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Price: 89.95 with free shipping to continental US at http://daskeyboard.com/
Reason for Acquiring:
Well, I finally got a new keyboard because I was fed up with the saitek Eclipse gaming keyboard (which is the only keyboard I know of that gets in the way of other gaming devices rendering itself incompatible with other gaming devices, and as such the games that use them... ergo, a gaming keyboard incompatible with some games) that I had owned prior. The gray coating on the keys had already begun to wear off while the backlight never was trong enough to meet my needs... and the fact that it failed at one of it's primary function made it dumpster food. The replacement is the newest iteration of the Das Keyboard, Das Keyboard II.
Why would I buy such a blatantly niche item for such an igregious price? Mostly, curiosity. The first keyboard in the line-up was met with outrageous fanfare in some crowds, and since many of the aspects of the original design remained intact (blank key caps, signature all black look, etc) while adding a feature I was particularly interested in (mechanical key switches).
We have a motive.
After a brief order process, my credit card was charged, I budgeted the expendature in. 3 days later (much earlier than expected from ground shipping from any location, really), I had a UPS tag on my door, as I had been out at the time (work). Two days later I had the box in hand and I was playing with it on the way home one the bus. I wonder how many odd looks I got?
Getting home I plugged it in and turned on USB keyboard support in my bios and it just worked. No hassles, no problems, only a slight delay while I waited for the device to be initiated upon first installed boot. I was off and away making all kinds of racket with those loud clickclacking mechanical keys...
We have a keyboard. (in fact, THE keyboard, as metadot would have it)
We have black.
After getting the system booted and the operating system recognizing the input device, I was off typing away. The first test was gaming performance, since it was in fact a must. I tested how quickly I was able to respond, How much the keys resisted to sudden movements, how easily I was able to double tap keys as well as how many can be impressed at any one time (with all impressed keys registering).
The first test yielded satisfactory results for my first 10 minutes with an entirely different breed of keyboard. If I understand it right all my previous keyboards had been of the Dome Switch variety, which, while good for some applications can easily be outdone in many situations by mechanical keyboards as well as other variations of keyboards. I'm sure that because of this keyboard I will probably never use any other type of keyboard again. After faring well in a few online matches in Quake 4 Multiplayer (First in game 1, second in game 2) I moved to an empty server for the next test...
I wanted to see if this keyboard handled multiple key impression differently than others. Most keyboards stop accepting input when several keys are pressed, and in games where a player can be pressing as many as 5 keys at any given time, this is a bad thing. If a key doesn't respond as expected when you need it to, you'll lose. Regardless of skill, if the keyboard gets in your way there isn't much one can do. To make a long story short the keyboard can handle 3 character keys, any number of modifier keys and space all at the same time. Not too bad at all.
We have satisfaction.
- Blank key switches make it easier to move to different keymappings since there are no letters to confuse the typists.
- Keys are responses and provide a crisp clean clicky feedback.
- The blank keys, while sexy, can get in the way... especially when the screen provides no feedback and input integrity is critical, which I noticed as I filed my taxes using this board earlier.
I should be ashamed of myself.