Rating: ★★★★★

Pros:

  • The best typing experience currently available
  • Stable design plus two-pronged USB hub

Cons:

  • No media controls or backlighting

As a product reviewer for over four years, it’s easy to be cynical towards most anything. Great gadgets are hard to come by, and are overshadowed by a lot of crap. But every once and again something spectacular happens: an absolute treasure comes across, and it changes everything. Life without it is never the same. Going back to the old way without it feels…like something’s missing.

That’s the Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent.

The last mechanical keyboard I tested was way loud. When I saw the Das Keyboard, I told their spokesman that if it were too loud, I’d point that out as I did before. Mechanical keyboards are, as a rule, loud, but I’ve used past models that were low profile and quiet. The build quality should always be based around the entire typing experience, not just how the keys feel when typing.

Das Keyboard’s Model S Professional Silent doesn’t disappoint. In fact, I can’t stop typing on it. Going back to my old, non-mechanical keyboard has been next to impossible. Typing on rubber keys feels like a toy, not a productivity tool. And as someone who spends most of the day in front of a keyboard, I feel liberated.

The Model S is not large, but hulking. It holds the weight of the world, and in a good way. Stability is a dominating factor for this keyboard, one that isn’t lost on users. To type 120 words per minute, the keyboard needs to stand firmly in place and take the pounding.

And it does. The design aesthetic is not provocatively pleasing, and yet the glossy top is sleek and lean. Functionality reigns supreme for the Professional Silent, barely different from the Professional, which lacks the soft keys which dampen the sound without affecting the feel of typing. Sure, the Professional Silent is loud, but not painfully so or even distractingly so. Put on some headphones or music and you’ll drown the sound right out, yet still keep that resounding click for each keypress. Like a mechanical keyboards should.

As a very standard keyboard, the Professional Silent comes with only a few amenities. It has two USB connectors, one for the keyboard and one for the built-in two-pronged USB hub on the right side. A PS/2 adapter is included, which eliminates ghosting. This is best for extremely fast typists or gamers who use more than six simultaneous button presses. I’ve tested with both the USB and PS/2 adapters, and both work excellently.

The only thing missing from the Das Keyboard are media controls and backlighting, which many have grown fond of with recent keyboards. There’s no adjusting volume, playing, pausing or muting music. It’s also much more difficult to type in the dark, though as I found with the Matias Tactile Pro 3, backlighting changes the way the keys are made, and they don’t feel the same, so perhaps that’s for the best. If such a solution for backlighting mechanical keyboards were available, I’d love to see it.

Saying the Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent is a great keyboard is an understatement, and doesn’t do the keyboard justice. Instead, I’ll simply ask: where have you been all my life?



James Pikover

 
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.