Das Keyboard 4 Professional review: an office workhorse


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According to Go Mechanical Keyboard

Note: Das sent us a new edition of their Das Pro 4 mechanical keyboard. Thus, our old review article could be less relevant depending on which Das Pro you’re interested in purchasing.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional – Unboxing

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional comes in well designed packaging. The box’s semi-gloss exterior is covered in tasteful branding and images of the mechanical keyboard goodness inside.

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The 4 Professional is surrounded by a few foam blocks, a single sheet of instructions, cardboard dividers, and a foam sleeve. It’s quite unlikely that it will be damaged during shipment. The box also contains the “f007b4r,” which really shouldn’t be advertised in 13375p33k. The gamer oriented marketing makes no sense in this mechanical keyboard’s market segment. A keycap puller is nowhere to be found, which is mildly discomfiting given the product’s price premium.

Build quality

We’re looking at a tank, not a mechanical keyboard. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is astoundingly well built. Its internals are supported by a thick anodized aluminum upper case, which measures 2mm thick, and a reasonably hefty ABS chassis. I’m not fond of the lip created by the metal upper case. The far edge, located above the F row, is acceptable. The left, right, and near edges hang out a tad too far. The overhangs hide slight gaps between the lower case plastic and the aluminum upper case, but they also expose the soft aluminum to dings and wear.

 

Creak and flex are nonexistent. Case thickness contributes to stability, but the real stars of the show are fasteners. Thirteen (!) color correct hex-head fasteners secure the upper and lower case halves. All of those fasteners are threaded into metal mounts in the upper plate. The result is supreme stability. Even the switch plate is screwed down for extra stiffness.

The switch plate, though it may be stable, doesn’t have a completely perfect finish. A few factory dings and blemishes show up near edges and switch cutouts. It’s thick enough and consistent enough to be above average, but not by much. The PCB is reasonably thick and clean. Its soldering is also exemplary.

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I do, however, have a few issues with the Das Keyboard 4 Professional’s components. A ribbon cable attaches the rows and columns of the main PCB to a daughterboard. That PCB contains the keyboard controller and USB circuitry. Furthermore, the USB 3.0 cable that attaches the hub and controller to a PC is removable. It’s a decent cable, but that doesn’t make up for a cardinal sin: hot snot purportedly holds its USB 3.0 Micro B connector in place.

I’m not sure why Das Keyboard made that design decision, but solder would have been better for long term endurance. If your 4 Professional mechanical keyboard gives up the ghost, particularly after exposure to heavy vibration, check the USB 3.0 connector and ribbon cable. Those are the most likely failure points.

The four case pads are adequate, but a flaw in their design puts them slightly off kilter. The front pads are rounded. They’re also taller than the large, polygonal rear pads. Two potential issues stem from that small difference. First, the keyboard has a near-unnoticeable negative incline when placed on a flat surface. A negative incline is technically good for ergonomics, so that isn’t all bad. Second, the rear feet aren’t fully gripping the table. The 4 Professional certainly won’t slide around your table like an olympic figure skater, but the mismatch still seems like a design oversight.

Switches & stabilizers

Switches

Cherry MX Brown mechanical keyboard switches are a de facto standard, so it’s no surprise to see them in the 4 Professional. Some mechanical keyboard enthusiasts recommend them to beginners and office workers due to their relatively low noise output and light tactility. They’re subjectively scratchy, handle off center presses in an average manner, and emit small scritching noises during travel. MX Browns do have one thing going for them: time. Cherry switches are tried and true. That’s something recent Chinese clones can’t really say (yet).

Remember to pick up a mechanical switch sampler before purchasing a mechanical keyboard, particularly one that is this expensive. Getting stuck with a switch you dislike is an unfortunate experience. You could also check local electronics stores, as some have sample keyboards out.

Read more…

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This article and images were originally posted on [Go Mechanical Keyboard] October 18, 2017 at 02:26AM

Credit to Author and Go Mechanical Keyboard

 

 

 

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