Second Das Keyboard

29 Jul 2008

So, I just got my second http://www.daskeyboard.com/ in the mail. The first one I had was the “original”, and I loved and continue to love it. I’ve been using it as my work keyboard (where I do the majority of my coding) for the last 3 years or so.

I just got a second one, but it’s the “new” version (the only one they offer now). It’s cleaner design-wise, but there’s some things that I think they’ve made worse.

The first is that the keyboard is just too thick. It’s gotten half an inch (or so) thicker. It feels more solid now, and is quite a bit heavier (so it doesn’t move around at all, which is nice), but the angle of my forearms is slightly higher, which inevitably means my wrists are more crooked when I get more tired and drop my arms, and slouch, etc. Don’t like that very much, especially as I’ve had some wrist and arm pain recently.

They also seem to have killed the variable resistance on keys (or at least tuned them differently). The only key I notice that’s harder resistance is the backspace key, whereas the space key used to have a lot more resistance, and doesn’t all now. Perhaps the resistance has changed over time on my original one, so it’s just a matter of getting used to this one, or breaking it in more. Maybe it’s more expensive to do the bands of keys with different resistances, but I’m pretty sad about it, especially since this one ended up being about 30% more expensive than the original.

Oh, and the F and J have icky bumps instead of being nicely scooped. :( I’m guessing that one was a concession to people who weren’t very good typists, and couldn’t find the home row, but I prefer the scoops, since we are going for “stealth” here, after all. They just felt nicer on your finger tips too.

The sound of the switches has changed too, but that’s just… different, not really better or worse.

I’m going to guard my old one even more carefully now with the knowledge that they’re not really replaceable. Hopefully I’ll grow to love the new one as much, but the jury’s still out.