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Das Keyboard 4C Professional Review

We review the Das Keyboard 4C Professional, a straightforward tenkeyless keyboard with Greetech Brown switches.

Teardown

Like the overall design of the Das Keyboard 4C Professional, the interior and construction of the keyboard is simple, solid and clean.

The top part of the chassis is held on by 10 hex screws. With that metal plate removed, you can see that there are strips of foam padding serving to prevent the top plate from bending. They also likely dampen the sound a bit.

The aluminum backplate assembly is secured to the bottom plastic tray by seven small Phillips screws. One on the upper-left corner also holds a wire connector for the USB ports. Two more tiny silver Phillips screws adjacent to the USB ports need to be removed, too. Instead of running directly through the body, three of those screws tighten down tiny metal tabs that keep the backplate assembly snug. With all nine screws removed, you can pop the backplate assembly right out.

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Looking at the PCB, you can see that the welds for the USB ports are nice and tidy, as are those under the key switches.  

There are some smaller details to note, too. For example, some may prefer a removable USB cable, but Das Keyboard opted for a built-in connection, and the simple rubber bumper should protect the cable from tug- or pull-inflicted damage. Even the small black strip of tape securing the USB wire is placed precisely and as flatly as possible.

The observable craftsmanship in this keyboard is excellent.

  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Close to $150 and it's not using Cherry switches *and* the markings are not laser-etched? Non-removable USB cable - do they even understand why people opt for TKL keyboards instead of full-sized ones? (Hint: it's often portability, and you do NOT want a cable sticking out while transporting the thing) And finally, no backlight. Why does everyone laud Das Keyboard so much? This product outright loses to CM QuickFire Rapid-i or Razer BlackWidow Chroma Tournament Edition. (Yes, I'm aware DK offers other models too, but if they can't get something as simple as a TKL right... then again, surprisingly, not many manufacturers can)
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    So long as when i press "a" on my keyboard, an "a" appears on the screen, to me that's a good keyboard....
    Reply
  • Douglas_2
    So long as when i press "a" on my keyboard, an "a" appears on the screen, to me that's a good keyboard....

    I think you're on the wrong website.
    Reply
  • alidan
    Close to $150 and it's not using Cherry switches *and* the markings are not laser-etched? Non-removable USB cable - do they even understand why people opt for TKL keyboards instead of full-sized ones? (Hint: it's often portability, and you do NOT want a cable sticking out while transporting the thing) And finally, no backlight. Why does everyone laud Das Keyboard so much? This product outright loses to CM QuickFire Rapid-i or Razer BlackWidow Chroma Tournament Edition. (Yes, I'm aware DK offers other models too, but if they can't get something as simple as a TKL right... then again, surprisingly, not many manufacturers can)

    razor black widow, if you take the keycaps off you void the warranty, as for the cm, i cant tell if its plate mounted keys or not.

    as for backlight, i hate it.

    as for das in general, i have an older version of their pro full keyboard, and i believe that the caps are laser etched, it was 120$, honestly can't complain about it outside nitpicks and a crappy space bar i had to mod to get to work correctly.

    sadly i got the keyboard right as my hands were going to hell so yea, it gets limited use apposed to what i was planning to use it for.
    Reply
  • avatar_raq
    I got the much superior Corsair K70 RGB for $150 off amazon and it has cherry MX switches with highly customizable back lights that can be turned off altogether.
    Reply
  • Onus
    Good information. I like TKL, but this example will not make my short list.
    Reply
  • JQB45
    I also prefer no back light on my keyboards. The keyboard is for professionals as implied by its name. Most professionals can type in the dark without needing to look at the keyboard. I've found the times when I do need to look at my keyboard in the dark that the light given off by my monitor is sufficient illumination.

    With that said I don't think this keyboard is worth its price. For a similar to slightly higher price you can customize the keyboards made by WASD Keyboards.
    http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/
    Reply
  • smithbs
    I used to have a das keyboard professional, and ruined it by touching it and giving it a static shock. Unfortunately, DAS keyboard doesn't sell just the logic board, and they don't offer to repair the keyboard. I bought this to replace it, and didn't care for the greetech switches.

    They had a similar weight to the cherry switches, maybe slightly heavier, but were really scratchy. I ended up returning it and got a WASD keyboard.
    Reply
  • scolaner
    17448684 said:
    Close to $150 and it's not using Cherry switches *and* the markings are not laser-etched? Non-removable USB cable - do they even understand why people opt for TKL keyboards instead of full-sized ones? (Hint: it's often portability, and you do NOT want a cable sticking out while transporting the thing) And finally, no backlight. Why does everyone laud Das Keyboard so much? This product outright loses to CM QuickFire Rapid-i or Razer BlackWidow Chroma Tournament Edition. (Yes, I'm aware DK offers other models too, but if they can't get something as simple as a TKL right... then again, surprisingly, not many manufacturers can)

    Good point about the non-removable USB cable. But I would disagree with your assertion that people like TKL ONLY for transport. Lots of people just like the compactness of them and don't need the numpad.

    Also, interesting thing about the keycaps...I think these on the DK 4C are not especially attractive, but they swear by the durability. Laser etching looks beautiful but can wear over time. So it's kind of a judgment call.

    Why are you concerned about the lack of Cherry switches?

    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Good point about the non-removable USB cable. But I would disagree with your assertion that people like TKL ONLY for transport. Lots of people just like the compactness of them and don't need the numpad.

    Also, interesting thing about the keycaps...I think these on the DK 4C are not especially attractive, but they swear by the durability. Laser etching looks beautiful but can wear over time. So it's kind of a judgment call.

    Why are you concerned about the lack of Cherry switches?

    Well, I did say "often"... I also don't transport my keyboard frequently and indeed prefer TKL keyboards primarily for the space on the right they free up. But when you're paying $100-150 for a keyboard, a detachable cable is a very minor thing to factor into its cost and can end up saving you a lot of pain even if you don't travel with it. I'm sure a lot of people had their pets or children ruin their peripherals' cables, for example...

    As for the Cherry switches, it's quite simple. We can all agree on their overall quality, and in my opinion, when you've got something that works well and can be trusted, any change to another manufacturer is a risk that's passed onto the consumer.

    What's even more important is that most mechanical keyboard enthusiasts have tried at least several keyboards before deciding on one, and most of these keyboards were likely equipped with Cherry switches. Try one Cherry MX Brown, you've pretty much tried them all - you know what to expect from another keyboard with them. Greentech? I have no idea. See smithbs's reply above - "similar weight to the cherry switches, maybe slightly heavier, but were really scratchy". That's a gamble I personally really wouldn't want to take. Also why I'm still not fully convinced about Razer's TKL (not much choice after CM admitted they can't give me a QF Rapid-i where LEDs don't die after a few weeks) - they're using Kailh switches and even though they're "close" to Cherry's Brown and Blue, I'm still cautious. So naturally, I'm disappointed to see a potential alternative crossed off my list.
    Reply