Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 24, 2017 - 12:01 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Omron, das keyboard
According to post-CES coverage from Tom’s Hardware, Das Keyboard is in the process of rebranding their gaming line from “Division Zero” to Das Keyboard Gaming. Das Keyboard is known for their productivity-focused keyboards, including their famous models with unlabeled keycaps. I’m guessing they realized that more gamers know of Das Keyboard than Division Zero, which this news is the first I’ve heard of it, although it’s possible that they changed their branding for a completely different reason.
Image Credit: Tom's Hardware.
(Das Keyboard hasn't updated their website yet...)
They are also announcing a new keyboard, the Das Keyboard X50 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard, which uses switches from Omron. If this company name rings a bell, they are the provider of switches for several of Logitech’s mechanical keyboards as well as mechanical switches for several mice, including a few models from Logitech, Razer, Steelseries, and others. This keyboard’s brand of switches is called “Gamma Zulu” and Das Keyboard claims that they are manufactured on a production line that is entirely separate from Logitech's Romer-G. There will be two models, one with a bump and another with a click, both of which will apparently be called “Gamma Zulu”.
As for the keyboard itself, it has three macro keys up in the top right, by the volume knob. Tom’s Hardware points out how odd these two decisions are, and I agree. Still, it might be very good for a left-handed gamer that still uses the arrow keys, despite pressure from game developers to pretend to be a Tyrannosaurus rex / Thriller zombie with our hands crushed up to the left, right elbow in our chest. (Thankfully, I have a big desk, so I can just slide my keyboard to the right.)
Yes, I used to look kind-of stupid playing Battlefield 2.
Especially when I bunny-hopped.
Yes, I bunny-hopped. Stop complaining and use a shotgun or something.
If you were a fan of the Das Keyboard X40 Gaming, formerly called the Division Zero X40 Pro, then you can still buy another one. Das Keyboard expects to produce both models in parallel, targeting the lower-end gaming market with the lower-numbered version and its Alpha-Zulu switches, its lack of a volume knob, and its left-side macro keys.
Tom’s Hardware claims that the X50 will sell for $180 MSRP when it launches in Q2.
Subject: Editorial | December 29, 2016 - 07:04 PM | AlexL
Tagged: Thinkpad, Samsung, podcast, Lenovo, das keyboard, CES, ASUS Zenbook X390A, ASUS X99-A II, 750 evo
PC Perspective Podcast #431 - 12/29/16
Join us this week as we DasKeyboard, Samsung 750 EVO, CES predictions and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath
Program length: 1:35:27
Week in Review:
0:26:22 ASUS X99-A II Motherboard Review
News items of interest:
0:59:20 CES Predictions
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Das Keyboard describes their products as "the ultimate experience for badasses", and the Austin, TX based company has delivered premium designs since their initial (completely blank) keyboard in 2005. The Prime 13 is a traditional 104-key design (with labeled keys), and features Cherry MX Brown switches and simple white LED backlighting. So it is a truly "badass" product? Read on to find out!
"Das Keyboard Prime 13 is a minimalist mechanical keyboard designed to take productivity to the next level. Free of fancy features, the Prime 13 delivers an awesome typing experience by focusing on premium material and simple design. Featuring an anodized aluminum top panel, Cherry MX switches with white LEDs, USB pass-through and an extra-long braided cable, the Prime 13 is the ideal mechanical keyboard for overachievers who want get the job done."
I don't need to tell prospective mechanical keyboard buyers that the market is very crowded, and it seems to grow every month. Just about PC accessory maker offers at least one option, and many have tried to distinguish themselves with RGB lighting effects and software with game-specific profiles and the like. So is there still room for a simple, non-RGB keyboard with no special software involved? I think so, but it will need to be quite a premium design to justify a $149 price tag, and that's what the Prime 13 will run at retail. First impressions are very good, but I'll try to cover the experience as well as I can in text and photos in this review.
A close look at the MX Brown switches within the Prime 13
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 30, 2016 - 07:14 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: das keyboard, mechanical keyboard, Omron, RGB LED
Das Keyboard has just launched a crowd-funding campaign for their new Das Keyboard 5Q. The company is known to make high-end keyboards with a focus on productivity, even to the point of marketing some models with blank keycaps to force users to learn QWERTY. This model is an “extra bright” RGB LED keyboard that uses these lights to deliver data to the user's peripheral vision (because you're not looking at your keyboard while you type, right?)
Over the last year or so, RGB LED peripherals have become more commonplace. A new RGB LED keyboard from a gaming company will come in at around the $120 - $170 USD price range. Das is known to be on the higher end of the pricing curve, though. The Das Keyboard 5Q is expected to retail for $229 (although backers perks starting at $109 contain the keyboard -- and Das Keyboard is an established company, so it seems likely that these rewards will be fulfilled).
What you're getting for this cost is a high-quality, mechanical keyboard (with Omron switches) that has an open API. Their examples range from slowly alerting you of notifications, which can be expanded with a press of the volume button, to displaying your CPU load. Their pitch is that you cannot dismiss your keyboard and it's always on your desk, so, using color, it can continually notify you how much free time you have until something needs your attention. You'll need to decide for yourself if that seems reasonable and will help you be productive, or if it will just add to your anxiety, preventing you from zoning out into a good chunk of work.
As always, Kickstarters are backing products, not purchasing them, but Das Keyboard expects backers to receive their keyboards by January 2017.
Introduction, Hardware Vendors
This year's South by Southwest (SXSW) Trade Show brought together many small and global companies with computer hardware and information technology backgrounds as well as creative industries that produce art, music, and movies. SXSW interactive badge holders and showcased artists got an inside look at the newest innovations in mobile social media platforms and applications, open source web content management systems, professional audio/video technologies, and other multimedia products.
Since I write for PC Perspective, I narrowed the focus of my trade show coverage to companies creating innovative computer hardware, PC and Mac peripherals, and other gadgets that may interest our readers. I also scoured the rest of the trade show for the best booth babes handing out swag and watching other fun, promotional events to get expo visitors to engage with companies to find out more about their products.
See our video coverage of the SXSW Trade Show!