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Look, Mom: No Letters On The Keys!

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 8 comments

 

Austin (TX) - This could be an incredibly dumb or an ingenious idea: You type all day, taking a peek now and then to make sure you are hitting the right lettered keys. What if the keys weren’t lettered though? Could that introduce a bit more excitement to a device most of us take for granted?

The design idea behind the Das Keyboard Ultimate, as seen by founder Daniel Guermeur, was that the only way to improve typing skills such as his was to stop looking at the keys. He instead focused on making what is described as "a blank keyboard with a tactile feel." device, which prices at $129, also has a traditional QWERTY keyboard sibling known as the Professional available for the same price. The Ultimate though is what makes some people wonder about Das Keyboard’s business model.

Das Keyboard notes its German-designed, gold-plated mechanical key switches create a "distinct click" with each keystroke. Without trying one of these keyboards myself it is hard to say how truly effective this blind typing method is. Reviews have been generally positive, so Das Keyboard (which, by the way, translates to "The Keyboard") must be doing something right.

Other features of the Ultimate include two USB 2.0 ports, a black surface with blue LEDs, a 6.6 foot USB cable and a "N-key rollover function (or the ability to register 12 key presses simultaneously without key jamming)."

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  • 0 Hide
    xsamitt , July 16, 2008 10:57 AM
    Try typing in the dark too for the greatest test of all:]
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 16, 2008 12:04 PM
    Heh, old stuff. I painted an old $20 keyboard black ~12 years ago, when LAN-ing was a weekend must. Still use it on my server.
    It's easier than you'd think, especially if you're used to typing. Getting a _new_ black keyboard can be hard on your typing though, as no two keyboards have the same spacing between chars etc. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    blackened144 , July 16, 2008 2:56 PM
    $129 for a blank keyboard seems like a bit much though.
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , July 16, 2008 3:36 PM
    "the ability to register 12 key presses simultaneously without key jamming"

    Most people max out at 10 simultaneously key presses, Austin Power could do 11 but 12?
  • 0 Hide
    turbolover22 , July 16, 2008 5:09 PM
    Why not just go to the local hardware store and buy a can of black spray paint and some sandpaper. You can pop the keys off of any keyboard, paint them black, sand them down so that they have a smooth feel to them.

    Now you just spent ~$7 to convert your $20 keyboard into a $129. Seems like a good investment to me.
  • 0 Hide
    Kari , July 16, 2008 8:24 PM
    Pei-chen"the ability to register 12 key presses simultaneously without key jamming"Most people max out at 10 simultaneously key presses, Austin Power could do 11 but 12?

    Never heard of the old school hot seat multiplaying? Bunch (2 or 3, 4 was really pushing it :p ) of dudes on the same computer playing with a single keyboard?

    I'm so old....
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 16, 2008 9:49 PM
    I like it, it allows for using alternate keyboard setups without having to move keys around.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 19, 2008 2:05 AM
    its $129 because of the high end construction. most keyboards dont have the switches inside anymore, they just have that plastic crap. pick up an old school IBM keyboard thats like 20 years old and start typing on the thing, youll see what i mean. the only reason they went to plastic crap is because its $20 and can be about half as good as a $100 keyboard with the old school switches in it.