When looking at information created for the Das Keyboard, the marketing team stressed two areas - the individually weighted key switches and the keys that are free of any inscriptions. Another area we were personally quite impressed by was the sheer build quality. Although plastic was used for all of the construction, the actual frame of the keyboard was most impressive. Even while applying pressure to the keyboard on various sides and angles, the Das Keyboard would barely flex or show any problematic symptoms. However, the Das Keyboard does use a traditional key layout and the base is quite large almost being twice the size of a Hiper aluminum keyboard. With such an outstanding build quality that you almost need to see to believe, frequent LAN party attendees should have no worries lugging the Das Keyboard around with them as when they pull it out of their bag, it should be as good as new.
As far as the key layout goes, it’s a traditional full size 104-key keyboard. Unlike some desktop keyboards that contain all the keys but are more compact, like the keyboards found on laptops, the same isn't true for the Das Keyboard. The keyboard's keys are all full size and the arrow and positional keys are both on their own "island" while the rest of the keys are all positioned in their traditional locations. Also, a rare oddity by today's keyboards is that the Das Keyboard doesn't offer any multi-media or hot keys. Personally, we at Phoronix don't mind this change as often the keys don't always remain functional or there are compatibility issues with the keys and Linux. One of the key features to the Das Keyboard is that 100% of the keys are physically clear of any writing. With the keys being free from any inscriptions, there are no characters to look at while typing so it’s engineered to increase your typing speed whether you're a slow typist or are already blazing fast.
Another one of the differences between the Das Keyboard and its competitors is the individually weighted keyswitches. Through using this unique design, all of the keys are different in the amount of force required to register an action. The switches are divided into five different levels of force - 35, 45, 55, 65, and 80 grams. For reference, a traditional computer keyboard generally requires about 55 grams of force to register an operation. You may ask, why the difference in force? Daniel Guermeur designed the key switches for additional comfort on your hands and fingers through the unique design.
Although computer keyboard compatibility hasn't been a significant issue with the Linux 2.6 or even the 2.4 kernel, the Das Keyboard has official support for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Macintosh OS. Overall, the Das Keyboard is packed with innovative and unique features for enhancing the typing experience, and is designed to give a bad ass typing effect, but now it's time to see how it will really perform.