Das Keyboard 4 Professional Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Feb 23, 2021 at 10:45 am
Das Keyboard 4 Professional Picture
6.3
Gaming
2.9
Mobile/Tablet
7.1
Office
6.0
Programming
3.5
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wired
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a decent wired mechanical keyboard. It's a well-built, full-sized model with dedicated media controls, including a large volume wheel for easy access. Our 'Soft Tactile' model has Cherry MX Brown switches that provide a light and responsive typing experience with good tactile feedback. However, they're a bit on the louder side when it comes to typing noise, not the most ideal for quiet office environments. It comes with a 'footbar' that you can use as a ruler or as an incline setting, but it doesn't include a wrist rest. Unfortunately, it lacks backlighting, programmable keys, and software for customization. Lastly, its latency is relatively high for a wired keyboard, which shouldn't affect desktop use, but it might disappoint more serious gamers.

Our Verdict

6.3 Gaming

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is mediocre for gaming. Its Cherry MX Brown switches have a short pre-travel distance and light actuation force; however, latency is higher than most wired keyboards. Sadly, it doesn't have backlighting or programmable keys. The ergonomics are just okay; it only has one incline setting and doesn't include a wrist rest.

Pros
  • Good typing quality.
  • Well-built.
  • Short pre-travel distance.
Cons
  • No backlighting.
  • No programmable keys.
  • No software for customization.
  • Mediocre ergonomics.
2.9 Mobile/Tablet

The Das Keyboard 4 is a wired-only keyboard and isn't suitable for use with mobile devices.

7.1 Office

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is decent for office use. Its Cherry MX Brown switches provide a light typing experience with good tactile feedback, but they might cause too much noise for a quiet office environment. It comes with a 'footbar' that attaches to the keyboard magnetically, giving you a 4-degree incline, and it can also be used as a ruler. It doesn't feel tiring to type on for long periods, but some people might need a wrist rest, and there isn't one included in the box. Compatibility is good with various operating systems, and there's also a dedicated macOS variant if you prefer.

Pros
  • Good typing quality.
  • Well-built.
  • Good compatibility with various OS.
Cons
  • No backlighting.
  • No software for customization.
  • Wired-only.
  • Mediocre ergonomics.
6.0 Programming

The Das Keyboard 4 is mediocre for programming. It's well-built, has good compatibility with various operating systems, and provides a good typing experience. It doesn't feel fatiguing to type on, but some people might need a wrist rest, and it isn't included. Unfortunately, it lacks backlighting, programmable keys, and software for customization.

Pros
  • Good typing quality.
  • Well-built.
  • Good compatibility with various OS.
Cons
  • No backlighting.
  • No programmable keys.
  • No software for customization.
  • Mediocre ergonomics.
3.5 Entertainment / HTPC

The Das Keyboard 4 is bad for use with a home theater PC. It's a wired-only keyboard, and its large, full-size layout takes up a lot of space. It lacks backlighting, making it harder to see the keys when watching a movie or gaming in the dark. Also, it doesn't have a trackpad, which means you need a dedicated mouse to move the cursor.

Pros
  • Good typing quality.
  • Well-built.
Cons
  • No backlighting.
  • Wired-only.
  • No trackpad.
  • Mediocre ergonomics.
  • 6.3 Gaming
  • 2.9 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.1 Office
  • 6.0 Programming
  • 3.5 Entertainment / HTPC

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.2" (3.0 cm)
Width 18.0" (45.8 cm)
Depth
6.8" (17.2 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
2.65 lbs (1.200 kg)

This is a large, full-size keyboard that takes up a fair amount of desk space.

7.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The build quality is good. It has a plastic frame with an aluminum top plate that feels solid. The keycaps are ABS, and the legends are laser-etched, so they won't fade over time. Most of the keys are stable except for the spacebar, which rattles a bit. The rubber feet do a good job of preventing the keyboard from sliding around. Overall, it's sturdy but unremarkable.

6.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
0 °
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
4 °
Wrist Rest No

The Das Keyboard 4 has mediocre ergonomics. The profile isn't too high, but a wrist rest would make it more comfortable, and unfortunately, there isn't one included. The 'footbar' attaches to the keyboard magnetically and only provides one incline setting.

0
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting No
Color
No Backlighting
Individually Backlit Keys
No
Color Mixing
No Backlighting
Effects
No
Programmable
No

There's no backlighting.

Design
Cable & Connector
Detachable
No
Length 6.7 ft (2.0 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Not Detachable

The cable is rubber-coated and should be long enough for most setups. It's not detachable.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

This is a wired-only keyboard that can't connect wirelessly.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Dedicated
Macro Programmable Keys
No
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel Yes
USB Passthrough
Yes
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
No
Lock Indicator Caps, Scroll & Num lock

This keyboard has dedicated media controls that include a large volume wheel. There are two USB passthroughs, but they only work if the keyboard is plugged into a USB 3.0 port. Unfortunately, there are no programmable keys. The incline 'footbar' can be used as a ruler as well.

Design
In The Box

  • Documentation
  • Das Keyboard 4 Professional
  • Incline footbar/ruler

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Cherry MX Brown
Feel
Tactile
Operating Force
53 gf
Actuation Force
43 gf
Pre-Travel
2.1 mm
Total Travel
4.1 mm

The unit we tested is the 'Soft Tactile' model, which uses Cherry MX Brown switches. These switches don't require much force to actuate, they have a short pre-travel distance, and they provide tactile feedback. This keyboard is available with Cherry MX Blue switches that provide tactile and audio feedback; however, we didn't test it.

7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The typing quality is good. Although the keycaps are made of ABS plastic, they don't feel too cheap, and except for a slight wobble on the spacebar, all the keys are very stable. The keys have a relatively standard spacing, so it doesn't require much adaptation to type accurately. The Cherry MX Brown switches provide a light and responsive typing experience without being overly sensitive, and they give tactile feedback so that you know when a keystroke is registered. It doesn't feel fatiguing when typing for a prolonged period, but a wrist rest would help to reduce strain in the wrists.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Loud

Typing noise is a bit loud with the Cherry MX Brown switches, so it might not be suitable for a quiet office environment. Although we didn't test it, we expect the Cherry MX Blue switches to be even louder.

7.4
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
11.0 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A

The latency is decent, although a bit high for a wired connection. It should be fine for desktop use, but it might not be good enough for gamers looking for the lowest input lag. If you want a keyboard with better latency, check out the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog.

Software and Operating System
0
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name No Software
Account Required
No Software
Profiles
No Profile
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
No
Ease Of Use
No Software
Software Windows Compatible
No
Software macOS Compatible
No

There's no software for customization.

7.6
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Full
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

This keyboard is fully compatible with Windows and Linux. On macOS, the Pause, Scroll Lock, and Sleep buttons don't work. There's a native macOS version available, but we didn't test it.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Das Keyboard 4 Professional with Cherry MX Brown (Soft Tactile) switches, and it's also available with Cherry MX Blue (Clicky) switches. There are three other variants; you can see the differences between them in the table below.

Model  Notes
4 Professional  USB 3.0 hub
4 Root  USB 2.0 hub
4 Professional for Mac  Native macOS support and keycaps, USB 3.0 hub
 4 Ultimate Blank keycaps, USB 3.0 hub

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Das Keyboard 4 is a decent mechanical keyboard. It provides a good typing experience, but it lacks many features that other similarly-priced keyboards have, like backlighting, programmable keys, and software for customization. For more options, you can check out our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards, the best keyboards for programming, and the best keyboards for writers.

Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE

The Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE is better than the Das Keyboard 4 Professional, mainly because it has many more features. The Corsair has backlighting, programmable keys, and software for customization. Its Cherry MX Speed switches have a shorter pre-travel distance and lighter actuation force than the Cherry MX Brown switches on the Das Keyboard, resulting in more responsiveness when gaming. However, the Speed switches might be overly sensitive for general typing and don't provide tactile feedback like the Cherry MX Browns. The Corsair has better ergonomics because it includes a wrist rest and provides two incline settings, but typing on it can be fatiguing after a while because key spacing is wider than most keyboards.

Logitech MX Keys

The Logitech MX Keys and the Das Keyboard 4 Professional are very different keyboards. The Logitech is a wireless keyboard, which means it can be used with mobile devices, and you won't have a cable running from the TV to the couch in a home theater PC setup. It has backlighting, multi-device pairing, and it provides a better and quieter typing experience. The Das Keyboard has dedicated media keys and USB passthroughs, which the Logitech lacks. Neither keyboards are recommended for fast-paced gaming as they both have relatively high latency.

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is much better than the Das Keyboard 4 Professional for most uses. The Razer has better build quality, and its ergonomics are better because it offers more incline settings and includes a wrist rest. It has backlighting, programmable keys, and software for customization, all of which the Das Keyboard lacks. The Razer provides a better typing experience and has much lower latency than the Das Keyboard.

Logitech G513

The Logitech G513 is much better than the Das Keyboard 4 Professional. The Logitech has backlighting, programmable keys, and software for customization. It also has much better ergonomics because it offers two incline settings and includes a wrist rest. The Logitech's Romer-G and the Das Keyboard's Cherry MX Brown are both switches that provide tactile feedback, but the Romer-G has a shorter pre-travel and a lighter actuation force. Also, the Logitech has significantly lower latency, making it better for gaming.

Das Keyboard X50Q

The Das Keyboard X50Q is much better than the Das Keyboard 4 Professional. The X50Q has better build quality, customizable backlighting, and programmable keys. It also has software support and includes a wrist rest. The X50Q's Gamma Zulu switches are very similar to the Cherry MX Browns on the 4 Professional, but they have a shorter pre-travel distance and a lighter actuation force, resulting in a lighter and more responsive typing experience. The X50Q is only available with the Gamma Zulu switches, while the 4 Professional is available with Cherry MX Browns or Blues.

Razer Huntsman

The Razer Huntsman is much better than the Das Keyboard 4 Professional for most uses. The Razer's optical switches have a shorter pre-travel distance and are easier to actuate, making them more responsive than the Das Keyboard's Cherry MX Browns. Also, the Razer has significantly lower latency. Both switch types provide tactile feedback, but the Razer's switches are much louder because they also give audio feedback. Feature-wise, it's a bit of a toss-up. The Razer has backlighting, programmable keys, and software support, while the Das Keyboard has USB passthroughs and dedicated media controls.

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