And that is quite some achievement, as here at T3 we see the finest keyboards on the market each and every month of the year.
I've tested many of these products over the last 5 years or so and now consider myself a mechanical and gaming keyboard aficionado. So, it was with great anticipation that I approached producing this Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate review.
This isn't a keyboard for the novice or uninitiated, but as this review will hopefully show you, if you can handle it and prize truly top-level mechanical keyboard specs and build quality, it's an experience like no other.
Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate review: price and availability
The Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate is available right now in the US and the UK.
To find out where to buy the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate in other regions check the official Das Keyboard website (opens in new tab).
The Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate is available with both brown and blue Cherry MX switches.
Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate review: official video trailer
Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate review: design
Take the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate out of the box and the first thing you'll notice is its completely blank keys. This, for me, is an absolutely stunning design feature that not only makes the keyboard look amazing but also separates the men from the boys (and women from the girls) in terms of typing skills. If you can't type blind then this keyboard absolutely isn't for you.
The Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate comes finished with an anodized aluminium top panel and a resonance-free base that sits incredibly planted on the desk, too, while a magnetically attachable footbar (which also is marked up as a 16-inch ruler, just because) lets you raise the board up for a modest typing angle incline.
In the top-right hand corner of the board you get an oversized volume knob as well as a selection of media controls, which include mute, pause, play, next and previous track. There's also a quick-access sleep button that let's you turn the keyboard off when not in use to save energy.
Rounding up the package from a design point of view is the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate's extra-long 2-metre cable, which terminates in just one USB connector, not two.
The board is finished on its base with an engraved aluminium bottom label, which looks class and proves the board's authenticity.
Overall, I just love how this board is like the exact opposite to most mechanical keyboards and, certainly, mechanical gaming keyboards, which usually love to splash branding, lighting and color everywhere. This board counters that trend and is a piece of understated, simple beauty in my mind.
Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate review: performance
Guess what? This keyboard is an absolute dream to use and for elite typists and gaming mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, it is literally like a dream come true.
The star of the show, of course, is the Cherry MX switches (my review board was shipped with soft tactile bump brown switches, although the clickier blue are also available).
These keys not only deliver super precise actuation, but also feedback tactile and audio feedback that elevates the whole typing experience. These switches are gold-plated, too, which Das Keyboard says provides the best possible contact and improves the lifespan of each switch.
Another thing elite typists and gamers will like is the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate's full N-Key rollover (NKRO). For the unenlightened, NKRO means that the keyboard has the ability to scan each button press individually itself, rather than relying on the attached PC to do it. This means that if you every button that gets pressed, even if a large number get pressed at the same time, will be logged and actuated for flawless operation.
Obviously, in fast paced games or when a typist has a very high typing speed, this is a very desirable trait. As a fast typer and PC gamer I loved it!
I used the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate for both work and play. I wrote news and reviews using the board, used it for general use browsing the internet, played numerous PC games with it, including Cyberpunk 2077, Diablo 3 and John Romero's Sigil, and each time it was a pleasure to use. I never felt I was working ahead of the keyboard or that command inputs were being missed.
Crucially, I didn't feel the board was cramped or tiring to use over elongated periods, either, so those looking to kit out a home office should definitely consider it.
At this point of the review I have to stress here that the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate doesn't come with any backlighting, so if you're a RGB nut who needs their keyboard to glow, flash and groove as they use it, then this board absolutely isn't for you.
The keyboard is also wired only, so again those who are looking for wireless performance should look elsewhere.
Where the board will please, though, in terms of connectivity performance is its two USB 3.0 ports, which are located on the back right hand edge of the Ultimate. This means you can handily (and very rapidly) transfer files via the board, rather than having to plug into the tower or laptop.
Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate review: verdict
For me the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate was my dream mechanical keyboard. I love the understated, professional look, and the blank key finish is just super badass and adds a definite X-factor to this board that others don't deliver.
From a performance point of view I think it's top-draw, too, and feel that the board is a great fit for home offices or PC gaming setups – the latter providing of course you don't need techno-rave RGB backlighting.
Look, the reasons why you wouldn't buy this keyboard are obvious: you want backlighting, you want wireless functionality, you want non-blank keycaps.
For these people this is not a 5 star product.
But as I hopefully detail in this review, the reasons you would buy it are also just as obvious, with the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate delivering an elite-level typing and gaming experience.
And for these people, like me, this absolutely is a 5 star product.
The real question I think you need to ask yourself is, though, are you badass enough to handle it?