If you are a fan of mechanical keyboards you may be interested to know about an update to the No.1 top rated keyboard on Amazon.com – the Das Keyboard Model S Professional. Das Keyboard enjoys a minimalist style ethic, the first time I saw one of the company’s ‘boards, years ago, it was a black one without printed key caps (the Model S Ultimate now follows that style). Now, due to customer demand the Das Keyboard Model S Professional -Media has been made available.
The extra media keys aren’t dedicated media keys but accessed by using the top F-Keys with a function key modifier. The function key modifier lies between the lower left CTRL and Windows keys on the Das Keyboard Model S Professional -Media. Daniel Guermeur, creator of the Das Keyboard said “Our fans have increasingly asked for a version of our mechanical keyboard that includes media features along with two Windows keys to maintain an optimal typing and multi-media experience. We're pleased to deliver our refreshed Model S to satisfy their keyboard demands.”
The media functions are as follows;
- Volume mute
- Volume down
- Volume up
- Track play/pause
- Track stop
- Track next
- Track previous
- and a Sleep key
The Das Keyboard Model S Professional -Media is available with a choice of Cherry MX key switches; Cherry MX blue for the “maximum clicky tactile feel” and Cherry MX brown for a quieter but still tactile experience. Both varieties of key switch have gold contacts for the ultimate in reliable key-press sensing. Below is a video demonstrating the sonic differences between the Cherry MX blues and browns.
Other features of the Das Keyboard Model S Professional -Media are as follows;
- Media controls
- Cherry MX blue or brown mechanical key switches with gold contacts
- Laser-etched key cap inscriptions to prevent fading
- Full n-key rollover (anti-ghosting technology) with a PS2 adapter, and 6 keys with USB
- Enhanced 104-key layout with two Windows keys
- Glossy black upper enclosure with matching black USB cable - Darth Vader approved
- Two-port USB hub 1.1 and 2.0 compatible
- Blue LEDs
- Extra long two-meter (6.6-foot) USB cable
- Dimensions: 18in x 6.5in x 1in (thickest portion, feet not extended, 1.5in w/ extended feet)
- Weight: 1.36 kg (3 lbs)
- Compatible with PS/2 and USB KVM switches (for multi-computer control with one keyboard).
- 2 USB ports or 1 USB port + 1 PS/2 port, USB to PS/2 adapter (included)
- PC or Mac, Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X
- No driver required
- Mac users can swap the command/control/option keys to match the Mac keyboard layout using the Mac OS X keyboard control panel
Overall it seems to be a well balanced offering with great key switches and extra features. Das Keyboard haven’t overdone the media features but has got the most important ones on there (volume controls and sleep). I also like to have a power button on the keyboard and would have preferred that to media track controls. The UK dealer is currently out of stock, with deliveries estimated for late August of the previous non-media version, this new model replaces the non-media version so new stock should be the media version when it comes in, ring to double check. It’s premium-priced at about £120. There's a lot more mechanical keyboards around now than there used to be, mainly due to the demand from gamers rather than typists, so the market has got more competitive.