Das Keyboard, makers of excellent mechanical keyboards (opens in new tab), have finally released two highly-anticipated devices. The Das Keyboard 5Q Cloud-connected keyboard (opens in new tab) and the Das Keyboard X50 RGB mechanical keyboard (opens in new tab) are both available to order through the main Das Keyboard site. These two are the result of a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign that raised more than $500,000. It took a little while and I'm sure a few backers started to hold their breath, but the keyboards are finally out and perform as promised.
These are keyboards that put notifications right at your fingertips. You can customize each individual key from the Escape key to the Tilde and set them to change color based on connected software. Want to be notified when you get an email or someone sends you a Slack message? Make the F key change to a red color. Instead of just an input device where you press a button and something happens on the screen, the 5Q also becomes an output device where something happens on the screen and it tells you. There are plenty of keyboards that play with light, like the Corsair K70 LUX RGB (opens in new tab) which gives you some pretty advanced lighting controls, but the 5Q is doing something new.
The X50Q is similar to the 5Q, uses the same software, and does many of the same things especially in regards to the notifications and lighting customization. The only real difference is in the design, which is meant to have harder edges and appeal to gamers. The font on the keycaps is bolder and has a matte texture to it. The media controls in the upper right of the keyboard are actual keys on the X50Q and you lose Das Keyboard's volume dial for a knob. The X50Q is currently $199 at Das Keyboard (opens in new tab), and the 5Q (opens in new tab) goes for $249.
Mechanical keyboards don't always have to break the bank, though. If you're on a budget and need some alternatives, you can look at the Cooler Master MasterKeys mechanical keyboards (opens in new tab), which usually sell around $80. Or you could look at Aukey's mechanical keyboards (opens in new tab), which often go on sale for less than $50.
J.D. Levite has been in the deals game since 2012. He has posted daily deals at Gizmodo, The Wirecutter, The Sweethome, and now covers deals for Android Central, iMore, and Windows Central. He was there for the first Prime Day and has braved the full force of Black Friday. If you cut him, he bleeds savings. But don't try it for real. That's a metaphor.
Huh, I have the 5Q. Was going to review it soon. It's pretty good. Software is a bit clunky.
"from the Escape key to the Tilde"... so nothing can be customized as these are usually next to each other?
Depends on your layout. For me Tilde is the key just left of the enter-key (German Layout).
Notifications on keys? A device more to scream for my attention? And that raised 500K? ... Me no understando.
I imagine what kind of titanic efforts were made to obtain such an effect. True, not all will appreciate the innovations and enhanced functionality.
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