Mechanical keyboards group test: Das Keyboard Model S Professional
It’s a well-engineered keyboard, but it does move around the desk easier than most
If German engineering is a must for your peripherals, then you won’t find much better than that of the Das Keyboard Model S Professional.
The Das Keyboard Model S is available in a variety of layouts, catering for both Mac and Windows users and with a variety of Cherry MX switches: blue for the clicky, noisy versions, brown for the softer, more tactile feel and red for the quieter designs, to put it simply. The gold plated switches on the MX red version we had felt good and were really quiet, especially when compared to tapping away at a Cherry MX blue switch keyboard, such as the Cherry G80.
The keys are smooth and concave, decently spaced and make for an accurate and comfortable position when typing or gaming. There are multimedia control keys available, although when used via PS/2, the full N-key rollover with the PS/2 adapter operates perfectly fine as does the six-key rollover through USB.
This keyboard comes with a lengthy 2m cable with a split end: one for the keyboard itself and the other to power the built-in two-port USB hub that’s located to the right-hand side of the keyboard. Having the integrated USB hub is quite handy, especially if your monitor is without this feature, although having it placed on the right of the keyboard is an odd decision, because the mouse (for right-handed people) can knock anything that’s poking out the side, such as a particularly big USB stick. Granted, that might not happen all the time, but we think the USB hub would have been better being located at the back of the keyboard.
The four rubberised feet around the rear of the keyboard give it plenty of stability, but when you flip out the support stands, there appears to be very little in contact with the surface of the desk. The result is that this keyboard does tend to move around a fair bit more than the others on test here.
There are a number of replacement keys available, the usual WASD (although this isn’t really considered as a gamer's keyboard), some coloured variants, and replacement Windows keys and Superkey equivalents are also interchangeable. In addition, there’s also a Mac version of this keyboard, which obviously has the Mac keys laid in whichever way Mac users require. Interestingly, there’s also an Ultimate edition of the Model S, which has totally blank keys – one for the professionals then.
Whichever version you decide to go for, the Das Keyboard Model S Professional is a fantastic mechanical keyboard. The red MX switch version we had was fluid, easy to use and certainly quieter than the rest of the group, almost as quiet as its membrane cousins, and in general it just felt really nice to use.
Mind you, it’s not cheap. At around £122 you could be forgiven for opting to purchase two Cherry’s or for going with The Keyboard Company’s excellent selection of Filcos and still have change left over. If the integrated hub is an absolute must have for you, then the Model S will certainly fit the bill. If you’re not bothered or you operate in an enclosed environment, then you’re better off with something else.
• Price: £122.40
• Manufacturer: Das
• Website: shop.daskeyboard.com/
• Required spec: PS/2 or USB port