A few months ago, after moving into my new apartment, I decided that I was ready for an upgrade to my PC. New CPU? Nope. New graphics card? Nope. More RAM? Nah. I decided to try my hand at my first ever mechanical keyboard. After doing some Google research and attempting to sort through what others thought the best 'starter' mechanical keyboard was as far as reliability and quality one name continued to come up: Das.
I was originally waiting for the "Das Keyboard 4C" model to come but poor initial reviews regarding build quality made me turn away and instead go for the 'last-gen' Das Keyborad Model 4-- a "full-size", 104-key layout, with Cherry MX Brown switches, two USB 3.0 ports on the keyboard, multimedia keys, N-Key Rollover, and explicitly stated Linux support.
The keyboard weighs in at 2.9lbs (1.3kg), and has dimensions of 18 x 6.8 x .80 inches (45.72 x 17.272 x 2.032cm). The fairly thick USB 3.0 type-A connector cord is 6.5ft (201cm) long . Physically speaking, this keyboard is nothing special-- it's not extra long or thick compared to the 'standard' keyboard. Which could be a good thing if you are trying to fix this into a cramped desk (if you are, maybe try the Model 4C-- which forgoes the numpad), or the size could be a bad thing if you have large hands and are trying to find a 'larger' sized keyboard that's more comfortable to type on. For myself, with "average" sized hands the dimensions of the keyboard and the size of the keycaps are not a problem at all.
Key travel is good, there is a definite 'click' when you depress the key, though not nearly as much as one gets with Cherry MX Blue switches-- a definite plus when you spend much of your time on Skype, Ventrillo, or Teamspeak and you don't want everyone to hear clickity-clack as you type or game. After a little over six months with this keyboard none of the keycaps show any sign of fading or scratching-- thankfully. Only addition that I would have appreciated is if the keyboard were back-lit, but that's less of a problem on a desktop keyboard than a laptop.
Since the keyboard does not have any integrated feet to it, Das chose instead to include a 12-inch long riser-bar, one that doubles as a ruler that they promise: "You'll thank us for later." Unfortunately it means that there is only two settings for the angle of the keyboard: completely flat or an "optimal" 4-degrees. Das, unfortunately, does not include a key-cap remover, so if the user would want to remove the caps to clean the keyboard, then they will have to purchase one separately. Luckily the keyboard is easily cleaned with a few quick bursts of compressed air and a quick wipe with a micro-fiber cloth.