The Author Recommends: Das Keyboard Professional 6

Although I’m a big believer in YNAB, there are just some things in life for which you cannot have a budget. One of those is books (obviously), another is Pop Tarts, and the third is anything that makes your job as an author easier. Yearly subscription for Microsoft Word even though it used to be a one-time fee? Sure! Yearly subscription to Novlr even though you only use it for a total of three months every two years? Yes! $200 every couple of years for a new Das Keyboard mechanical keyboard even though your last one still works great? Shut up, and take my money, good sir.

Okay, in all honesty, I skipped the Pro 5 version. I’m not made of money. Plus, the 4 was working so well–why mess with perfection? I’ll tell you why! Because you can! It just so happened I found myself with a little extra coin in my pocket when Das Keyboard released the Professional 6 last month (or September). I ordered it a few days after its release, and since they’re based here in Austin, Texas, I received it pretty quickly. I couldn’t wait to see how it compared to the 4!

Obligatory Photos

One thing I immediately noticed was how much smaller the 6 is. The first picture doesn’t do it justice, but look how they stack up in the second. The bezel is thinner, the flare in the upper right is less pronounced, and somehow it just feels tighter… less… significant. No, that’s not the right word. Ugh, they should have sent a poet.

I suppose what it lacks in height and width, it makes up for in girth. Look at that thick boy 6 (bottom) compared to the 4 (top). Your fingers are definitely sitting a little higher off the desk now.

The world is moving to USB-C, and Das Keyboard is no exception. Although they were kind enough to include an adapter so I can still plug it into my aging PC, I was kinda bummed to lose the two USB ports on the top. They’re USB-C now, and I don’t have anything to plug into them. So they’re just sitting there, unused, like the coleslaw in my fish combo at Long John Silver’s.

Listen, people. I’m a “professional” writer, okay? I don’t go in for those gimmicky LED backlights that coruscate (see?) through the entire color wheel. I don’t even look at the keys, so why would I need them lit up? Honestly, the LEDs are a major reason I skipped the 5. Too busy. Too much. Calm down, keyboard!

That said, I like the subtle glow of the keyboard now. It makes it feel more “alive” on my desk without being distracting. A button lets you adjust the brightness, which is appreciated.

Initial Impressions

The 6 I ordered used the same Cherry MX Brown switches I have on my 4, so the typing experience was more or less the same. There was no loss of speed or accuracy. There’s a slight tactile difference to the keys (same as between the Pro 4 and Ultimate 4 that I use at work). It types fast as hell and I love it.

I may be the only one who can hear it, but there is a definite metallic squink present during typing if you are in a very quiet room, audible even over the clacking of the keys. I imagine it has something to do with the metal clasps under the bigger keys, but who knows. It’s not enough to make me complain, and I always have some music going anyway.

After a couple of days, I realized one of the Windows keys wasn’t working. Thinking I had a defective keyboard, I wrote into their support. They were helpful and informed me I would need to flash the firmware. That’s all well and good, but this is the app they told me to download:

Not for nothin’, but I get real skittish about clicking buttons I can’t read. It did resolve my problem though, so that’s a plus.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been using the Das Keyboard Professional 6 for about a month now while working on a new book. I can’t say there is a huge improvement over the 4, but it is definitely the kind of rock-solid mechanical keyboard you’d expect from this company. Ultimately, I consider it a good purchase, not only because I have a new shiny keyboard, but also because I get to support an Austin company that I’d definitely work at if they offered me a job. I will test keyboards until my fingers fall off if that’s what it takes!

If you’ve got a Pro 4 or 5, you could consider skipping this upgrade unless you’re swimming in money from all your Kindle Unlimited reads. If you’re 3 or earlier, it is definitely time to upgrade.

I don’t know how authors write without a mechanical keyboard, and I don’t know how I’ll ever write without a Das Keyboard. A+++ would buy again.

Visit them at

Vise Manor: Review by Sarah Orren @ Reedsy Discovery

“Reminiscent of the movies Clue and House on Haunted Hill, Vise Manor is a clever sci-fi thriller that kept me up well into the night to see what happened next.”

This was my first year trying out Reedsy Discovery, and a week after the launch of Vise Manor, I’ll go ahead and give it a solid thumbs-up for ROI, both in sales and engagement. I was lucky enough to get my book picked up, and by release day, I had an insightful, well-written review I could bandy about the internet. Thus-reviewed, Vise Manor was then plugged into the larger Reedsy Discovery world, which sent a lot of clicks to this very website. So yeah, same time next year!

Here’s the full review from Sarah Orren:

“Reminiscent of the movies Clue and House on Haunted HillVise Manor is a clever sci-fi thriller that kept me up well into the night to see what happened next. Set in a far more technologically sophisticated world than our own, yet still in 2021, synthetics are all the rage. Though few companies have mastered the ability to craft completely human-like synthetic beings complete with intelligence, personality and mannerisms, Winston Vise is claiming to have produced the best synthetics out there. And he needs investors to continue on his path of success.

Vise is an almost unheard of tech billionaire, so when he invites eight carefully chosen members of relevant industries to his manor for dinner and an unveiling of his new products, they RSVP yes, if only to learn more about the elusive man. The disembodied synthetic hand that Vise sent with the invitation as proof of his advances certainly aided in their decision to attend.

But when the attendees show up to Vise Manor, they get more than they bargained for. Communications are jammed, Mother Nature is unleashing her fury, and not everyone is who they claim to be. Throw in a few unexpected brutal murders and the night quickly shifts into survival mode.

Though the story may not be entirely original, and a few parts were even a little predictable, Verastiqui does an amazing job of developing each and every character. I found myself rooting for Carter and Roma, Nancy and Misty (unexpectedly so), and actually shouted aloud during a pivotal character’s death just before sunrise. It became almost a game of trying to determine who would survive and who wouldn’t, and what paths each character would take along the way.

Once I got to the very end of the story and realized that it left open space for a sequel, I went to Verastiqui’s site and learned that this is actually a part of a 7-book anthology series. I will definitely be going back and reading these other stories. Overall, I loved it and recommend to any sci-fi readers interested in a book that walks the line between murder mystery and cyber thriller.”

Sarah Orren, Reedsy Discovery

Thanks for the awesome review, Sarah!

Review: We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor

I mentioned in a previous Thursday Roundup that I had started reading We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor but that after encountering the line the butthurt is strong with this one had completely given up. That’s still true. Cringe is one of those things that’s hard for me to get past, but after talking it over with a few friends, I was encouraged to give it another shot. I’m happy to report no further cringe incidents, and in fact, it’s a pretty damn good book. Well, two books.

Continue reading