to begin with.
  • "Das Autobahn" or the like.

    Too germanic.
  • by bill_kress (99356) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:22PM (#15457474)
    This concept really works well. I used the same concept in the 80's.

    To break yourself from looking at the keys, place a hand-towel or washcloth or something over your hands while you type.

    It will take about 2 sessions and you'll be typing like a pro.

    If you buy this product, the net result (over the alternative listed above) will be to simply annoy anyone else who uses your keyboard. If this is your goal, you NEED this product, but if you're not just doing it for appearances, go grab yourself a towel and have at it, you'll be cured in 2 days.
  • by croddy (659025) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:23PM (#15457492)
    So it's even more deafening than the last revision. Great. I'll stick with my quiet Logitech keyboard, thanks.
    • Enjoy yourself.

      I suppose, just like you, there are people that prefer McDonald's hamburgers over a perfectly cooked Kobe steak. Personally, I don't need one of these because I've still got a stockpile of Model M's to use.

    • Sound when typing is a matter of preference. I prefer mechanical switches to quiet ones, because it gives me more than simple tactile feedback as to whether the key has been pressed or not. Quiet keyboards also tend to give much less tactile feedback. Less tactile feedback, at least for me, leads to slower and more innacurate typing - due to my mind being less sure of my actions from lack of feedback.
  • w00t! (Score:5, Funny)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:26PM (#15457527) Homepage Journal
    OMG ALL the keys are spacebars! What could be better than this for programming in Whitespace [wikipedia.org]!!
  • I have two favorite keyboards: the IBM Model M I'm using here at work, and the Happy Hacking Lite I have at home. I love the feel of the Model M, but don't like the location or spacing of the function keys (LALT-F5 and higher to switch to higher-numbered desktops) gets a little painful and awkward by the end of the day. The Happy Hacking board is wonderful, but I do occasional miss the extra keys (ever play Tux Racer when you have to chord arrow keys?).

    Given that my boss says he'll buy me a nice keyboar

  • Locks (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jethro (14165) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:28PM (#15457545) Homepage
    So... do you have DEDs to indicate when you hit numlock, capslock and scrolllock?
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:29PM (#15457550)
    I believe it would complement the decor of his stunt ship: all black on black. Nice...
  • ... as someone who can't reliably touch type ( a rarity for /. I think) I wonder if this would actually help me. Not knowing where they keys are without looking is not my main problem though. My main problem is that I only really use 2 fingers to type which I'm pretty sure this couldn't help (I know, but I learned bad habits and now have just got quite quick at it this way)... so what it should say is that it "could have you typing at the same speed, only this time you'll be able to look at the screen whi
    • Re:i wonder... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Eideewt (603267) on Friday June 02, 2006 @05:46PM (#15458222)
      Using two fingers is definitely your problem. It's pretty much impossible to touch type accurately like that. Touch typing relies on being oriented to the home row and having each finger assigned to specific keys. When you have to move your hands around to reach them all, it becomes really hard to know where you are.
    • You NEED to practice typing the normal way. I used gtypist [gnu.org] to learn dvorak [wikipedia.org], and it should be useful no matter what layout you end up deciding on. You must be absolutely religious, though. Don't look at the keyboard, and if you must, find a way to cover the keys (or get Das Keyboard). You'll need a layout to look at when you've completely forgotten, but it's a lot easier to wean yourself off of if it's on-screen or something. And you absolutely must use the finger it tells you to. Trust me, typing with
  • If you're buying a keyboard with blank keys do yourself a favor and get the Happy Hacking blank keytop model [yahoo.net]

    Das Keyboard contains a major conceptual flaw- What good is a keyboard with blank keys if you can't touch type on it? The Happy Hacking keyboard places ALL 101 KEYS within touch-typing range. I've been a happy customer of this keyboard for years- It has a fantastic key action, is very compact and allows for very fast programming if you learn to use it well.

    Plus, if you're an emacs geek, it allows for perfect ctrl key placement that is perfect for emacs navigation.

    Das Keyboard, on the other hand, looks like something a wussy vi user would type on!

    :)
    • Plus, if you're an emacs geek, it allows for perfect ctrl key placement that is perfect for emacs navigation. Das Keyboard, on the other hand, looks like something a wussy vi user would type on!
      Actually, I use vim and I've been considering the happy hacking keyboard partly because of the advantage it gives to a vim user. On the happy hacking keyboard the escape key is where the tilde key is on a normal keyboard, making it a little easier to hit.
      • On the happy hacking keyboard the escape key is where the tilde key is on a normal keyboard, making it a little easier to hit.

        Do yourself a favour and map CAPS Lock to Ctrl. In your xorg.conf file it's just the line:

        Option "XkbOptions" "ctrl:nocaps"

        in your InputDevice section for your keyboard (this remapping is also possible in Windows I believe). Then ESC can be typed with a Ctrl-[ and your hands can stay on the home row for maximum vim power :)
    • If you're buying a keyboard with blank keys do yourself a favor and get the Happy Hacking blank keytop model

      I dunno if it's the same one you mean, but the keyboard you linked has only 60 keys and costs $250.00!! Definitely not for cheapos like me.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770)
      Between the name and the post, I just have to bite:

      Why the FUCK would you pay $250 for a keybaord that is small and has no type on it? That is over double even the most advanced keyboards out there.

      I really can't see any reason other than trying to show off. "Look, I'm so amazingly l33t I don't NEED other keys, I don't NEED text! I'm better than YOU."

      Seriously, what's the point. If I wanted a small keyboard, I could get one, something like one of the USB keyboards for tablets. However if I wanted a good key
    • The Happy Hacking keyboard places ALL 101 KEYS within touch-typing range.

      I think you mean "all 60 keys."
    • Sorry - remind me, what use is a keyboard that doesn't have a numeric keypad beside it? Simply designed to slow us down, seems a bit pointless, especially that that uber l33t pricetag.

      I type quite accurately at about 80wpm - I buy the cheapest keyboard the local PC store sells every time the old one dies (about every three years, unless it's a Dell laptop in which case every three months). Frankly I know that there were typists using manual typewriters and going at 150-200wpm - it's not a hardware issue..
    • If you're buying a keyboard with blank keys do yourself a favor and get the Happy Hacking blank keytop model

      Yes, I'm buying a keyboard that doesn't have any text, so I'm going to get one where all the keys are cramped together and in different places. Might as well set a dvorak keymap while you're at it, just for extra masochism. Anyway, I still use my old IBM keyboard (which I know drives everyone nuts with the clicking except me) which I've used since... well, I don't know but roughly as long as the PS/2

    • If you're looking for a keyboard with blank keys, I'll sell you a bottle of Whiteout® for $100. Everybody wins!
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:31PM (#15457579)
    But does it let me run pharming macros for WoW?
  • by Sazarac (621648)
    I think the blank key thing would eventually make me insane. I already flop around uselessly, stuck in paroxysms of hunt-n-peckery, after switching from my work keyboard (IBM P/N KB-0225) to my home keyboard (Eluminx Sapphire). The delete and right-ctrl keys are in different places, see... http://www.thinktechie.com/reviews/05-2003/eluminX /kb05.jpg [thinktechie.com]

    However, I do dig the "clicky high-end mechanical switches". Anyone who's played a Kurzweil KX88 next to a cheapo Casio can agree with that.

    • Give a Bosendorfer grand (or a Steinway, but the Bosendorfer is just that little bit better) a whirl and you'll be tossing that Kurzweil in the garbage :) Talk about "high-end mechanical switches"!

      Can't resist replying to a musician's post. I'll go sit quietly again.
  • the original. I really like it. The only time the blank keys are a problem is when you're typing with one hand (haa haa) or hunt and peck; since it's more difficult to see which letters you are hitting you will make mistakes. That's why I prefer to always put my hand on the f or j buttons so I have tactile feedback.

    A bit off-topic: I cleaned the keyboard and took the space bar off. I didn't manage to put it back correctly and now it's a bit "lazy." Any websites which describe in detail how to properly put t
  • by EvanED (569694) <evaned&gmail,com> on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:38PM (#15457645)
    Why can't people make a keyboard that has the feel of the old Model M without sounding like you're firing off a machine gun?
  • "Teamed up with"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mjg59 (864833) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:40PM (#15457667) Homepage
    It looks awfully like a recoloured Cherry G80-3000 [cherrycorp.com]. The LED design gives it away.
  • Das Keyboard is rated up to 50 Million key strokes where as regular keyboards barely reach 10 to 15 Million strokes.


    Wow, you could save a file in Emacs without having to swap keyoards halfway through! ;-)
  • by Marge N. Lacoste (801569) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:44PM (#15457700)
    I see a Num Lock and I want it painted black /
    No LEDs, of course, I want them to turn black /
    I see the words scroll by, can't read but half, I know /
    Cut me some slack: I learned to spell from reading Rob Taco.

    I see a row of keys and they're all painted black /
    That logo distracts me, I think I'll send it back /
    I used to hunt and peck, then quickly look away /
    Then I wore the letters off with hardcore Nethack play.

    I wanna see it painted, painted black
    Black as night, black as coal
    I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky
    I wanna see it psinted, paontrd, paimyed. [aint4d nlack
  • For $50 you can get a USB keyboard from Sun either PC-style or UNIX-style (X3738A) layouts. Just drop X3738A into Sun's store [sun.com] and there you go. It's hard to find any other way. It has gobs of extra keys, and the extra keys work great on Macs (like the volume, power and help key) and can be made to work on Linux. I haven't figured out how to get the volume keys or additional F-keys to work on Windows.

    Word of warning, the X3738A is a massive keyboard. it has f-keys on the top and on the side. It has esc where
  • $80? I can make my own with duct tape and a $10 keyboard.
  • Remember when making things sound pesudo-german made you Über-cool?
  • My biggest question is, why are they charging $90 for it when it's nothing but a black, blank version of the Cherry G81-3000 Professional brand keyboard? Granted, the G81-3000 is a very nice keyboard, but it retails for around $60. Does it cost them $30 extra to not print the letters on the keys?

    http://www.accesskeyboards.co.uk/cherry.htm [accesskeyboards.co.uk]
  • Though I can type fairly well, I'd look at the keyboard far too often when typing. Especially true for the hortizontal number keys. So I took my (cheap, HP-bundled) keyboard, popped the keys off, and rearranged them (incidentally, the letter keys now spell out something like "thequickbrownfxjmpdvrlazyg"). You don't need a fancy black-on-black keyboard to do something like this. It works even better on old Model-M's. Find an old, dirty, used one real cheap, pop off the keytops and throw them in a dishwa
  • Would it be a crime, if just once, Slashdot actually had some pictures to accompany a story?
  • Logitech G16.

    The keys feel better than the best Microsoft keyboard, the backlighting of every key cap ledgend makes it absolutely perfect in a low light video editing suite and the macro keys are super easy to use and program. The lame LCD at the top can be cut off and thrown away but the keyboard it's self has a wonderful feel, looks fantastic and is a joy to type on. I was not expecting any of that for a backlight keyboard. I was expecting a piece of junk that happens to have lighted keys.

    Cince then I
    • I think you meant G15, rather that G16? Assuming so...

      I have a Logitech G15 [logitech.com] keyboard and it is pretty good for gaming. Its too bulky for normal use, and the cord is... well, a cord.

      However, for the best typing experience I have found, give the Logitech DiNovo [logitech.com] a try. I absolutely love the feel of the keys, as well as the way it sits comfortably in my lap.

      As a bonus, the DiNovo is nice and small, and if you are a true touch typist and do not use the numeric keypad, you are in luck, because the numeric keyp
    • Lumpy (12016) wrote:

      Logitech G16.

      I use the Logitech DiNovo bluetooth keyboard, which has two (for me) big advantages:

      1: Short key travel, much like a laptop keyboard. Some people hate this, and some people love it. It takes some getting used to, but I find it's great.

      2: The numpad is its own (wireless) unit. By placing it on the left hand side of the keyboard, I can actually have the mouse on the right, and still have the keyboard proper centered in front of me. Yes, it's a relearning thing to use t

  • Mostly improved (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bazald (886779)
    While the original Das Keyboard was, for the most part, a rebadged keyboard of high quality (with a logo that wasn't even on straight), this keyboard definitely stands on its own. Personally, I've never had a more pleasant typing experience than I've had with the new version. Not only is less force required to type quickly, but finding the home position is much easier because of the different feel of the 'f' and 'j' keys. This keyboard really feels like its its own product rather than a rebadge.

    The only
  • http://kinesis-ergo.com/advantage_pro.htm [kinesis-ergo.com]

    it's a nicer keyboard, it's hardware programmable, it's ergo-friendly and it'll scare strangers away from your terminal.

    Sure, it's expensive, but for something my hands are on 8-10 hours a day, I don't mind paying for Quality.
  • Macintosh compatible (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Friday June 02, 2006 @06:16PM (#15458421) Homepage
    So which is the Apple key?

    jfs
  • And it's one of the most comfortable keyboards I've ever typed on.

    The different weights on the keys has reduces the strain on my hands, and I can now type for longer periods of time.

    The lack of notation on the keyboard was disconcerting at first, but once I got used to it, has made me a better touch typist.

    Since I received the keyboard, my typing has gone from ~80wpm up to around 95wpm. I can't imagine what I could do if I bit the bullet and switched to dvorak, a pleasantly easy thing to do on this keyboard
  • While we're on the topic of esoteric keyboards, I'll throw a shout-out to the Matias Tactile Pro [matias.ca], a keyboard with mechanical keyswitches I very much enjoy.
  • I did look at Das Keyboard, but I'm afraid it might turn out to be just like every other keyboard out there...

    See, I have a 17" Powerbook G4. I love that keyboard. Looks great, backlit, plenty of space between the tops of the keys so I can feel the difference between one key and another, but the key go down with almost no resistance, it seems very solid so far (much like the rest of the machine), and my fingers can just slide over the tops of the keys. This is one thing I've found that dramatically speed

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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