Windows mechanical keyboards - Razer vs. Das

maflynn

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Given that many window's keyboards have compatibility issues with Macs, and the discussion is PC specific, I thought the location of this thread would be best suited in the alternatives to mac hardware.

I've owned the Das keyboard 4 professional since I bought my Lenovo, it uses cherry mx blue keys which is the clicky variant, its a great keyboard, but I have this against it - the keyboard lacks backlighting and it has no legs to prop up the keyboard. It sits mostly flat (there is a small magnetic wedge that helps). Given my current home-office situation, a backlit keyboard would be a huge plus.

Black Friday saw a nice price reduction of the Black Widow Elite - This version has the volume button, uses mechanical keys and wasn't horribly expensive.

Key travel:
While the specs are near identical, I am noticing a difference and I think its mostly that I'm used to the DAS keyboard but I do like the DAS keyboard's feel better than the Razer's. Its hard to put into words but there is a subtle but noticeable difference

Das
Type:
Tactile & clicky switch
Tacticle: Yes, precise
Clicky: Yes
Actuation Force: 50g (60g peak force)
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Razer:
Feel: Tactile and Clicky
Actuation Force: 50 G
Travel Distance: 4.0 mm
Actuation point: 1.9 mm
Actuation vs Reset Point: 0.4 mm


Quality:
The das feels more solid and well built. It definitely has a feel of being a tank. I don't know if this is a quality metric but there doesn't seem much wiggle with the keys

The razer keyboard for whatever reason feels a bit less sturdy, the keys do have slightly more wobble, the keycap size seems a scosh smaller and so far, the space, arrow and number pad enter keycaps have come off. A simple fix, but still nothing like that occurred on the Das.

Additionally, it seems, I received a defective unit, as the picture below, shows, I' getting random key repeats. A reboot failed to resolve this. Looks like i'll be sending this back.
1575378634728.png


Would I recommend the Razer over the Das? At this point its hard to justify spending the money on the razer, I may look at what DAS has to offer for backlight keyboards but those all use the cherry mx brown keys which are quiet, and I like the clicky sound ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

1575376173106.png
 

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csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
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I’m actually really happy with my BlackWidow Elite. I, too, have the model with the green switches. The feel is great and the sound is...well you like it or hate it. I’m a fan.

You’re right in that there is just a tiny bit of wobble with the keycaps, though I wouldn’t say it’s a dealbreaker for me either. The volume knob (as trivial as it is) is what sold me on it. So much more convenient than having to find another button in the dark (a’la Logitech that I owned previously).

I’ve not used the Das, but they get up there in price pretty quickly, no? Ultimately if Razer could deliver me a wireless version of this keyboard I’d be on board for life.
 

kamikazeeMC

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2017
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Perth, Western Australia
I've had my CODE Keyboard for a few years now, solid and simple design, media keys are in the home section above the arrow keys via a Fn key, dip switches on the back to change some keys including a Mac mode swapping the Alt and Windows keys around, and the new versions have programmable macro support. Comes with MX green, clear, brown, blue and zealios. Unfortunately they come with ABS keycaps, I replaced them with Tai-Hao PBT caps.

I've only used MX red, black, brown, blue and clear. Didn't like red and brown because they were too soft, or blue because the actuation and reset point difference while gaming annoyed me. Love black and the clears!
 

maflynn

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I started the process of exchanging the razer keyboard, and I'll give the keyboard one more chance. I still like the DAS keyboard but my present situation is such that black lighting is a major plus.
 

Silvestru Hosszu

macrumors regular
Oct 2, 2016
149
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Europe
I have the DAS (Cherry MX Blue) and tried a Corsair RGB keyboard using Cherry MX Brown switches.
I truly love DAS and hate the gaming keyboard.
Everything is mushy with MX Brown switches and efficiency went down through the floor.
Although it was nice to have the illuminated keyboard I'll stick with DAS.
At least to me, the typing experience is much better on DAS.
 

maflynn

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I've now had the replacement keyboard and I'm very pleased with it. The feel is off from the DAS but being backlight, I'm quite happy.
 

c0ppo

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2013
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@maflynn
Check out Keychrone K2. I’m using it for all desktop OS. It’s really great, sturdy, well built.
Its TKL, I always use TKL, but if you need more...
 
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someoldguy

macrumors 68000
Aug 2, 2009
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I've got a DAS Prime 13 , backlit , somewhat clicky keys , and a Cooler Master , no idea what the model is , had it for a few years , but its more compact than the DAS , with a bit softer key feel , no numerical keypad , and white backlighting . RGB lighting would drive me crazy.
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
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Sorry, I have not tried either one of the two keyboards mentioned (Das, Razer) but I just received a Keychron K1 today. With shipping, I think it was $89.

This is my first mechanical keyboard in years. It will take a few weeks to get acclimatized to, but already just typing, it feels pretty good. I've spent some time with some pretty great keyboards (SGI keyboards with the ALPS switches, plus the venerable IBM Selectric -- yes, the typewriter keyboard) back when the dinosaurs roamed the planet.

The Keychron K1 is unlike any of the ones I mentioned since it's a low profile keyboard (for a mechanical model). Still, the keys are taller than the old Apple wired keyboard it replaced. Within 15 minutes, I lowered my keyboard platform 0.5-0.75 inches.

The manufacturer ships in the Mac key configuration with replacement Windows keys for a handful of buttons. There's a Mac/Windows switch on the keyboard itself. It can operate either as a wired USB keyboard or as a Bluetooth device (I'm using mine in wired mode). There are even special keys for screenshots and Siri.

There's a special button for toggling between various keyboard lighting/obnoxious "seizure" modes. The simple key backlighting has several levels of brightness (including an off position). I bought the one with simple white backlighting, not one of those crazy RGB discos.

This thing is using something called Gatetron switches which means nothing to me -- maybe it's a big deal. I did admire the ALPS switches, perhaps they are comparable. The clicking is certainly noticeable but pretty pleasant. If I have headphones or AirPods Pro turned on, I can barely hear my own typing.

The build quality appears to be pretty decent.

Keychron makes some other models. It looks like they have molded indented keys whereas the K1 model has flat keys (Mac-like). If I did a huge amount of typing, I'd probably consider one of the models with the molded/indented keys.

Note that my keyboards get ordinary consumer use, not gamer/hacker type use.

I learned touch typing growing up so I don't really need the color coded keys that some of the other Keychron models sport. The K1 model has a very smart looking all-black key appearance.

My new Keychron K1 replaces a ten-year old wired Apple keyboard (with the chiclet keys) which will remain a backup. I use the Keychron with my Mac mini 2018. I also have a MacBook Air 2019 that gets little use (mostly because I despise the overall ergonomics of notebook computers). With a nice keyboard like the K1, undoubtedly I will spend even less time on the MacBook.

Anyhow, if anyone is looking for a sub-$100 keyboard with mechanical switches, this might be one to consider.

At some point, I might pick up a Keychron K2. It's ugly with its color coded keys but hell, I'd be pairing it with a Wintel box that isn't worth much more than the keyboard itself.
 
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maflynn

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Just an update on my Das vs. Razer :)

I've been rocking with the Razer keyboard now for about a week and its been pretty stable. I do like the chroma backlighting. Not that I'm changing the colors, as much as I can see the keys in low light situations.

Is it worth the 100 dollars? If I didn't have the DAS keyboard, I'd say yes. Since I own the DAS keyboard, I'm not as sure.

The keys are raised up higher then the DAS, and are more exposed if that makes sense. Its a minor annoyance, even my kids noticed and complained. Its minor, but its something to consider. I have until January to return it under the holiday return window, and I'm about 50-50 on keeping vs returning. Later today, I'll swap the keyboard with the DAS and do another compare/contrast.

One odd thing that I noticed with my Lenovo with the keyboard plugged in, when I reboot the PC, sometimes it seems to hang on the boot menu (press the enter key to go into the bios settings). I'm pretty sure its related to the keyboard because its never happened until the keyboard was plugged it. A second reboot fixes this, and the PC goes into windows. Since I got a new monitor recently, its possible that may be interfering. I'll see when I start using the DAS keyboard.
 

cube

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May 10, 2004
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There's a Logitech deal. The G613 does not feel bad if you're not a Cherry fanatic.
 

cube

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The labels on my MK700/MK710 (non-mechanical) wore off very quickly. Let's see how it goes with the G613.