daskeyboard Pro 4S Review

15-04-daskey

When I bought my new computer, I added the daskeyboard Professional 4S switch-type input device. Want lots more info: try the daskeyboard website. The boards are available in both PC and Apple flavors though they’re mostly Henry Ford Model T black.

It’s a wired (no, not weird) keyboard, the first I’ve had for several years though now that I’m back to a hardwired board, I don’t know why I ever switched. There’s virtually no lag on input, a factor also enhanced by the switch-type keys. As you can see in the image, it’s a standard QWERTY layout, full-sized, with a glossy finish. I’m not sure about the shiny black as it does tend to show dust but that’s really a minor factor. Otherwise, the device is a joy to type on, particularly for someone who is quick on the keys and does a significant amount of keyboard input. Each stroke is crisp–a factor I’d forgotten about after years of the spongy chicklet switches on most computer keyboards–and the board is stiff (and heavy) Stiff? It doesn’t flex like so many of the lightweight wireless devices. Heavy? They keyboard has no tendency to move around on the desk. Board has a PS2 to USB adaptor on the line, two USB connections allow the user to have a pair of USB2 outputs operating from the keyboard, a handy feature on most desks.

Desk? Yup. This is a desktop keyboard, just in case you haven’t noticed. Personally, I deplore working on a laptop or even worse, on the naaasty little imitation keyboards that attach to tablet devices. I learned to type in the 7th grade gifted education, Montgomery Jr. High School, San Diego, California. Thank you, California. Though as a little boy just beginning junior high (I’m old; we didn’t call it middle school) I though typing was for little girls, I was…a usual…quite wrong. My facility at a keyboard, beginning with the office-model upright typewriters by Royal and Underwood through the early electrics by IBM (jeez, remember the Selectric?) and the first Cume daisy-wheel devices, has been an integral part of a career working in news, freelance journalism, advertising, radio/TV: well, you get the idea. Why this big pitch about typing? Because many schools are doing away with typing classes based on the specious reasoning that young people learn to use a keyboard when they first pick up a smart phone at six or seven years of age. They don’t need typing classes.

Bullshit, to use a term I didn’t learn (formally, anyway) in gifted ed.

Watch someone use two fingers (or thumbs) on a touch input device. They’re moving fast but not really entering much info. That’s why for you to know has become 4 u 2 kn0 and see you is CU. Try to write a few hundred words (or even better still, a few thousand) using a touch-input screen. Maybe you’ll like it. I don’t. Encourage your children to learn how to type, not just to poke at a cellular phone. Encourage your schools to teach typing. It’s really a wonderful skill that’s easy to learn when one is young. (I wish I’d have learned piano instead of masturbation folk guitar.)

Back to the daskeyboard, which was supposed to be what this review is about. It’s a bit on the pricey side (well over $100)¬†but that’s true of any of the switch-type, hard-wired¬†keyboards. There’s an entire slew of the devices on the market now, mostly marketed to gamers. Why gamers? Lack of latency, no delay when inputing from a hard-wired mouse or keyboard. That lack of latency is quite valuable when writing, particularly if you’re typing at around 100 wpm. Cheap boards create many, many errors that disappear when using a high quality input device like the daskeyboard.

There are several flavors of keyboard available to include a board without key markings for those who think they don’t need an occasional bit of help remembering where symbols, numbers and other guides are located. I do. As referred to at the top of this review, the boards are available in PC or Apple versions. Input is via a ps2 connector that comes complete with a USB adaptor attached. Connecting line is long, easily long enough to snake down past my monitor, though the access hole in the center of my desk and around to the back of a tower-type computer and there’s line left over.

Cons: I do wish the board had a textured finish instead of high gloss. I also would like to have seen a slanted (or ergonometric) style board. I’ve used several MS boards that allow me to angle my hands and I like them, though they’re not in the same league as far as touch goes.

Pros: Excellent key feel. Ability to input at high speed compared to the chicklet-switch boards that are so prevalent today. Refurbished keyboards are available at the company website, daskeyboard.com, and the discounts are quite significant. Shipping was included in the price (purchasing from the manufacturer’s US website) and the device went out from Austin, Texas, on the same day I ordered it. All in all, an excellent purchase and one I have no problem recommending.

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