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Das Keyboard: Hit Any Key

timothy posted about 9 years ago | from the perfect-for-tech-hipster-tv-shows dept.


Black hardware just can't help looking cool (think TIE fighters, NeXT Cubes, and the hard-to-find black SE/30 case you might have lusted for in 1994), but have you ever wanted an all-black keyboard? Das Keyboard, from Austin-based Metadot, fills the craving for those so afflicted, and by "all-black," I mean something very nearly that: except a small white label ("Das Keyboard") in the upper left corner and labels for the three usual indicator lights -- num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock -- there's nothing but black to see. The keys are unlabeled in any conventional sense, though the index-finger keys of the conventional home row (F and J) are marked with the usual small bumps; theoretically, this should make typing more accurate after a time, just because cheating with one's eyeballs isn't a possibility. It's the aesthetic opposite of the recently announced Optimus keyboard; this is high minimalism applied to the modern keyboard. The truth is, I wanted to like Das Keyboard. It looks cool, and the concept sounds, well, sound. The thing itself left me a bit disappointed, though; I've outlined my reasoning below.

The problem with inviting comparison

Metadot borrowed from the best in the design of their keyboard: dimensionally, it's just about a dead ringer for an IBM Model M. Compared to my 1984 Model M, Das Keyboard's chassis is less than a half-inch shy of the M's longest dimension, and that half inch is shaved off the the outermost edge; key size, curvature and placement are identical to that of the Model M, at least to the limit of the measuring instruments mounted to each side of my nose. (The underside looks quite a bit different, though: A fair amount of Das Keyboard's undercarriage is just empty space, because the plastic underneath follows the curve of the keys themselves, leaving a small wedge of air.) The board's 6-foot USB cable (nice and chunky) exits to the rear through a neat slot straight up from the Caps Lock indicator. However, the dimensions are unfortunately where the resemblance ends, because the great thing about older, mechanical-action keyboards like the Model M is not so much how they look, but how they feel beneath the hand. Instead of the clacking, snapping action of buckling-spring keyboards, manufacturers have mostly moved to cheaper, less-complicated membrane keyboards, some of which feel better than others. My impression on opening the box and giving the black keyboard a lengthy groping was that the Das Keyboard's action is a bit squishy. To be fair, in the current keyboard market, most of the competition feels no better, and many competitors feel worse. Some people prefer the feel of membrane keyboards, though, so don't take my word for it -- taste in keyboards is idiosyncratic at best. As membrane boards go, Das Keyboard is on the good side of average.

About that extreme makeover ...

So what does the all-black color scheme do for one's typing speed? According to the company, by taking away the crutch of key labels, the user is forced to learn better typing skills and concentrate on their computer's screen.

This may be true for some people, and it sounds like a good theory, but in several weeks of use, I never quite swam, and mostly sank. Whenever I'd hit a wrong key (which was often), I found myself either hunting-and-pecking or craning my neck to peek at a conventional keyboard a few feet away for guidance. I'm an untutored typist, but several years of moderately heavy keyboarding mean I'm at least not a newcomer to entering text with a keyboard -- I even rather enjoy it, most days. However, maybe I'm just a slow learner, but I haven't had as much frustration with a keyboard since I played with a Twiddler a few years ago. Maybe I glance at my keys more than I realize on my conventional keyboard, or maybe it's simply that I had a hard time getting used to the feel of the board, but in the end I ended up disappointed with my speed using Das Keyboard. That's not to say that a better typist would feel the same; maybe I'm just not to the threshold of typing skill that Das Keyboard requires.

According to a company representative, the keys on Das Keyboard are divided into several distinct groups, each with their own response. I tried in vain to detect the difference between keys in various groups, and think I faintly detected it, sometimes. But the difference between any two of the keys on this keyboard (harping, I know) seems far less than that between any of Das Keyboard's keys and its equivalent key on a mechanical-action board. An exception is the space bar, which really did take the promised extra effort to press down: this is a welcome change, and I hope other keyboard makers license (or at least copy!) the idea, because I tend to keep my thumbs on the space bar. (I'd like to see a mechanical-switch version of Das Keyboard, which would retain the neat looks but do away with the milquetoast response.)

My muscle memory isn't what it used to be

The upshot, at least to me, is that Das Keyboard has a feel slightly better than the run-of-the-mill keyboards on offer at mass-market retailers, and much cooler looks, but costs a bit more than those differences justify, at least to my wallet. The industrial approach of this keyboard would be a perfect match for a gaming or overclocking system built for clean, industrial looks, and a better deal than most "high tech" sculpture, but I'm unconvinced that it's truly a practical improvement. If I wanted a keyboard with the claimed advantages of an absence of key-cap labels, I think I'd hit local thrift stores until I found a model that felt acceptable to my hands, and pick up can apiece of spray paint and lacquer.

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Top Ten (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 years ago | (#13513115)

Top Ten reasons to get Das Keyboard:
  • 10. It looks cool to geeks
  • 9. It looks threatening or confusing to non-geeks
  • 8. Ajustable key-weight can help build up those wimpy pinky muscles
  • 7. Spare parts: Fewer part numbers for keycaps "I need a new any key"
  • 6. Cheetos rings will stand out more clearly
  • 5. You'll actually learn to type better OR
  • 4. 7iu'll hABe a bwttar rxcise fpr t[pod
  • 3. It does have a certain IBM throw-back cachet
  • 2. Greatly discourages others from using your computer.
  • 1. Das Blinken Lights sign will look so much better above it

Want to do something more practical? Get a Braille keyboard and learn that while typing. It's a skill, right?

Deja-dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513124)

Gee, where have I seen this before? []

Re:Top Ten (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513129)

11. It appears on Slashdot!

How much did /. got?

Re:Top Ten (3, Funny)

Ikn (712788) | about 9 years ago | (#13513384)

12. It appeared on Slashdot again! 13. And again! 14. Oh noez, here it is again! Just one more reason to get it! Seriously, this gets covered like every other week.

Re:Top Ten (5, Interesting)

elliotCarte (703667) | about 9 years ago | (#13513330)

Top 5 reasons not to buy one:

1. It's much cooler and geekier to make your own like my buddy did [] .
2. If you make your own you won't have that white label reading 'Das Keyboard' ruining your otherwise all black beauty.
3. These are not at all new. They've been around for a long time, so the trendy factor has already worn off.
4. Real geeks have all black keyboards because the white characters have all worn off from excesive use.
5. I don't even have a keyboard you insensitive clod.

Number 11 Lame. (1)

bxbaser (252102) | about 9 years ago | (#13513378)


Obligatory H2G2 Reference (4, Funny)

Kelson (129150) | about 9 years ago | (#13513120)

Das Keyboard: For people whose desks are a complete Disaster Area.

Though I hear it works best on the new Sun "Diver" systems.

Re:Obligatory H2G2 Reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513186)

YES! Mod up!

Re:Obligatory H2G2 Reference (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | about 9 years ago | (#13513252)

That joke is best heard from a concrete reinforced bunker about 60 miles away from the speakers.

Re:Obligatory H2G2 Reference (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 years ago | (#13513341)

Das Keyboard: For people whose desks are a complete Disaster Area. Though I hear it works best on the new Sun "Diver" systems.

When you lock caps, num or scroll, does a little black light light up in black to tell you you have the lock on?

You're all thinking it. (5, Funny)

ezzzD55J (697465) | about 9 years ago | (#13513125)

"Its this wild colour scheme that freaks me, you know.
When you press one of these black buttons that are labeled
in black on a black background, a little black light lights
up black to let you know you've done it!"

Re:You're all thinking it. (5, Funny)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | about 9 years ago | (#13513274)

"I think I'm going to be sick"

"Great. we could do with a bit of color."

Wow (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513135)

that was the longest thinkgeek advertisement ever.

Yeah, it's been on ThinkGeek for a while.. (3, Insightful)

Omega (1602) | about 9 years ago | (#13513183)

I was just as surprised. This keyboard has been on ThinkGeek [] for at least a year now. Is OSDN having a fire sale or something? Too many in the warehouse?

How is this news?

While we're on the subject, I've been looking for one of the old black, metal keyboards from the 80's. But to no avail. Does anyone have any tips? PS/2, AT, whatever doesn't matter. Thanks.

Re:Wow (1)

capicu (880524) | about 9 years ago | (#13513296)

that was the longest thinkgeek advertisement ever.

In my country, when we advertise things, we say good things about them. Perhaps it's possible that this is just an honest review?

You can check my crappy, embarrassing post history, and probably find that I have not hesitated to criticise what I consider to be overly commercial content, but in this case, my Official Judgement is in favour of the editor, and thus balance is restored to the topic.

Ok thats nice (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513138)

But how many times do we have to see this fucking thing posted on slashdot?

It's a keyboard.

It's black.



Can we please move on now? Seriously!

Re:Ok thats nice (1, Offtopic)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | about 9 years ago | (#13513282)

Tell me about it (dupe)!
I mean, it even said "Das Keyboard" in the title!

Das Keyboard (5, Insightful)

bloodgroove (675506) | about 9 years ago | (#13513139)

Wow, 80 bucks for what I can do with 3 dollars worth of spray paint or some solvent to get rid of the letters.

Re:Das Keyboard (5, Funny)

HackNack (853020) | about 9 years ago | (#13513209)

Das right!

Re:Das Keyboard (1)

KiDDaX (898293) | about 9 years ago | (#13513250)

It's not just a regular keyboard. It includes weighted keys also. I bought one off of thinkgeek about 2 weeks ago and couldn't be happier with it. I am very impressed.

Re:Das Keyboard (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 9 years ago | (#13513315)

Solvent wouldn't work on a good quality "double shot" keycap where the letter is actually molded through the cap in a different color plastic.

But yeah ... I have a limited number of dollars in my computer peripheral "upgrade" budget and this thing is definitely gonna get any. I'm more concerned with the feel of the keys and whether it's comfortable to use. Of course, maybe that's just me ... I don't look at my hands while typing. Heck, when I got back from vacation last year one of my coworkers had switched a bunch of my keycaps around. Took me two weeks to even notice. I was taking a break and stretching when I looked down and saw that my arrow keys were all pointed inward and some other keys were not where they were supposed to be at all. I think I said "What the F**K?" and I heard somebody say, "Just noticed your keyboard, huh." Doh!

$3... minus $3 (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 9 years ago | (#13513318)

Ha, on my keyboard the letters are disappearing from normal wear. Backspace, right shift, up arrow, and left arrow are completely gone, as is spac... erm, nevermind. Left Ctrl, A, S, E, R, T, H, N, M, L, I, O, ., ,, ?, Delete, Down Arrow all have moderate to heavy wear. That's actually an interesting and surprising set of keys. What's more surprising is how right arrow has almost no wear... Of course, some of these rub-offs could be partially effected by the ice cream and stuff I regularly spill...

Re:Das Keyboard (1)

crazy_pikachu (838912) | about 9 years ago | (#13513367)

Hey I still am going to have to think that I can pay 12 bucks for a keyboard and then go to the harware store and buy a can of whatever color I want for 3 bucks. I save 64.95 dollers. I can buy alot of gas for 65 dollers

So... (5, Insightful)

John Napkintosh (140126) | about 9 years ago | (#13513140)

Why in the world does it cost $80?

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 9 years ago | (#13513242)

Why in the world does it cost $80?

The word 'elite' or maybe it costs more than you think not to print characters ;)

Re:So... (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | about 9 years ago | (#13513316)

It's a contractural thing. They still have to pay the guy who normally would have painted the keys, as well as a supervisor to ensure that the keys don't get painted.

Either that or they take a regular black keyboard, then pay some folk art person to painstakingly remove the letters and replace them with blank caps.

Um... Delorean? (1, Offtopic)

gTsiros (205624) | about 9 years ago | (#13513144)

Did i unknowingly and unwillingly enter a time machine or something?

I need to know, 'cause in... 7 hours i am (was?) supposed to take an exam in... ...

omfg! what year is it?!?!

dupe? (1, Informative)

w98 (831730) | about 9 years ago | (#13513150)

Re:dupe? (1)

RazorX90 (700941) | about 9 years ago | (#13513231)

I remember the original story as well, however when I tried to find it I started asking myself why Slashdot's search feature is crap. A search for "Keyboard" on Slashdot will not bring up an article titled "Blank Keyboard"!!!

Is my rant justified or am I missing something?

Re:dupe? (1)

A Dafa Disciple (876967) | about 9 years ago | (#13513331)

Yes, your rant is very justified. This is why I do something like this [] .

Re:dupe? (1)

dorzak (142233) | about 9 years ago | (#13513273)

This is a review, not a story.

Re:dupe? Actually, NO. (2, Informative)

lax-goalie (730970) | about 9 years ago | (#13513364)

The May posting was a product annoucement-type story. This posting is actually a review.

While "dupe" is usually the way to bet, around here, you bet wrong this time. Thanks for playing...

Re:dupe? (2, Informative)

hackstraw (262471) | about 9 years ago | (#13513388) []

I will not use naughty language like I did before, but for me to find the dupe it takes: Apple+L TAB das keyboard RETURN

Do they do this for attention or something? Surely they have used google before. Slack bastards.

The story is not news (1)

hottoh (540941) | about 9 years ago | (#13513398)

Back in the old days, read early 90's, we had keyboards with a decent sized return key. I miss them.

These keyboards with no alphanumerics are not a motivator for me. It seems the best suited for a person wanting others to stay away from their stealth keyboard.

Thankfully there is at least one company that still makes the big return key Northgate style keyboards.

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513153)

This is not really something new because I saw this posted weeks ago on another site.

Not really fun to read old news on /.

Re:hmm (0, Redundant)

earnest murderer (888716) | about 9 years ago | (#13513210)

This site [] perhaps?

DAS vs. DVORAK (0)

Keruo (771880) | about 9 years ago | (#13513154)

das keyboard layout is for finnish what dvorak is for english.

It's useless unless you write finnish with it.

Re:DAS vs. DVORAK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513248)

What are you talking about?

Re:DAS vs. DVORAK (1)

Keruo (771880) | about 9 years ago | (#13513306)

mods are stoned again..
this [] is what I'm talking about

Oh FFS! (5, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 9 years ago | (#13513158)

A can of black paint, people!

In the war between style and substance, you are the losers!


Re:Oh FFS! (4, Funny)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | about 9 years ago | (#13513212)

ThinkGeek doesn't sell black paint.

Re:Oh FFS! (0, Troll)

pdevor (603443) | about 9 years ago | (#13513373)

Seriously. Das Keyboard is retarded.

Again? (3, Insightful)

Declarent (628681) | about 9 years ago | (#13513162)

I don't want to be a jerk or anything, but this has been up on every site I read, including /. for the last couple of months. I find it hard to believe that an editor has never heard of this before submitting this. This is like posting a story about the invention of the Roomba. I assure you, we know. We read about it on Fark, Gizmodo, Slashdot, and every other techy blog out there months ago, over and over again.

Re:Again? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513184)

Hey, did you hear about this nifty robot vacuum cleaner? It's called a...


You already have?

Never mind.

Re:Again? (1)

someonewhois (808065) | about 9 years ago | (#13513275)

That doesn't mean /. shouldn't kill their server one more time!

Re:Again? (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | about 9 years ago | (#13513294)

I don't want to be a jerk or anything, but this has been up on every site I read, including /. for the last couple of months. I find it hard to believe that an editor has never heard of this before submitting this. This is like posting a story about the invention of the Roomba. I assure you, we know. We read about it on Fark, Gizmodo, Slashdot, and every other techy blog out there months ago, over and over again.

This is the first I've heard of it. I don't read Fark, I've never even heard of Gizmodo. But I'm not a protogeek either.

Re:Again? (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | about 9 years ago | (#13513393)

I hear Slashdot is going to have a new service. It's news and stuff, but all of the writeups are blank, and all of the links are pre-slashdotted.

Haven't we covered this before? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513167)

I seem to remember admiring this one before a few months ago; have we been duped?

ALL the keys? (5, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | about 9 years ago | (#13513168)

Okay, I can type (quite well) without looking at the keyboard, but I'll be damned if I can remember which key is "scroll lock", which is "print screen", and which is "pause/break". And where's that pipe again? Accent mark?

Form over function is never positive.

Re:ALL the keys? (1)

Necroman (61604) | about 9 years ago | (#13513229)

I bet you're pretty good at one handed typing too. :)

Re:ALL the keys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513249)

Shush, you. That's what fiancees are for ;)

Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513257)

And where's that pipe again?
right pinky

Accent mark?
left pinky

Re:ALL the keys? (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 9 years ago | (#13513268)

print screen, scroll lock and pause/break are the only three i don't know by heart. and that's cos i never use them.

I can do | and ` from muscle memory, as well as ~, #, all the letters, +, all the digits, all the various brackets and basically every key except the three above.

So an all black keyboard doesn't faze me - the main reason for looking at keys is initial finger positioning when approaching the keyboard from an unusual angle (e.g. leaning across to someone elses). And the bars on F and J help there.

For the record, no keyboard peeking was done during the typing of this message. And no, I've never been taught to type - I use the wrong hand to type the letter 'b' on a MS 'ergonomic' keyboard..

Re:ALL the keys? (1)

barawn (25691) | about 9 years ago | (#13513386)

I can do | and ` from muscle memory, as well as ~, #, all the letters, +, all the digits, all the various brackets and basically every key except the three above.

Assuming that they're not in slightly different locations - like on a laptop.

I've got a keyboard that's got Canadian placement for special characters, and I can use it pretty well. But I remember | from my laptop keyboard, and it's not in the same location - on the laptop, it's above the Enter key. On the desktop, it's three to the right of the L key.

Special characters get moved around a bunch. I think it's far more important to learn the normal set as fast as you can.

And the control keys - (insert, home, etc.) - god, they could be anywhere.

umm.. wtf? (1)

mobilebuddha (713936) | about 9 years ago | (#13513169)

how is this different than:

1) buying a cheap (non internet, non media) keyboard from bestbuy, or a computer shop
2) spray paint the darn thing in black?

i mean.. wtf? 80 bucks for that?

Dax Keibowrd is thr grwatst kehboard evar@ (5, Funny)

Sagarian (519668) | about 9 years ago | (#13513170)

i mrsn drtioudly@ my typing had gtrsyrly imptobrd sibce u started ysubg ut!@

From the site: (2, Funny)

Nos. (179609) | about 9 years ago | (#13513173)

"If you are going to get one; get two: one for you and one for your best friend."
Because I know my friends would just love it if I secretly replaced their keyboard with one that had no labels on it. Of course they wouldn't be able to email me their problems any more.... hmmm maybe it is a good idea after all.

Any key? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513182)

So, how will you find the Any Key?

i modded my keyboard (0, Redundant)

fool36 (864682) | about 9 years ago | (#13513188)

to be a das look-alike

tools: can of spray paint

spray keyboard

Re:i modded my keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513339)

2. .... ?
3. Profit!

Deja vu... (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | about 9 years ago | (#13513193)

I know I've seen this before somewhere [] .

the future of keyboards (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 9 years ago | (#13513199)

is the optimus keyboard. []

yes, i know its not out yet. but having a display on keys is the only way to go.

Re:the future of keyboards (1)

nick-less (307628) | about 9 years ago | (#13513253)

I like this [] one...

I find it very... (3, Funny)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | about 9 years ago | (#13513200)

Spinal Tapish...

Re:I find it very... (2, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | about 9 years ago | (#13513302)

Mmmmeh... I'd say it was more Kraftwerk, myself. Imagine the headache you'd have reassembling it if you accidentally dropped it and all they keys fell off!

What's going on with slashdot? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513206)

What's going on with slashdot?
How come we get so many dupes lately?!

OLD OLD OLD News (1, Redundant)

radiumhahn (631215) | about 9 years ago | (#13513217)

Blank Keyboard

On May 25th, 2005 with 994 comments

Raynach writes "A friend of mine recently sent me a link for Das Keyboard, the keyboard for UberGeeks. This keyboard is unique in that it has no inscriptions...

Hardware > Input Devices

Score: 0.5

Cheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513222)

Is that really most people's limitation when typing? That they're tempted to peek at the keyboard? I highly doubt that. Mostly this sort of thing just makes it more difficult when you're doing a one-handed peck at a few keys while doing something else.

I don't need to buy one of these... (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | about 9 years ago | (#13513226)

I typically go through a keyboard per year, and by the time I replace it I've usually worn the lettering off most of it. No one makes keyboards w/ the lettering molded into the keys any more, not even IBM.

For that matter, why not just buy a cheapie keyboard, and put some acetone on a rag and wipe off the lettering?

Re:I don't need to buy one of these... (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | about 9 years ago | (#13513347)

I think it looks for more elite to only acetone off common keys like the vowels and return button, as well as the left hand CTRL key.

Make it look like a real man's keyboard.

Re:I don't need to buy one of these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513370) E16823128030&CMP=OTC-Froogle&ATT=ZIPPY+WK-720+Silv er+USB+Wired+Slim+Aluminum+Keyboard []

Try this keyboard it is very nice. Industrial grade Scissor switches and the keys are machined out of aluminum with the letters engraved no way you'd wear them off. Plus aluminum is non porous so bacteria die a horrible death as they dry out.

I love mine.

Why can't you remove the lettering? (1)

tktk (540564) | about 9 years ago | (#13513228)

Is there something special with the printed lettering on current keyboards? Why can't people just remove them with some sort of chemical or some sort of dremel attachment?

I've never tried, but it seems a better solution than buying a $80 keyboard.

A Company with Vision (5, Funny)

Thedeviluno (903528) | about 9 years ago | (#13513235)

For 80 bux I will gladly gouge out your eyes. Your typing will increase and you may develope super sonic hearing, which you can then use to fight crime vigilante style.

Who's the greater geek? (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | about 9 years ago | (#13513238)

The one that buys the all-blank keyboard... Or the one that wears the legends off of a stock keyboard?

Re:Who's the greater geek? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | about 9 years ago | (#13513335)

Or just switches the caps? My keyboard has KW3R7Y layout.

bahahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513241)

i would never buy that keyboard, but i find it hilarious that some guy bought a keyboard with nothing on the keys, AND IS NOW COMPLAINING THAT HE HAS TROUBLE KNOWING WHAT TO TYPE. I'm a pretty good typist, I could probably get away with buying a keyboard with nothing on the keys and typing away -- BUT I WOULDNT POST AN ARTICLE ON SLASHDOT IF I WAS STUPID ENUFF TO FAIL AT IT. Hahahahaha. People are funny. Tomorrow's article will be "I bought a bucket with no handles and had trouble carrying it!"

Hehe. I love the internet sometimes.

Re:bahahaha (1)

ettlz (639203) | about 9 years ago | (#13513395)

Tomorrow's article will be "I bought a bucket with no handles and had trouble carrying it!"

Well, yes, if you spend your day climbing up the greasy pole, and then order a large KFC without scrubbing up first, that will happen.

Suckers (1)

VonSkippy (892467) | about 9 years ago | (#13513244)

PT Barnum would be so proud.

Keep Moving nothing to see here (1)

pro547 (766212) | about 9 years ago | (#13513262)

I don't think I would buy this. First of all if I want a black keyboard that types pretty nice I will get a IBM keyboard for next to nothing from work. Also that would be stupid to have an all black keys, what would be the point. Never the less it cost 80 dollars for it. Keep Moving nothing to see here No thanks I will just continue to use my IBM keyboard

uh. (1)

SharpFang (651121) | about 9 years ago | (#13513263)

Small, single-row enter, big backslash above enter, I thought that was the idea for making typing MS-DOS paths easier, and we have left that behind already, but seems they still live in early nineties...

happy hacking keyboard (2, Insightful)

reuteler (819104) | about 9 years ago | (#13513265)

go w/ the happy hacking keyboard instead .. it's just as bad ass black and wonderfully small (with full sized keys) and has great action. 0B.jpg [] it1.html []

Bad design (1)

Malc (1751) | about 9 years ago | (#13513284)

"in the upper left corner and labels for the three usual indicator lights -- num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock --"

Why do keyboard manufacturers persist in placing these lights like this? Back in the late 80s I had an Amstrad PC and the lights were on the keys themselves. That's so much more user friendly.

My MSFT keyboard has them in the middle labelled with a "1" in a box, an "A" in a box, and an arrow pointing down to a horizontal line. Pretty much meaningless and I have to think about them whenever I look at them. My wireless MSFT keyboard has no lights - they're on the receiver. It has one labelled with an "F" in a box (dumb Function lock thing). My dad's Logitech wireless keyboard has to install software that shows "lights" in the taskbar under Windows. Keyboard designers are so poor at some things.

Not hype enough (4, Interesting)

Sam H (3979) | about 9 years ago | (#13513285)

Get a Happy Hacking Blank Key [] keyboard instead. It is three times the price but it is a lot smaller, doesn't have that totally useless numeric pad no one uses nowadays, or those retarded so-called Windows keys. It is a lot lighter, too. What is the use of having the best keyboard if you cannot carry it and brag around with it?

Clackity Clackity (1)

Xarius (691264) | about 9 years ago | (#13513297)

Instead of the clacking, snapping action of buckling-spring keyboards, manufacturers have mostly moved to cheaper, less-complicated membrane keyboards...

And from the specifications [] of this keyboard they provide a reason:

Das Keyboard makes a quiet clicky and snazzy sound. It does not require the use of ear plugs

Ups and downs of no labels on the keys (1)

bradbeattie (908320) | about 9 years ago | (#13513308)

I did this with an old IBM keyboard some time ago. I found that for typing letters and numbers it was a breeze. Delete? Right square bracket? Some things just didn't click as easily.

Das Maus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513310)

I've had the companion "Das Maus" for years. Unlabelled buttons, I promise you! I beleive there may exist a rare "Das Maus, Blonde Edition" with the buttons clearly labelled....

Das Keyboard is no innovation at all. Ho hum, BORING!!! ZZZzzz...

As pointed out, $3 at the thrift store and a few minutes removing markings with thinners / sandpaper / paint. Big is the asshole who parts with $80 for this. What a waste of /. attention too.

I'm already 90% solid with my keyboard. (1)

MagicDude (727944) | about 9 years ago | (#13513317)

When it comes to regular everyday typing, I'm dead on. I can do my letters, period, comma, spacebar and numbers with almost no errors (well, no errors which can't be attributed to my own lack of spelling ability). However, what will screw me up most is when I have to use those characters I rarely ever use like curley brackets, semicolon, apostraphe, and so on (maybe if I were a programmer I'd know those cold, but I'm not). What's even worse is when I drop something on my keyboard which ends up hitting num lock or scroll lock. Even with those I end up taking a few second trying to find where that key is. I have a feeling that if I tried using this keyboard, the improvement in my base typing would be balanced by the slowing down I experience with all the semi-used characters and keys.

Dupe? (1)

MrDiablerie (533142) | about 9 years ago | (#13513329)

Why do I have the strange feeling I've seen this on slashdot before. Wasn't the consensus then to just buy that same model keyboard directly from the original manufacturer and then spraypaint the keys black yourself?

Thanks, Tim (1)

Evro (18923) | about 9 years ago | (#13513334)

Thanks for not making this into a Slashvertisement. When I first read about "Das Keyboard," I figured a review of it could be summed up using "The Emperor's New Clothes" as a metaphor. They tout it as being pretty advanced, when in reality it's probably just a truckload of Dell keyboards that mistakenly didn't get the key labels, but some marketing whiz decided to give it a geek chic name and call it "elite."

Re:Thanks, Tim (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | about 9 years ago | (#13513381)

Mr. Simpson: Ah, but there's a snag, you see. Due to bad planning, the hundred and twenty-two thousand miles is in three inch lengths. So it's not very useful.
Adrian Wapcaplet: Well, that's our selling point! "SIMPSON'S INDIVIDUAL STRINGETTES!"
Mr. Simpson: What?
Mr. Simpson: For what?
Adrian Wapcaplet: Uuuh..."A MILLION HOUSEHOLD USES!"
S: Such as?
W: Uhmm...Tying up very small parcels, attatching notes to pigeons' legs, uh,
destroying household pests...

Relabeled Keytronic (1)

dbryson (2401) | about 9 years ago | (#13513337)

Looks like a relabeled Keytronic keyboard to me.

"Announced" my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513338)

It's the aesthetic opposite of the recently announced Optimus keyboard

Let's consider something that counts: the optimus keyboard does not exist. It's just a good photoshop mockup -- you know, like a 6.80 GHz Optical laptop with 1TB memory. Das does exist.

disappointing (1)

hanwen (8589) | about 9 years ago | (#13513346)

  • "The" keyboard for me is the Maltron [] . Flat keyboards are for lusers.
  • The german word for keyboard is "Tastatur"; "die Tastatur". In German, keyboard is feminine, not neuter.

Why ALL of the keys? (4, Insightful)

barawn (25691) | about 9 years ago | (#13513353)

OK, I'm a fast typer. Really fast - I tend to average between 80-100 wpm (I'm juuusst a bit below the highscores on TyperA [] ).

I've got a keyboard that's essentially the same. It's a Canadian keyboard layout, which has a QWERTY layout, but all of the auxiliary stuff is labelled wrong (shift-2 is ", for instance). But I've got it on an English layout.

I can type on it - reasonably well. But sometimes I still have to guess as to where the | key is, or exactly which one is the ]. It hasn't really sped things up.

I would've preferred leaving labels on for the non-letter characters. Especially considering that not all special character layouts are the same on keyboards - especially laptops (where the heck is the delete key!).

geez (1)

panic911 (224370) | about 9 years ago | (#13513355)

what an incredibly stupid invention. wow, it's so innovative and yet nobody i know would ever be able to type on my keyboard. keep up the great work guys!

Buckling-spring keyboards (5, Informative)

Dogun (7502) | about 9 years ago | (#13513358)

You can still get buckling-spring keyboards at Nothing beats the feel of a buckling-spring, I find myself agreeing with the reviewer.

One of the features of a truly good keyboard is the ability to be serviced by its user without destroying the keyboard - after spilling pizza, coke, and cereal all over it, I expect to be able to take off the keys and mop up the remains of my ill-advised snacking over the keyboard. This feature (ability to perform simple repair/maintenance like this) is commong to buckling-spring keyboards, but I have to ask, is it a possibility on this one? Is this one of those bubble matrix ones, or what?

Just wish I had more information on Das Keyboard.

Black TIE fighters? (1)

Random Data (538955) | about 9 years ago | (#13513365)

Maybe it explains a lot about the dupes on /. when the editors can't even remember *the* geek movie well enough to know what colour a TIE fighter is.

And now we'll have a big flame war about whether Star Wars really is *the* geek movie, or possibly whether I should have _underlined_ the title, or used italics for emphasis. Or possibly even exactly what shade of grey a TIE fighter is. And let's not forget US/Correct^WBritish tiffs about colour and grey.

What were we discussing again? Hey, check out this keyboard: it's all black with no key markings!

Bout damn time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13513389)

Bout dam time brothers got some representation up in yo clickity clax

jujuju G-U-NIX
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