dasKeyboard Finally Makes A Lighted Keyboard

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Steve S, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    My dasKeyboard 5Q was finally delivered about a week ago, roughly a year and two months later than promised in its Kickstarter campaign.


    I'd like to be able to say that the keyboard is great and well worth the wait but instead I have to say that I am pretty disappointed in the product as it currently exists. In an effort to be as objective about as possible about this, here is my short list of pros and cons as I see them:

    • The keyboard appears to be very well built. It feels sturdy and "weighty" so it doesn't move around as you type. The cord features a nice fabric jacket rather than the usual bare plastic jacket.
    • The KB comes with a nice palm rest that attaches magnetically. The palm rest has an inlaid rubbery surface that provides a comfortable, non-slip resting surface.
    • The KB also comes with an ergonomic key puller and four special key caps with textured, silver surfaces. I don't recognize the symbols, but I presume that they are associated with some game (I am not a computer gamer).
    • One of the key features of the 5Q KB is its "Gamma-Zulu" switches which feature a central light pipe for good key cap illumination without light spill. The Gamma-Zulu switches were also supposed to have a good tactile feel. More on that below. As advertised, the KB has even key cap illumination and virtually no light spill beneath the key caps.
    • Astute readers will notice that the 5Q's other principal feature, Cloud connectivity and KB signaling, wasn't mentioned above. That's because the 5Q's Cloud-connectivity software app and firmware load are an absolute disaster! And this is particularly egregious considering that they had an extra year plus to work on their Version 1!! Instead, owners have received a buggy software app that has many problems, including unexpected shutdown of the KB illumination (leaving the KB dark) and features that just don't work right. The 5Q Discussion Forum is a swarm of angry bees right now.
    • Worse, the firmware that controls the chroma values appears to have significant problems. White keys have a VERY distinct pink tinge to them, and if you move your eyes or head, you get these "streaks" of red and blue around the illuminated key characters. It also sort of looks like the white color is "strobing." It's very distracting and it tends to throw my typing off because it breaks my concentration.
    • Speaking about the key characters, dasKeyboard elected to use some fancy, "game-like" font for the keys that turns out to also be somewhat distracting. In this case, I can't blame dasKeyboard alone; they asked the subscribers what font we wanted, and this is the one that got selected. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a less-than-good choice!
    • And the key switches. Well, if you are a fan of Cherry Brown (non-click) switches, I guess that you will like the keyboard feel. But if you like Blue (clicky) switches, you might have the same reaction that I have. I HATE it! I feel like dasKeyboard really misrepresented this feature because they originally talked about the switches having "good tactile feel." If you press a key very slowly, you can kind of feel a pressure "bump" in the key travel, but at typing speed, you feel nothing at all; just the key travel. For the record, I wasn't expecting Blue performance, but something less pronounced. But this keyboard has NO tactile feel, to me.
    • Finally, although my KB seems to be soundly constructed, other buyers are complaining about a variety of defects. Since I don't seem to have any of them, I can't really comment on that other than to say that production appears to be pretty variable.
    I could go on, but this summarizes the principal issues for now. The software app is so buggy that I haven't been motivated to try any of the Cloud-connectivity features.

    I had originally decided to put this KB in the closet and return to my dasKeyboard Professional (which is still a dynamite KB, by the way). But after reflecting on the time and money that I invested in this 5Q, I'm going to wait and see to what extent the next software update fixes things. Of course, it won't fix the KB feel, and for that reason alone I will likely return to my Professional, but I would like to see what the Cloud-connectivity features bring to the party.

    For now, my recommendation is DO NOT buy this KB! It still has a long way to go software-wise, and the existing chroma display issues are flatly unacceptable!!
    Marty and Kumabjorn like this.

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