Readers of my reviews know my opinion already: mechanical is king. Nothing is worse (to me!) than squishy, soft membrane keys that leave me wondering if I am actually striking them or not. That said, in an office full of geeks who all know the value of a mechanical keyboard, not only can it tend to get a little…loud, it also gets a little annoying. There is nothing like being on an important call, only to have the client hear your co-worker typing furiously…15 yards away. Because of this paradox that has been vexing us since the beginning of time (or at least since lunch), we were all really excited to get our hands on the Das Keyboard Professional Quiet mechanical keyboard. That’s right! All the deliberate clickiness of a mechanical keyboard, with way (wayyyy) less sound.
- 105 key layout
- 18 in x 6.5 in x 1.4 in
- 3 lbs
- USB powered
- Cherry MX Red Switch, Mechanical gold-plated rated at 50 million operations.
- 45g actuation force
- Runs on Windows 2000 or higher, Linux, and Mac OS X or higher
- Laser-etched key caps
- 6.6 ft USB cable
- Two USB ports
Mechanical Feel, Membrane Silence
Long ago and far away, back when you (or your parents) likely owned an IBM or some other stone age device, every keyboard was mechanical. In fact, computer manufacturers were out to solve this “problem” and eventually came up with what we now know as the membrane keyboard, which generally consists of dome-shaped plastic. But since the advent of the membrane keyboard, people have realized that they like the silence, but not so much the feel of the membrane keyboard. Gamers and writers alike have started migrating back to the old ways of mechanical keyboards, but unfortunately for everyone in a 50-yard radius of said writer or gamer, there is still an issue with sound pollution.
Enter Das Keyboard. Known widely in the gaming community as a high-quality mechanical keyboard manufacturer, Das Keyboard has come to the rescue of the co-workers who have almost strangled you with your mechanical keyboard cable on multiple occasions. With the release of their newest keyboard, the Professional S Quiet, there is now another, better, option for using a mechanical keyboard in the workplace. Lucky for me, I’m falling in love with one as I type…literally.
Out of the Box
Upon opening the box and hooking up the keyboard, the first thing I noticed was that the hook up required the use of two USB ports instead of one. Generally speaking, I would not have been too thrilled with that, since USB space is a valuable commodity these days, but the folks at Das Keyboard had a good reason. One port powers the keyboard and the other powers two additional USB ports that are located on the keyboard itself. So, space isn’t lost at all, simply moved and, frankly, inserting a flash drive is now infinitely more convenient.
Other face-value features include function key-controlled media and volume, an instant sleep button, and (THANK THE GAMING GODS) full n-key rollover. In laymen terms, each key stroke is scanned independently, so pressing keys at the same time is no issue, both will always register. Hooray!
Form and Function
As someone who writes many thousands of words each day for a living, and games heavily as a hobby, I look for a few things in a mechanical keyboard. I worried that the silence of the Professional S Quiet would some how impede the deliberate “click” feeling of a traditional mechanical keyboard. After writing for several hours and gaming for several more, I was surprised at how Das Keyboard managed to maintain the classic feel of a mechanical keyboard of the past, while drowning out nearly all the noise. It was so quiet in fact, that my desk-neighbor noticed that I had gotten a new keyboard.
“Hey. You’re not as loud.”
“Yes, I know. Trying out a new keyboard”
“I thought you liked mechanical.”
“This IS mechanical.”
“You know, I’m sure people would have chipped in for you to be able to do this sooner.”
“I’m reviewing it, not keeping it.”
“I’m sure people would chip in to get you one of your own…”
If that doesn’t chronicle just how quiet the Das Keyboard Professional S Quiet is, nothing will.
I was especially pleased with the ergonomic design of the Professional S Quiet, as well. As I loosely relate the Das Keyboard name to the gaming and esports industry, I half expected to see a gaming keyboard. However, being the professional keyboard that it is, the Das Keyboard Professional S Quiet is light, thin and unobtrusive. It doesn’t glow, blink, or have “modules”. It’s just a sleek, sexy mechanical keyboard that gets the job done, quietly. What more could I possibly want?
While I feel that the Das Keyboard Professional Quiet is worth every penny of its nearly $150 price tag, there are critics who would say that a price that steep is simply not warranted. If sound is not an issue and you type alone in a cave all day, this may be true. But, if sound is an issue, all I can say is that it is completely and totally worth the price. Rated at 50 million keystrokes, the Cherry MX Red switches will last, and your family, friends, and co-workers will thank you for taking their comfort into consideration. Ask me how I know…