|Professional Mechanical Keyboard Comparison|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by David Ramsey - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 27 September 2009|
Page 6 of 11
Das Keyboard Ultimate Keyboard
Metadot Corp. has but two products: The Das Keyboard Professional and the Das Keyboard Ultimate. Each is a modern native-USB-with-hub keyboard built with high quality "German-engineered gold plated mechanical key switches" (i.e. Cherry MX switches). They are identical except that the Ultimate model has no lettering on the keys. That's right, you're looking at a black keyboard with 104 unlabeled black keys:
Having this nigrescent baby on your desk will impress everyone. You can casually explain that you find key labels "distracting", or that you type so much you simply wore them all off. I found I had no trouble with most typing but was occasionally stymied if my hands wandered off the home position or I needed to type a diacritical or non-alpha character: my fingers simply haven't memorized the location of the "%" sign. [Editor's note: it's over the "5" key, as it has been since the dawn of time.]
The blue status LEDs for Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, and Num Lock provide the only bit of color. Although Metadot does not reveal the switch manufacturer, pulling off a key cap reveals a blue plunger, so they're probably the ubiquitous Cherry MX switches.
Unique among the USB keyboards in this review is a two-port USB 2.0 hub (really, what's so hard about building in a USB hub?) The only thing about this keyboard that I didn't like was the mirror-shiny black plastic upper case, which attracts fingerprints and scratches. Metadot, apparently aware of this, does provide a tiny microfiber polishing cloth with the keyboard, but a textured upper case would be better.
The keyboards come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty valid unless (as noted on the web site) "Bigfoot steps on it."
The typing feel of this keyboard is identical to the Avant Stellar keyboard.