Boy, this was a long time coming. I’m sure it seemed longer because I was still stuck with a crappy Microsoft keyboard that I’d been using for work. It didn’t help that I ordered it just before they revamped it. I’m not sure what they changed about it, maybe the blue LED’s, possibly the powered USB ports, I don’t know. Then they had a minor problem with some units after they were shipped, which delayed my delivery even further. From the end of September 2009 to the middle of January 2010, but was it worth it?
The Microsoft keyboard was one that kind of curved. It wasn’t as if it was split, like some of them are, just bent enough to make it annoying when you switch from a it to a straight keyboard. It must have only cost about £30 and that was in a set with a mouse. After a year or so of heavy use it started to develop problems with some of the keys. I unscrewed it, which was certainly not easy considering the 12 or so screws of different sizes, and looked inside. There was nothing. It was just a rubbery membrane and a sheet of contacts. Nothing broken exactly but just something that was stopping some of the keys from registering.
The Das Keyboard is just a joy to use by comparison. The keys themselves have a satisfying little click just before they are fully depressed. I haven’t managed this yet but I’m sure that you could adjust your typing so that you just hit the first click without pressing the key all the way down.
I ordered the Ultimate, because I can touch-type, but I was a little concerned about entering cryptic passwords that have upper and lowercase as well as numbers. To be honest I haven’t had to do this yet and even if I did have trouble I’d just use the laptop keyboard.
One thing that I used to do with the old keyboard was to look down at the keys when I was hitting the numbered keys above the letters. Now, not having the keys marked means that I have to move my right had up so that my index finger is on the 7 and my little finger is on the 0. After the last week or so I have started to do this simply because I have no choice. The same goes for brackets and the other shifted symbols, there is no visual guide so you have to learn where they are. The numeric keypad is never used. I’m sure it’s only there for accountants and anyone needing to total long lists of numbers. I also have a habit of using one hand to hit an uppercase letter or for control key combinations. It’s these bad habits that I’m going to try to unlearn over time.
It certainly isn’t without it’s faults, but they are only minor. The connection to my Dell laptop is via 2, yes 2, USB ports. The cable out of the keyboard splits in to 2 USB plugs. The laptop has 4 thankfully, the other 2 are for the mouse and a mini-USB cable for my phone. I can’t see why it needs 2 USB ports, possibly for the powered USB sockets that are on the right-hand side. This is another problem. Those ports are right next to my mouse and mouse mat. I wouldn’t use them because any wires would hinder my mousing hand. These ports, useful though they may be, should have been moved 90 degrees anti-clockwise so that they are on the same edge as the main cable. They could even still keep them on the same bump as the Das Keyboard lettering.
Those quirks aside the Das Keyboard is good enough to almost make my job more enjoyable.
Das Keyboard Model S from getDigital