There seems to be a lot of buzz around mechanical keyboard lately as more and more manufacturers have started producing them. It’s only a matter of time before these become more mainstream.
I’ve spent the last 6ish years using the Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 which is an amazing keyboard and I would advise anyone in the market for an ergonomic keyboard to get one of these. However after breaking a finger I find I get aches after long periods of typing on this keyboard which I put down to the force required to press a key on a membrane keyboard (it could also be down to the fact I really hammer my keys). Because of this I thought I’d give a mechanical keyboard as I’d been reading that they require a lot less effort for each key press.
After some research I decided I was best suited to Cherry Blue switches as I spend most of my day typing. You can read more about switches at mechanicalkeyboards.com. I ended up settling on the daskeyboard Model S Ultimate. It has twin USB ports and no labels on the keys (for that ultimate geek factor), if you want labels on the keys then you want the pro model rather than the ultimate.
After using this for a day let me just say one thing… This keyboard is LOUD! It has that awesome retro clicky sound that the mechanical keyboards of yesteryear had. If you work in a shared office then I would not advise getting one of these or your co workers are going to want to kill you (I believe they do a red switch version that’s quieter). Once I got over how loud it was the thing that really surprised me was how easy the keys are to press, it requires next to no effort. So far I’ve had no aches in my fingers which I was getting after only an hour or so of typing on my old keyboard. I’ve also heard people saying that as you get used to a mechanical keyboard you can train yourself to stop pushing the key down as soon as you hear the switch click avoiding the extra impact of the key bottoming out.
The build quality on this thing is way beyond any keyboard I’ve ever had in the past. It carrys some pretty serious weight for a keyboard which I guess is part of the reason it feels so solid. There are no rattles or squeaks and it stays firmly in position on my desk when I’m typing.
With regards to price, yes mechanical keyboards cost more but if this is something you're going to be using everyday why not spend a bit extra to have the best? I’m not sure how true this is but I’ve seen several sites saying how mechanical keyboards last about 10 times longer than membrane keyboards.
I do miss the ergonomic shape of my old Microsoft 4000 but the benefits of the Das Keyboard far out weight this, also I' think I can solve this with a wrist rest. Until someone starts making ergonomic mechanical keyboards I really can’t see me parting with the Das Keyboard.