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Review: Das Keyboard Model S Professional for Mac is a solid mechanical-switch keyboard

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:00 AM

Post your comments for Review: Das Keyboard Model S Professional for Mac is a solid mechanical-switch keyboard here
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#2 User is offline   JeffFields 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:39 AM

The first paragraph is incorrect. Apple's current keyboards are not "membrane keyboards". Reference:

http://en.wikipedia....mbrane_keyboard

Current Apple keyboards use a scissor switch mechanism. Now, it's true that these keyswitches are not as satisfying as the large, clicky keyswitches Das Keyboard uses, but they are keyswitches nonetheless.
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#3 User is offline   sexyhermit 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:48 AM

This keyboard has a wonderful feel, but it suffers a fatal flaw. The left command key is positioned farther to the left than it is on Apple keyboards (and every other 3rd party Mac keyboard I've used). They simply reused their existing PC keyboard layout (which is different than a Mac layout) with different key markings.

At first I simply found myself pressing the space bar whenever I tried to type a keyboard shortcut with the command key. Eventually I retrained myself to reach even farther for the command key, but after less than a week of using this keyboard I developed severe RSI pain in my left thumb from all the extra straining. I stopped using the keyboard and the pain eventually went away.

It's such a shame because this really was an awesome keyboard... it just isn't a Mac keyboard (despite the key markings).
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#4 User is offline   Ripster 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:49 AM

Nice review. Especially glad you compared it with the Matias.

Congrats. Your review has been featured at Reddit!

http://www.reddit.co...l_for_mac_is_a/
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#5 User is offline   malbiniak 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:49 AM

I've been using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard since the dawn of time, which is a disclaimer to let you know that a) I don't have the same fatal flaw as "sexyhermit" does and B) I have a strange taste in keyboards.

My neighbor at work picked up a Das for his Mac. After a few of us laughed at him for how loud his typing is, I gave it a shot. Five minutes later, I snagged two up from Amazon, one for home and one for the office. I also grabbed some new headphones (noise canceling, naturally). I love the mechanical response of the keys and the sound quality of my headphones is fantastic. My neighbors don't seem too pleased, though.

Two weeks later, I was awarded "Best Real Life Troll, 2012."
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#6 User is offline   esagustin 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:04 AM

The Model S Professional does in fact have dedicated Brightness Control keys at the F14/F15 position.
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#7 User is offline   fark 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:22 AM

I have the PC version of the Das Keyboard, and use it with my Mac Pro. While Apple's Keyboard preference pane allows you to swap the Cmd and Opt keys (Mac OS reads it as a PC keyboard, and honours the PC mapping of those keys by default), that's all it permits. The PC keyboard does not natively support any of the media key functions of a Mac keyboard.

However...

The amazingly excellent and slightly inaccurately named KeyRemap4MacBook preference pane [ http://pqrs.org/maco...yremap4macbook/ ] (works with any Mac), along with its companion software PCKeyboardHack, allow you to reassign the PC Das Keyboard keys to exactly mimic any generation of Mac keyboard you like, including making the PC menu key function as a Fn key. It also supports all kinds of custom keyboard layouts, including Dvorak and Colemak layouts as well as vi keybindings and caps-lock disabling.

I went with the PC version rather than the Mac version because I found it on sale for $65 vs. $133. Even spending $12 on blank keycaps to replace the Windows symbol cap, I saved money. I'm very, very happy with the keyboard.
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#8 User is offline   brlawyer 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:27 AM

And where are the mouse ratings for this review? Why is it so difficult for Macworld to show them prominently as it used to do in the 90s?
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#9 User is offline   AlptekinSanli 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

I'd also recommend looking into Unicomp keyboards (who also have Mac specific models [with function keys etc. hardwired; so it's not just what's printed on the keycaps]).

These use 'buckling spring' switches; and have quite a cult following.
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#10 User is offline   mooncaine 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

Very good review, full of the kind of details I like to see. I appreciate it. I'll be keeping a lookout for more.
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#11 User is offline   technologist 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:38 PM

Quote

The first paragraph is incorrect. Apple's current keyboards are not "membrane keyboards". Reference: http://en.wikipedia....mbrane_keyboard Current Apple keyboards use a scissor switch mechanism.
The two are not mutually exclusive.

http://www.flickr.co...oac/1701200425/

The round nubbin in the center of the scissor is the membrane. The membrane provides the resistive force, while the scissor is the hinge which allows the key to move but not pop off or twist.

Quote

And where are the mouse ratings for this review? Why is it so difficult for Macworld to show them prominently as it used to do in the 90s?
I remember how, back in the '90s, Macworld used to warn buyers to avoid Apple's "overpriced" keyboard (the legendary mechanical Extended Keyboard II.)

This post has been edited by technologist: 04 December 2012 - 01:43 PM

And now a word from our lawyers.
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#12 User is offline   revco 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:22 PM

I had a Matias Tactile Pro a few years back. It was so loud I had to get rid of it. Ended up replacing it with a wireless Logitech diNovo Keyboard Mac Edition which I absolutely love. Used every day for the last 2 1/2 years and still on the same set of 4xAAA batteries. Plus it comes with a 5-year warrantee.
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#13 User is offline   mythrenegade 

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  Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:31 PM

If the photos are correct this also has a PC numeric keypad layout. As someone who uses it a lot, on a Mac, this is a deal breaker. Hitting * in excel and getting - instead is not acceptable. It also has one fewer key.
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#14 User is offline   pcryan 

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  Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:19 PM

Sadly too loud for my open office cube farm. Great feel. Comfortable but LOUD.
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