Hardware

The Das Keyboard 5Q Cloud-Connected Mechanical Keyboard Review: How To Get Noticed

Mechanical keyboards shyly reentered the PC market a little
over a decade ago. Their market share initially was very
limited but they rose to become one of the biggest market
trends of the past decade, with most enthusiasts owning or
wanting a mechanical keyboard nowadays. This explosively rising
demand led dozens of companies to develop their own mechanical
keyboard, saturating the market with products, allowing
virtually any user to find at least one keyboard that perfectly
matches his/her needs.

The only real issue with mechanical keyboards is that
innovation is somewhat limited and manufacturers are striving
very hard to develop that one product which stands out from the
competition. It is true that modern mechanical keyboards are
far more advanced than the regular, plain mechanical keyboards
of the past decade, as advanced profiling with full
programmability and advanced RGB backlighting is nowadays
common amongst the top-tier products. The only problem here is
that once a new feature or idea comes up, almost every
manufacturer implements it within a year. Thus, the market
grows stagnant once again, as every manufacturer has already
implemented virtually every feature there is to implement on a
mechanical keyboard.

Das Keyboard is one of the oldest PC keyboard manufacturers and
one of the very few companies that exclusively specializes in
designing and developing keyboards. Last year the company
posted a crowdfunding project involving a “cloud-connected”
mechanical keyboard. Although the campaign could have gone
smoother, it did give birth to the 5Q, the world’s first
cloud-connected mechanical keyboard. The company recently
released the retail version, which they sent over for us to
review.

But what is a “cloud-connected” keyboard? Simply put, it is a
keyboard that “talks” with the internet – or rather
specific cloud-based services and protocols, to be a bit more
precise. This theoretically sounds very interesting, as the
keyboard can source information from the internet and provide
feedback in real time, but also connect to compatible “smart”
devices around your home and display information or control
them. For example, the keyboard could theoretically be
programmed to flash a key when a smart door sensor triggers, or
to change its backlighting settings depending on the status of
the stock market. Aside from that, Das Keyboard is the first
company that’s implementing Omron’s new Gamma Zulu mechanical
switches, making the 5Q a truly unique keyboard.

Packaging and Bundle

Das Keyboard supplies the 5Q in a relatively large,
well-designed cardboard box. The orange-based artwork is quite
eye-catching and the designer did an excellent job highlighting
the keyboard’s most important features in a minimalistic
manner. Once the external sleeve of the packaging is removed, a
thick black cardboard box is revealed, exposing that the
keyboard has ample shipping protection.

The main bundle of the Das Keyboard 5Q is spartan. Inside the
box, we only found a quick-start guide, a couple of stickers,
and a keycap puller. The keycap puller comes with a little bit
of irony because, as we will see in the following pages, the
proprietary keycaps of the Omron switches are not compatible
with the widely available Cherry MX-based products.

The company also includes a very well-designed wrist rest. It
features a soft, rubber-like top layer, with the company’s logo
discreetly printed on the bottom left corner. The plastic frame
is strong and flexible, minimizing the chance of physical
damage. Attaching and removing the wrist rest is quick and
easy, as it simply connects to the keyboard magnetically,
without any plastic locks or hinges. The only issue that we
found with the wrist rest is that dust and debris tend to stick
on the top layer (especially in its small dimples), making
cleaning a bit difficult.

Freeman Addico

Techmaker and Entrepreneur with an extensive experience in Cloud Computing and e-commerce. I build Solutions for Equity and revenue sharing basis. Think of me as an Investor who invests Technology instead of money. Want to explore a collaboration? Drop me a message or schedule a call

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