Das Keyboard 4 Professional Mechanical Keyboard REVIEW
High-performance, mechanical keyboard works with Mac, too.
In the past year, I have rediscovered the wonder of mechanical keyboards. As soon as my fingers tickled the keys on a tournament-level mechanical keyboard, I was instantly transported back to my grade school’s computer lab where I played Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? after typing lessons were complete. Back then, those keyboards were built to last and they had a fantastic clickety-clack sound whenever your fingers tapped through the keys. For many years, I have only been using the keyboard on my laptop, which was built to be silent.
So, after rediscovering the wonder of the mechanical keyboard, I started searching for one that was a good compliment to Apple computers. Most keyboards are cross-platform compatible, but nearly all of them are designed for PC users. It’s very apparent when you look at the speciality keys and see the very distinct Windows key. One mechanical keyboard I ended up finding was the Das Keyboard 4 Professional Mechanical Keyboard for Mac.
Out of the box, Das Keyboard 4 is ready to play. It has a nylon-wrapped USB cord for connection to your Mac and a detachable, magnetic foot bar to raise it for easy typing. The keyboard is of average weight, but actually lighter than many mechanical keyboards I’ve tried out. It looks pretty standard and getting started with it is very easy. You simply plug it into a USB port on your computer and your Mac will pull up the utility that helps to identify the keyboard being used. Once you tap a couple of keys on the keyboard, you are ready to go.
Even though it’s simple to set up, it’s got a complex system beneath the surface. A lot of detailed work went into the design of the keyboard to ensure you get your 50 million keystrokes. Some of the more advanced features include —
- Greetech Brown Switch keys are built using gold contact and have a soft bump halfway through a key press. These mechanical keys are a little less clicky than other heavy-duty gaming keyboards, but they still give you a wonderful tactile experience while typing.
- Dedicated Media Controls allows users to quickly adjust volume using the oversized volume knob or pause, play, or skip audio or video tracks. These controls are actually very appreciated because it means that you don’t have to switch back and forth from program to program. The controls are right at your fingertips.
- N-Key Rollover is supported completely with the Das Keyboard 4 Professional. This is a feature that many programmers will appreciate even though it might be somewhat lost on my computing skills. NKRO means that each key is scanned completely independently by the keyboard hardware so that each keypress is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being pressed or held down at the time.To use it, you simply press shift + mute to toggle NKRO.
- The USB 3.0 Hub makes it possible for you to connect devices directly to your keyboard and interface with your computer. This is a wonderful feature in my opinion because you don’t end up losing a port due to your keyboard being plugged in.
- The Footbar doubles as a 16-inch ruler when not in use. When it is in use, it raises the keyboard to an optimal 4-degrees for comfortable typing. While this is definitely something that many people prefer, I used it for several weeks without being raised and found the angle was just fine.
One of the things I really like about this keyboard is its simplicity. It doesn’t require any complicated programming to enjoy it. I’ve tested out several different gaming/mechanical keyboards. They can be clunky instead of elegant and they sometimes require that you program it to your personal preferences. To some — gamers and programmers — this is a wonderful feature. To someone, like me, who just wants a solid Mac-centric keyboard, those features can be a little cumbersome.
The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is sleek, well-built, and has a very low profile. I used the keyboard for standard typing and was very happy with it. While I enjoy the clickety-clack of mechanical keyboards, it was refreshing to have the same type of feel without the noise. I’ve never had any problems with it not registering a keystroke. My typing experience has been wonderful with the Das Keyboard 4 Professional Mechanical Keyboard
Buy it from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2yr8Jn1
Originally published at macsources.com on July 1, 2016.