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Das Keyboard 4 Professional Review

  REVIEW

Updated on: 16 June, 2021
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 9 Minutes
Das Keyboard 4 Professional Review
Image by vy Liu from Pixabay (Source: Pixabay)

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a premium and solid mechanical keyboard that includes either the Cherry MX Brown or MX Blue key switches. It comes with the reputation of Das Keyboard, known for its reliable and well-built designs. Das Keyboard focuses on the core essentials of a mechanical keyboard rather than unnecessary details such as RGB lighting, wireless support or programmable gaming macros.


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Das Keyboard 4 Professional Summary

Das Keyboard 4 Professional

A high quality mechanical keyboard with a solid set of features for general or office use. Available with either Cherry MX Brown or Blue switches. Shame no backlight.

80.3%

Criteria

Features
72.0%
Build Quality
90.0%
Typing Experience
94.0%
Value
65.0%

Usage

General
75%
Gaming
65%
Office
85%
Mobile/Portable
0%

  • Fantastic build quality.
  • Choice of either Cherry MX Brown or Blue switches.
  • Mac model available with included Mac keycaps and full macOS support.
  • Lack of backlight is disappointing.
  • No wireless support.
  • Expensive.
  • Only available in full size.


Introduction

If you read our article Das Keyboard 4 Professional vs. root edition you will see how similar these 2 models are. The root edition forgoes the USB 3.0 hub in favour of USB 2.0, replaces the cable with a braided design, and reduces the cost by USD 20. We are great fans of the root edition and wonder if the 4 Professional is worth the extra cost. We chose the 4 Professional with Cherry MX Brown key switches for this review.

Das Keyboard produces some of my favourite mechanical keyboards and make a wide range of solid and reliable keyboards with a focus on typing experience and build quality. The 4 Professional is their most recognised and popular mechanical keyboard and offers a full-size keyboard layout, solid and robust construction and include high-quality Cherry MX key switches. Whilst it is not the cheapest mechanical keyboard available, it will easily outlast your PC and your next one as well. For Mac users, Das Keyboard offers a similar model, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac that fully supports macOS including custom keycaps and full function key and media control support. It is hard to find a high-quality mechanical keyboard that fully supports macOS, so hats off to Das Keyboard for making a specific Mac model.

A mechanical keyboard offers a more tactile and responsive typing experience and is preferred by typists, programmers and gamers. A mechanical keyboard is also typically more durable and offers a choice of different key switches, each providing a different typing feel. This level of customisation and choice is one significant advantage over other keyboard types, such as the typical membrane keyboard. One nice feature of the 4 Professional is the ability to choose between 2 different types of key switches, either the clicky typist friendly Cherry MX Blue or the more versatile and tactile Cherry MX Brown. I have a preference for the MX Browns due to their quietness and tactile feel; however, for those not in an open office or prefer more keyboard feedback and feel, the MX Blues do offer a great typing experience. Cherry MX key switches are very popular, and whilst there are several high-quality alternatives such as those from Kailh or Gateron, you cannot go wrong with the original mechanical key switch from Cherry.

The only real negative for the Das Keyboard is the lack of backlighting. Many of the keyboards I use and review include a backlight, many with multi-colour RGB lighting. I have become accustomed to a keyboard with a backlight, and the lack of a backlight in the Das was noticeable and caused some miss-keys and fumbling at night. I hope that Das keyboard upgrades this model to include a backlight. A simple white backlight will be more than sufficient, as most users would not be interested in flashy RGB lighting.

The keyboard is only available in a full-size design which might disappoint those looking for a more compact keyboard. If you are looking for a more compact design, the Das Keyboard 4C TKL Tenkeyless is available with Cherry MX Brown switches, but still no backlighting! Check out our Guide to Keyboard Sizes and Layouts for details of the various keyboard sizes available. I have become a fan of the tenkeyless design in recent years and I did find the Das Keyboard felt quite large on my desk compared to my regular keyboard.

Looking at similar Das keyboard models, I prefer the Das Keyboard 4 Professional and the root edition over the cheaper Das Keyboard Model S Professional. The Model S Professional only comes with the Cherry MX Blue switches and has a plastic top panel construction over the aluminium top panel of the Das Keyboard 4 Professional and root edition. However, if you prefer the Cherry MX Blue switches and are not too fussed about the case being made from plastic, the Das Model S Professional is quite a bit cheaper and does represent great value for money. We did find that there is a slight amount of flex due to the plastic panel if your typing is more aggressive, but this should not be anything to worry about in normal day to day use.

The less expensive Das Keyboard 4 root edition should also be considered as the differences are very minor, with only a reduction from USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 for the integrated USB hub and a braided cable instead of a solid design. Check out our full comparison of the Das Keyboard 4 Professional and root edition and our review of the Das Keyboard 4 root edition. If the USB hub is something you do not think you will use or the slower USB 2.0 speed is not an issue, the root edition is USD 20 cheaper and represents a better value purchase. We also prefer the braided cable!

Features

Most Das keyboard models could be described as functional and are not fully loaded with LCD screens, RGB lighting or accessory software. However, I think that is their appeal and the reason why they are so popular. They do what they are supposed to do very very well, are extremely well built, and provide many years of trouble-free service.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional Top View

Das Keyboard 4 Professional Top View (Source: Das Keyboard)

The keyboard is 2cm in height which is about the maximum before I recommend some sort of wrist rest.

USB Hub

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional includes a pass-through 2 port USB 3.0 hub on the rear of the keyboard. This can be handy for quickly connecting USB drives rather than reaching around to the rear of the PC.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional USB Hub View

Das Keyboard 4 Professional USB Hub View (Source: Das Keyboard)

However, I cannot remember the last time I used the USB hub on a keyboard and do not think it is something I would need. The only use case I can see is for laptop users where the number of USB ports is limited, or only includes USB-C ports and you need to use legacy USB-A devices.

Media Controls

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional includes a large volume knob and dedicated media controls. For Mac users, the media controls also work with the respective Mac functions. However, we recommend the Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac if you will be using a Mac, as this also includes the correct Mac keycaps and layout.

There is also a dedicated sleep button that will sleep your PC. I found this worked well on Windows, but was not as reliable on a Mac.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional Rear View

Das Keyboard 4 Professional Rear View (Source: Das Keyboard)

Cable

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional includes a long 2-meter non-braided cable. I prefer the braided cable that comes with the Das Keyboard 4 root edition as it has a softer feel than the more typical rigid plastic cable on the 4 Professional. At 2 meters it is longer than most people need, but if you put your PC under a desk or have convoluted desk cabling, the added length can come in handy. It is a shame the cable is not detachable, something that is becoming increasingly popular and common on mechanical keyboards.

A Ruler!

Okay, perhaps not a market differentiator, but interesting nonetheless. Or perhaps not! The magnetically detachable Das Keyboard footbar raises the keyboard by 4-degrees for slightly improved hand position. Once removed though, it can be used as a 16-inch ruler, with markings on both sides.

Build Quality

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional features the same high-quality construction you have come to expect from Das Keyboard. It has a rigid aluminium top plate and includes internal dampening to reduce unwanted noise and vibrations. There is no echo or hollow sound, even when typing fast and heavy.

Das Keyboard makes some of the most solid mechanical keyboards you can buy and have long held a reputation for their long-lasting designs. It feels more substantial than its 1.3kg weight, which is typical of a full-size keyboard.

Typing Experience

Genuine Cherry MX Key Switches

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional offers the choice of Cherry MX Brown or MX Blue key switches. The choice of the switch is down to personal preference, each offering a different feel and sound. Whilst there are other switch types available, for typing the Brown and Blue switches are the most popular. All Cherry MX switches are gold plated and have a 50 million key press lifespan. Gamers typically prefer linear key switches due to their smoother feel, something to consider if gaming is a priority. However, in those cases, I would recommend a mechanical keyboard more aimed at gaming.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional Side View

Das Keyboard 4 Professional Side View (Source: Das Keyboard)

Note that the key switches are not removable and are soldered directly to the circuit board. Whilst it is rare that you would ever need to replace a switch (I have never had one fail), having the ability to swap out the switches is popular with fans of mechanical keyboards. Popular keyboards such as my personal favourite the Glorious GMMK Tenkeyless keyboard or the Keychron K8 Wireless are hot-swappable, allowing you to change the switches out as your needs change. For example, you may start to get into PC gaming and prefer a more linear key switch. Rather than buying a completely new keyboard, a set of inexpensive (USD 30 to 40) key switches can fundamentally change the feel of the keyboard.

Cherry MX Brown

The Cherry MX Brown switches offer a good balance between tactile response and noise, making them a good all-around choice. A tactile key switch has a tactile bump partway through the keystroke. For some switches, this is felt at the start of the key travel, where for others it is felt further down. The bump signifies that the key has registered the press and that you do not need to continue to press the key. This is unlike a linear switch where you are not aware of the point the keypress is registered.

Cherry MX Brown

Cherry MX Brown (Source: Cherry)

Tactile key switches are favoured by typists as it means they do not have to fully depress the key resulting in faster typing speeds. Some switches, such as the tactile Gateron Brown, the bump is very soft and is hard to notice. Others, such as the Cherry MX included in the 4 Professional have a more noticeable bump.

Cherry MX Blue

The Cherry MX Blue switches offer a more tactile response with a noticeable audible click. Perfect for the typist that prefers that typewriter feel.

Cherry MX Blue

Cherry MX Blue (Source: Cherry)

A clicky keyboard is one that you may first think about when you consider a mechanical keyboard. They closely resemble the typing experience of a typewriter, providing a stronger tactile bump as well as a loud click at the point the keypress is registered. This loud noise is also what makes a clicky mechanical keyboard less appealing to those in an open home or office environment.

N-Key Rollover

The root edition supports full N-Key Rollover.

Rollover

Rollover is the ability of a computer keyboard to correctly handle several simultaneous keystrokes. With a full N-Key Rollover (NKRO) keyboard, you can press as many keys as you want and the keyboard will register all of them.

Both gamers and fast typists will benefit from NKRO. Many games require fast and simultaneous keypresses, and missed keys will impact your gameplay. Fast typists will be able to achieve greater accuracy and WPM if the keyboard can register all keypresses. NKRO can be turned off, but I have not had a reason to disable it.

Value

Whilst there are cheaper mechanical keyboards available, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional represents great value for money considering its solid build quality that will give you many years of service.

The lack of a backlight may be a showstopper for some, and I have found that typing at night is less pleasurable than my other backlit keyboards, especially in a dimly lit room.

Usage

When choosing a mechanical keyboard you need to consider your intended usage. It is rare to find a keyboard that is great at everything, with most tending to excel in certain areas such as typing or gaming.

General

General usage considers its use for typing, gaming and both at home and in the office; a general all-around keyboard. These are keyboards that are perfectly acceptable in most situations.

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is the near-perfect general-purpose mechanical keyboard. It looks both professional and solid looking and would fit into most home or office environments.

Typing

Das Keyboard sponsors the international Ultimate Typing Championship for good reason. They make some of the best mechanical keyboards for typing. The solid and robust design, combined with quality Cherry MX key switches makes them ideal for typists looking to improve their typing accuracy and speed.

Gaming

To be honest the 4 Professional is not the best gaming keyboard.

Das Keyboard only offers Cherry MX Brown or Blue key switches rather than the more popular linear switches (such as Cherry MX Red) that are loved by gamers, and the lack of RGB lighting or gaming-specific features means that it looks rather bland next to a typical gaming PC.

If you are looking for a mechanical keyboard predominantly for gaming I would recommend a keyboard that has been designed for gaming. However, if gaming is only a small proportion of its intended use, additional gaming features may not be such a priority, then the 4 Professional may well be a good fit.

Office

The 4 professional would fit right into any office environment. It looks professional and its build quality would give years of trouble-free use.

Mobile/Portable

As the 4 Professional is only available in full size, it is not designed to be a portable or mobile keyboard. If you are looking for a more compact keyboard from Das Keyboard, they do offer the Das Keyboard 4C TKL Tenkeyless. However, I would recommend a battery-powered keyboard, such as those from Keychron, which offer great build quality, a selection of quality key switches and Bluetooth connectivity.

Conclusion

I enjoyed using the Das Keyboard 4 Professional. It has a solid feel that highlights its exceptional build quality. The Cherry MX Brown switches were a delight to type on and have a satisfying tactile bump. I have become accustomed to a backlit keyboard, especially for late-night typing, so the lack of backlighting was a disappointment.

Overall as the only difference between the Das Keyboard 4 Professional root edition is the USB hub and cable, we think the root edition is the better buy. We rarely connect any USB devices directly to a keyboard, and we prefer the softer braided cable of the root edition. It is also USD 20 cheaper. You can check out the differences in our article Das Keyboard 4 Professional vs. root edition.


Das Keyboard 4 Professional Specifications

Specifications
Physical Specifications
Length 
45.72 cm
Width 
17.272 cm
Height 
2.032 cm
Weight 
1.3 kg
Cable Type 
Non Braided USB-A
Cable Length 
6.5 feet
Removable Cable 
No
Keyboard Layout 
104-key US layout, 105-key for UK, NO, and DE layouts
Keyboard Features
N-Key Rollover 
Full
Keycaps 
Removable Keycaps 
Yes
Backlit Keys 
No
RGB Lighting 
No
Media Hotkeys 
Yes
USB Passthrough 
2 x USB 3.0
Wireless Support 
No
Charging Port 
N/A
Battery Capacity 
N/A
Key Switches
Type 
Mechanical
Key Switch Model(s) 
Cherry MX Brown or Cherry MX Blue
Removable Key Switches 
No
Support Software
Windows 
No
Mac 
No
Linux 
No
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