When it comes to mechanical keyboards, one of the first things that comes to the mind of many people is gaming. It’s not uncommon to see flashy mechanical keyboards with all sorts of bells and whistles. Das Keyboard takes a bit of a different approach to the keyboard market. Instead of pushing over-the-top features, they aim for sleekness and quality with their products. The Das Ultimate 4 is a keyboard that follows the Das paradigm and offers a really great experience.
Just by the weight of the keyboard, it’s clear that Das isn’t joking around with the build quality of the Ultimate. The main plate of the keyboard is made out of anodized aluminum and the entire body is very durable. The ABS keycaps sit on top of gold-plated Cherry MX switches. The Cherry MX switches offer a great typing experience as expected, but the ABS keycaps leave a bit to be desired considering PBT is the plastic of choice when it comes to keycaps. The keyboard also includes an optional bar that attaches to the underside of the keyboard via magnets. This offers a slight angle to use the keyboard at, but the footbar doesn’t have rubber feet like the keyboard itself does. This can lead to the keyboard occasionally sliding out of place depending on your typing surface.
The functionality of the keyboard is rather simple, but it does exactly what is needed from a keyboard. In addition to the standard 104 keys there are also five extra buttons. Three of which offer media controls, such as skip back, play/pause, and skip forward. Above the media keys is a small button that sleeps the computer and a button that mutes the audio. Next to these five buttons there is large knob that controls the volume. The knob is slightly offset from the edge of the keyboard making it easily adjustable from the side. The knob has a tactile feedback that makes it very easy to determine how much the volume is being changed. On the backside of the keyboard there are two USB 3.0 ports that pass through the lengthy six and a half foot USB cable. It should also be noted that Das made it possible to enable full n-key rollover over the USB cable, making a PS/2 adapter unnecessary.
One of the biggest factors that make The Ultimate 4 stand out from other keyboards is its look. The keyboard is completely black with the only colors being the red accent on the volume knob and the small blue LEDs that indicate the toggle-able functions like caps, scroll, or number lock. To keep this sleek look, all of the keycaps are completely blank. All of the standard sized keys are the same with the exception of bumps to indicate the home keys. While this may seem unpractical to a inexperienced typer, it does offer some benefits. The biggest one is the ability to easily switch between layouts. Changing your keyboard layout is very easy to do without having to switch around the keys. It also offers a great opportunity to learn unorthodox keyboard layouts like dvorak.
The Das Ultimate 4 is the perfect balance between form and function. It may not offer the same type of bells and whistles that can be found on gaming products, but it offers a great out-of-the-box typing experience. Looks are certainly subjective, but this is definitely a better looking keyboard for those who prefer a more minimalistic style.
The Das Ultimate 4 was sent to us for review by Massdrop. Massdrop allows you to vote on cool tech and various products you may be interested in buying. If enough people are interested in the same product, you can buy it for a price significantly lower than the MSRP.
To join Massdrop, simply click on the link below.