There are so many great keyboards on the market that finding the right one for you can feel like a real challenge. You don’t want to sink time and money into purchasing the wrong keyboard, so ensuring you do the proper research is strongly advised.
Unfortunately, with something so objective like, “which keyboard is best”, you will need to compare a LOT of keyboards before you find the right one. Since there are so many, its a good idea to pick a brand and work your way through that. If you are looking at big-name brands in the keyboard world, Das is going to crop up very early on in your search. For a good reason too.
This article is going to cover everything you need to know about Das keyboards. Where they shine and where they don’t. How they hold up against similar keyboards and whether or not they are worth the hefty price tag at all.
Of course, Das keyboards have a reputation and a price tag for a reason. They are GOOD keyboards. This article aims to find out whether or not they are the best. Or, even great. Further on in the article, we will review their latest model of keyboards, so you can get an up to date fresh perspective of the kind of product Das is putting out right now.
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Who are Das Keyboards?
Das keyboards are a wildly popular keyboard manufacturing company based out of Austin, Texas. The Texas-based company has a long-standing reputation for creating high-quality mechanical keyboards perfect for gaming or working alike. They boast versatility and to an extent, customizability to ensure they can reach as many people as possible.
The first Das keyboard launched in 2005 featuring an, at the time, a unique set of blank keycaps and a cool weighted key technology. Das used the, what was at first seen as gimmicky, keyboard format and features to slice themselves a tidy portion of the market, which they have steadily grown ever since.
Nowadays, Das has a reputation for creating high-quality, albeit expensive, mechanical keyboards with a simplistic reductionist style. They are designed to be sleek, clean, and reliable. Or at least, so the manufacturers say.
Around 2014, Das started to move away from their gimmicky blank gaming keyboards and transitioned to offer office-friendly professional keyboards. Many fans of the company will sight this transition as the beginning of the company’s decline. However, the company has continued to grow and expand its market share and product line.
Whether or not you think this segue into other areas was a betrayal of the original companies purpose or not is entirely up to you to decide.
In 2016, Das keyboards entered into some quite public controversy surrounding one of their newest models. Das launched a kickstarted for their special 5Q keyboards. These keyboards were supposed to be cloud-connected, meaning they could receive signals independent over the internet that would do things such as change their color, make interesting lighting patterns, all completely randomized or trigger from a third-party source. It was a fun little idea, that gathered a lot of backing very quickly.
The controversy arose when Das failed to provide the product to its backers. If you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, you pitch a product and people can donate as a form of crowdfunding. In return for a free version of the product. It took das 2 years to deliver on their product, by then they had already garnered a lot of ill will and customer frustration. The company hasn’t fully recovered from this little mishap in some people’s eyes.
What makes Das Keyboards special?
As mentioned briefly above, when Das first entered the market place they used their blank keycaps as a strong selling point. Blank keycaps are pretty unique, not many other keyboard manufacturers offered this option at the time. Most still don’t.
The blank keycaps allowed for some creativity and customizability, many gamers took pride in being able to play well on a keyboard with no indication of what key you are currently pressing. As if this was evidence that they were the better player. Arguably it does make them a better player if they can pull it off. Otherwise, it makes them a silly player.
Das keyboards also have what are called individually weight keycaps. This is because each key is pressed at a different weight/force. Some keys we just glance over with a gentle touch, some we slam our thumb or finger into. Like the space bar for example.
It is not uncommon for keyboards to weight the space and return keys different to their others. Das just took it one step further, they looked at every key individually and weighted them accordingly. Some people find that this makes the keyboard easy and comfortable to use. Some people hate it because it feels strange and takes some time to get used to it.
The latest Das Model review:
The recently released Das 5Q Smart Keyboard aims to be everything that the Kickstarter promised and more. It has such an increased functionality over other keyboards that you will be hard-pressed to find one that does more.
The 5Q has next-level cloud capabilities ensuring that you can pull any information that you might need off the internet with just the press of a key. Just as modern keyboards have optimized the function key to allow increased key versatility and functionality, the Das 5Q allows the user to use even more function. The 5Q has individual functions set aside for pulling all sorts of data off the internet for you. For example, the weather forecast or GitHub.
You can also pull all sorts of data about your pc up at a press of a button. You can pull up CPU/GPU and RAM usage to quickly and easily see how your computer is performing. Your email can be pulled up with a simple inbuilt macro to save you time and effort when getting your work done.
The newest Das keyboard makes switching between data sets, like the stock market, easier than it has perhaps ever been. It does all of this at the expense of losing what Das was originally about. Blank keycaps. That is still an option if you are happy to customize, but it certainly isn’t the norm any longer.
Your keyboard will almost function as some kind of smart device, like a tablet or mobile phone. It is fully customizable with a comprehensive yet simple to use UI. You can easily set your keyboards many functions to run all sorts of complex macros to make your life easier. Whether that means work or play depends on how you choose to use this keyboard. Because it is your choice.
This keyboard works for anyone for any purpose, it does everything well. Very well, in fact. If you were feeling frustrated that Das delayed your Kickstarter reward for an extra year, you’ll find that it was worth the wait.
Interested? Check pricing and availability on Amazon.
Like all Das keyboards, it is perfectly designed for creative style and flair when customizing your backlight settings. It is fully RGB capable meaning you can get pretty much any color of the rainbow in any order you may like. Since the keyboard is so easily programmable, setting it up to flash colors at you when certain events occur. Stocks rise or fall, you get an email, storms coming, etc.
You can even customize it to help you in-game, using lights to indicate certain factors such as in-game health or time remaining left in the game. Its limitations are almost entirely tied to your creativity. Luckily, for those of us who are less than gifted creativity wise, its cloud capabilities make sharing settings, functions, and macros as easy as can be.
Are Das Keyboards worth it?
Whether or not Das keyboards are worth the hefty price tag is probably tied to what you want to use it for. If you are someone who uses your computer to do all sorts of things. Checking stocks, emails, programming, office work, etc then you will get great use out of all the little widgets that you can customize for your personal use.
If you are a content writer, who spends their time typing away but pretty much just using a word document or some other kind of word processor, then you are spending more than you need to.
As gaming keyboards go, this isn’t the best one for that price point. If you don’t plan on making use of all the cool functions that the 5Q has to offer then you are spending way more than you need to.
That doesn’t mean a different Das keyboard isn’t right for you, perhaps the 4Q, it just means that 5Q isn’t. Or at least, probably isn’t. If you want to buy the 5Q just because it will give you the option to make all of these customizations, more power to you.
How do they differ from other brands?
Das, in the beginning, had a few very niche selling points that they used to help promote their keyboards. First, they used their blank keycaps. Next, they used their individually weighted keys to create comfort and ease of use. It didn’t take other manufacturers long to catch on. Eventually, they needed to do something completely different. In comes the 5Q.
How the 5Q differs from other keyboards will be obvious from the above two sections, it is by far more advanced and functional. As a simple keyboard though, it isn’t anything special. It uses the same Cherry MX Switches, so switching the keycaps out to whatever you prefer is no real trouble. As a tool for typing, in my opinion, Das keyboards are nothing special. But, you likely aren’t buying them as a futurist typewriter. You are buying them for the full package.
Are you just paying for the name?
Many people would argue that, yes, you are paying for the name. At least, until the 5Q you were. The 5Q does everything you could ask of a keyboard and more. Beforehand though, Das did very little to innovate.
Blank keycaps are great and all, but you can buy them yourself and switch them out. Without having to pay 100% more than you otherwise would for a similar keyboard from a different manufacturer.
The Das name might have been temporarily besmirched during the year-long gap between the 5Q arriving at the day it was promised. But, that is old news. That was 2 years ago now, Das has proven that they can get the product right. It just might take a little longer than they anticipated.
After all, would you rather have a product that’s on time or a product that’s the best it can be?
Are there better keyboards on the market for a similar price?
The Corsair r95 RGB might be right up your alley if you are looking for an RGB backlight gaming keyboard, without all the extra bells and whistles.
Click the image to check price on Amazon
It is easily on par with the Das in terms of being a keyboard, in my opinion. It simply doesn’t do all the extra things. And for that, it costs significantly less.
It has a strong, sleek-looking, aluminum frame and a great wrist rest. It is reasonably ergonomic so you are getting comfortability not just functionality. That being said, I would probably still go for the 5Q.
Even if you don’t make use of all its functions, chances are you will still get a kick out of using its customizability to goof around in-game or make your workweek a little bit shorter.
So, hopefully, you now have a pretty good idea about who Das are and what makes them so special. If you were on the fence about getting the new 5Q, or just wondering are das keyboards worth it, I hope this article has helped you lean one way or the other.
In my personal opinion, the 5Q is in a league of its own. It is such an interesting innovation in the keyboard world, its a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnating marketplace. Good luck picking your next keyboard, happy typing!
If you want to see more of my product reviews, check out my Guides and Reviews category!