mechanical keyboard - Das Keyboard or Metias?

Rossatron

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
hey all,

I'm looking into buying a mechanical keyboard. the models i am interested in are the Metias mini tactile pro and the Das Keyboard for mac. as these are not the cheapest keyboards out there, i was wondering which is better in terms of quality and value for money.

this is how i figured it out so far:

--- i want a blue-cherry or equivalent switch, with clicky sound.

the Metias:

  • small keyboard, which i actually prefer.
  • full mac function keys (volume, brightness, etc.).
  • looks nice

Das Keyboard

  • full keyboard.
  • not all mac function keys.
  • looks nice.

my main concern is that i have read that the Metias is not as well made as the Das Keyboard model. in that case, id rather get the Das Keyboard.
 

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
Sounds like you're already made up your mind on the Das. The 4th gen Matias might be more equal than the previous versions, but I only know about the 1st & 3rd gen models.
The only reason I didn't try the Das was Black gloss & my preference for white keys.

Either model will be many steps ahead of standard keyboards. If you've never owned one, they take a bit of time to get used to. What's interesting for most is switching back to a mushy key after you've had several days on an MK. Then you know the real difference.

Good Luck
 

Cassady

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2012
552
128
Sqornshellous
Excuse the ignorance - but what exactly is the difference? What makes a keyboard 'mechanical', and how does it differ from the 'mushy' ones?

Sincere question this. I do plenty of typing - but never really considered changing my kyb - but it would appear that I'm missing out?
 

Rossatron

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Excuse the ignorance - but what exactly is the difference? What makes a keyboard 'mechanical', and how does it differ from the 'mushy' ones?

Sincere question this. I do plenty of typing - but never really considered changing my kyb - but it would appear that I'm missing out?
the main difference is that the keys are physical keys - when you press the top, they go down and press a spring that registers the appropriate key. the "mushy" type is basically a plastic membrane that flattens when you press it (that's why you need to press all the way). second, it makes that fantastic clicking sound when you type. if you're not into it, there are silent keyboard. third, they are more sturdy and will last longer than regular keyboards. fourth, you can type faster, as you don't need to press the key all the way to actuate the command.


Sounds like you're already made up your mind on the Das. The 4th gen Matias might be more equal than the previous versions, but I only know about the 1st & 3rd gen models.
The only reason I didn't try the Das was Black gloss & my preference for white keys.

Either model will be many steps ahead of standard keyboards. If you've never owned one, they take a bit of time to get used to. What's interesting for most is switching back to a mushy key after you've had several days on an MK. Then you know the real difference.

Good Luck
so you have the Metias one? how's it like?
 

colodane

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2012
814
273
Colorado
I have the black DAS Mac keyboard and like it overall. Seems to be well made and has very good (and clicky) typing action. The USB ports work well with my USB 2.0 iMac.

As you noted there are a couple of missing Mac keys. One annoying thing about it that you might not know from looking at their website is that all the labels on the keys are done in small white lowercase symbols. Not a problem with all the normally-used keys if you are a touch typist. But if you have a need to visually confirm the function of some of the keys be prepared to use your reading glasses and/or provide good lighting. The punctuation keys are the worst in this regard.

That is the only downside I could find with the keyboard. I have no experience with the Matias.
 

Rossatron

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
I have the black DAS Mac keyboard and like it overall. Seems to be well made and has very good (and clicky) typing action. The USB ports work well with my USB 2.0 iMac.

As you noted there are a couple of missing Mac keys. One annoying thing about it that you might not know from looking at their website is that all the labels on the keys are done in small white lowercase symbols. Not a problem with all the normally-used keys if you are a touch typist. But if you have a need to visually confirm the function of some of the keys be prepared to use your reading glasses and/or provide good lighting. The punctuation keys are the worst in this regard.

That is the only downside I could find with the keyboard. I have no experience with the Matias.
that kinda tips the scales to the Metias :D

You might also investigate UniComp keyboards:
http://pckeyboard.com/page/category/SpacesaverM
rem, these..... don't look as good as the other
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,974
68
rem, these..... don't look as good as the other
No but they are buckling spring and if you're a buckling spring fan then no keyswitch is a suitable substitute. I use an old IBM M13 at work and haven't found a mechanical keyswitch that I've liked so far. Haven't tried Topre yet though.

Excuse the ignorance - but what exactly is the difference? What makes a keyboard 'mechanical', and how does it differ from the 'mushy' ones?
One resource among many out there:
http://www.daskeyboard.com/blog/mechanical-keyboard-guide/

Sincere question this. I do plenty of typing - but never really considered changing my kyb - but it would appear that I'm missing out?
Hard to say as it's a matter of preference. Many are just fine with membrane keyboards. You'd have to try and see for yourself if you prefer mechanicals.
 
Last edited:

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
so you have the Metias one?
Not at the moment. Had ver1 and basically used it to death. Version3 was fine, but I sold it with all desktop stuff for a time & hope to get back to ver4 which is supposed to be even better.

Had the quiet version as well, but didn't like it as much as the standard white version. It's not really quiet, so.. ;)

Agree with colodane's thought on the Das. Small letters might not work well for some people.
 
Last edited:

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
Excuse the ignorance - but what exactly is the difference? What makes a keyboard 'mechanical', and how does it differ from the 'mushy' ones?

Sincere question this. I do plenty of typing - but never really considered changing my kyb - but it would appear that I'm missing out?
Not if you grew up on membrane keyboards. This is a very different experience. Many who were there in the old days used the Apple Key 2 and some an old IBM that was a tank of a keyboard.
These were loud, but very precise boards. You develop a certain feel that can't be reproduced with the current cheap membrane boards.

I'd say, you have to know what you're getting into with these. You might not like it. You might love it.

I'll add an interesting bit of personal history. When I bought my first personal Mac in 96, I payed 120 plus for an Apple Key 2 and kinda grew up on that. I had no idea it was one of the finest boards being made at the time. Many Macs and years later, I hated the so called Mushy/Cheap boards that followed. I was the right audience for the Matias when it was first out. Again, 120 in 1996 dollars was expensive. I didn't know better at the time. The computer was 4200.00 bucks, so it's kinda funny that the board is still a desirable object. The 9500/132 doesn't touch an iPad now ;)
 
Last edited:

Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,594
1,063
Hearst Castle
Writing to let everyone know I purchased a Das Professional S for Mac Mechanical Keyboard. This one has the Cherry MX Blue mechanical keys, meaning it's both tactile and makes a sound when depressed.

So far, love it. Very solidly built, key response is great. If you are used to the Apple silver/membrane keyboard, or similar cheapie plastic membrane keyboards that come with most computers, it may take a few days or even a week before you become accustomed to the travel, feel, and clack of a mechanical keyboard.

But once you are used to it, you may never return to the membrane keyboards. My typing is faster and more accurate on this keyboard, no question or doubt about it. I have found it less fatiguing because there is more space for hands/fingers, plus you can really get aggressive with the keys and you've got plenty of room and travel to really hit it quick. The fact that each key has its own mechanical switch -- versus the inferior membrane of the cheaper keyboards which is electrically linked with multiple keys -- really makes a difference when typing quickly. It is noticeably improved with the mechanical keyboard, if you are a very fast typer.

Note, however, if you are in an open-space environment, people may dislike the key clacking, because it is not a quiet keyboard. Personally, I love the sound, I find it "registers" in your head that keys have been depressed and you can really let the typing fly. Poor explanation I know, you'll have to experience it for yourself to understand what I mean.

Also, all Mac-specific keys worked right out of the box. Zero setup. Just plug it in and it works.

Well worth the price. In fact I just bought another one for the office. I think the Apple silver keyboards are decent membrane keyboards and better than most of the competition, but after using the Das Professional S mechanical for Mac, I'm never going back.



 

lowendlinux

macrumors 603
Sep 24, 2014
5,235
6,483
Germany
I have a Poker II great small keyboard and reasonably efficient after you get used to the function key. I goof mech is like a good anything else a bit expensive but will last.


Reds, Reds are the best!
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
But once you are used to it, you may never return to the membrane keyboards.
I could not agree more. I use a Matias Tactile Pro and a Matias Quiet Pro and love them both after using them for about 2 years now. I still remember using my "IBM" clone keyboard back when I had my mighty 286 AT and I don't know why I ever stopped using mechanical keyboards.
 
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Chuck Rodent

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2014
109
44
Clacking away on my Das Pro now and it is a vast improvement over the Apple membrane keyboards. I still prefer the Microsoft Natural split keyboard having used them for 20 years, but mapping of the function keys over to Apple does not work.
 

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
I still remember using my "IBM" clone keyboard back when I had my mighty 286 AT and I don't know why I ever stopped using mechanical keyboards.
Because they gained a bad rep for being too big, old fashioned, out of date layout, not wireless, too loud (like that's important) etc, etc.

Guess we can thank gamers for the resurrection.
 
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Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,594
1,063
Hearst Castle
Guess we can thank gamers for the resurrection.
Yes. The gamers, and a few coders, have scores of videos now concerning mechanical key switches, detailed reviews, setups, performance, etc. Manufacturers are developing and releasing new mechanical models, including premium product, and people are buying.

There are a lot of really crappy membrane keyboards out there now. They absolutely suck. And after using a quality mechanical keyboard, the Apple silver keyboard isn't so great either, sort of like the earbuds that come with iPods -- serviceable but needing replacement. It's better than a lot of other membrane boards, but compared to a quality mechanical keyboard with quality individual switches, large keys, and solid housing, forget about it, membrane boards lose by a mile.

Mechanical keyboards are making a comeback and I think they are here to stay.
 

cschmelz

macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2007
305
31
hey all,

I'm looking into buying a mechanical keyboard. the models i am interested in are the Metias mini tactile pro and the Das Keyboard for mac. as these are not the cheapest keyboards out there, i was wondering which is better in terms of quality and value for money.

this is how i figured it out so far:

--- i want a blue-cherry or equivalent switch, with clicky sound.

the Metias:

  • small keyboard, which i actually prefer.
  • full mac function keys (volume, brightness, etc.).
  • looks nice

Das Keyboard

  • full keyboard.
  • not all mac function keys.
  • looks nice.

my main concern is that i have read that the Metias is not as well made as the Das Keyboard model. in that case, id rather get the Das Keyboard.
I bought all Matias Quiet Pro's for our computers in the emergency room (for the docs) and love them. They are quite quiet and have that quality feel and good build quality.

I have the Das 4 for my Mac at home and love that too. It 'feels' to me to be of slightly better quality and I prefer the matte finish to the super shiny Matias. The Das is a fair amount louder but also has more tactile feel compared to the Quiet Pro.
 

ChumpyD

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2012
26
1
I have the DAS keyboard and love it. Not exactly the quietest out there but I like hearing the keys too. Highly recommend it.
 

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
478
I just posted a review of the Das Keyboard 4 Professional here. If anyone is interested. I think it is quite a nice keyboard.
 
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