Mechanical keyboards have been in the spotlight over the past few years, with the market growing exponentially and dozens of companies designing and promoting myriads of new products. The technology itself is definitely not new, with the first mechanical keyboards coming out over three decades ago, but they quickly faded away after the introduction of electronic/membrane keyboards that were selling for a fraction of the price. Today, mechanical keyboards are high up on the list of extra peripherals that enthuaists are interested in purchasing for their PC systems.

Introduction

As manufacturing costs came down, mechanical keyboards started finding their way into the consumer market about a decade ago. While still much more expensive than typical membrane keyboards, their market prices were becoming relatively affordable for people that were willing to pay the premium price for a better user experience. At that time, the market was very limited and only a few companies dared to tread towards it, let alone base their foundations on it.

In this review we are taking a look at two mechanical keyboards from Das Keyboard, the renowned US-based designer of mechanical keyboards. While their first keyboard was not a mechanical keyboard, every keyboard after that first one was, and nowadays the whole brand name is essentially bound with the design and marketing of quality mechanical keyboards. The company has supplied us with both their highly popular Das Keyboard 4 Professional and their newest Das Keyboard Prime 13, which are of similar design but are targeted at different target groups.

Packaging and Bundle

Das Keyboard 4 Professional

We received the Das Keyboard 4 Professional in a wide, yet thin white cardboard box. The box itself is of good quality and, with the combination of additional cardboard packaging and polyethylene foam pieces inside it, it is offering excellent shipping protection to the keyboard.

We found no bundle inside the box of the Das Keyboard 4 Professional. Considering that it is a product targeted towards professionals, the company rightfully does not expect them to worry about fancy items such as stickers. A keycap puller would be nice, if only for cleaning purposes. On the other hand, inside the box we found a 35 cm ruler, which doubles as a magnetic tilt stand for the keyboard. Although the presence of a ruler is not a breakthrough innovation, it certainly was rather creative for the designer to replace the keyboard's simple tilt mechanism with an item that can actually be of some use one day in the office.

Das Keyboard Prime 13

The box of the Das Keyboard Prime 13 is of equal size to that of the Das Keyboard 4 Professional, offering the same level of shipping security. The artwork and the aggressive phrasing however clearly hint that this keyboard has an somewhat different market focus.

Inside the box we found a quick start guide with very basic information about the keyboard and a keycap puller. There is no ruler here, the Prime 13 is a standard design with feet for tilt.

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional Mechanical Keyboard
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  • niva - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - link

    Yeah but using words like that on the cover of your product, even if for "badasses," just seems like a terrible choice in marketing. Good for them that they have such a company that clearly doesn't care all that much about being PC but overall it's probably not a good move. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - link

    Germans. Reply
  • Krause - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - link

    It's not even German, even the company name is marketing BS. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - link

    I don't really think it's a good marketing method either, but I'm willing to give a company a little wiggle room on that because none of them understand their target market beyond the basement dwelling gamer man-boy stereotype. If, like me, you've always been outside of that stereotypical demographic, then you eventually get used to ignoring marketing and focusing on the product's more utilitarian elements to determine if its right for you. Reply
  • Michael Bay - Saturday, January 14, 2017 - link

    >2017
    >caring about PC

    I don`t think they are feminists there either, gasp.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - link

    It would be helpful to see a chart comparing features between these two keyboards. Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - link

    Oops, here it is: http://www.daskeyboard.com/compare-keyboards/ Reply
  • boeush - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - link

    I'm a big fan of the ergonomics of Microsoft Natural keyboard.

    Wondering whether, if ever, there will be an actually ergonomic design with mechanical switches...
    Reply
  • voicequal - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - link

    Try kinesis-ergo.com. I've been using their keyboards for 15 years and could never go back to a traditional keyboard for regular use. Good for productivity but probably not gaming. Reply
  • HMK - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - link

    I have a Das Keyboard and it's fairly nice to type on and the build quality is great.

    However, the ruler is daft. There are no rubber feet on it, so when it's installed, the keyboard just slides all over the place, which makes it completely useless.

    Then you have the caps lock light, which is hidden between two rows of keys, so you cannot see the light from the standard sitting position. Other lights are hidden there too.

    Just barely worth the money, I'd say.
    Reply

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