Das Keyboard Model S: Adds Media Keys, Still Clicky
I previously reviewed the original Das Keyboard, which I found to be quite phenomenal in every respect except the price. Last month, I got their newer Model S keyboard to try. It comes in three models: the Professional, Ultimate, and Professional “Silent” (which really means “less noisy”).
Like the original Das Keyboard, the keyboard feels–and sounds–like an original IBM AT keyboard. When you pressed the button, you could both hear–and feel–that the button was pressed. That’s because those keyboards–unlike most keyboards today–were made with mechanical switches. The Das Keyboard is made with similar switches. These mechanical switches add to the overall heft of the keyboard as well as the cost, which is $129–a bit more than your standard keyboard.
The Model S includes media keys (i.e. volume and stop/start/rewind/forward buttons), most of which work just fine on the Mac. Unfortunately, it does so at the expense of the left Windows key, making it somewhat more difficult to use on my Mac since that maps to the Command key on the Mac. Yes, there is a Windows key on the bottom right, but it’s not quite the same.
This particular keyboard also requires two USB plugs: one for the two-port USB hub and one specifically for the keyboard itself. This is likely necessary because it’s possible to use this USB keyboard as a PS/2 keyboard with the included adapter. Why might you want to do that? Because with PS/2 mode, there is N-key rollover support (USB mode only has 6-key rollover support).
If I worked in a conventional office, I would be using this keyboard daily. It’s very good, even without a Windows key on the left-hand side. Unfortunately, my office is located next to my daughter’s bedroom, making this keyboard all but impractical in the late evening or early morning. I could purchase the earplugs from Das Keyboard (yes, they sell earplugs!), but that’s not practical in my situation