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!
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.
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.
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 daskeyboard.com.