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 Post subject: Das Keyboard Debacle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:18 am 
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I don't see this subject being discussed here and thought, what with it being so highly touted by MPC and used in the 2005 Dream Machine setup, that it deserved to be mentioned.

It's been all over the net but for those who aren't aware, the much hyped "Das Keyboard" by Metadot is, in fact, nothing more than a $20 Keytronic E03600 series keyboard colored black. If you've bought one of these based on MPC's recommendation and high praise, do you feel like you've been tricked? I couldn't believe that they used this board in their "Dream Machine" and treated it like it was something special. For those who have not seen the layouts of the "specially weighted keys" here's Das Keyboard's layout.

From the daskeyboard website.
http://www.daskeyboard.com/images/keygrams.jpg

And the layout for the Keytronic keyboard.

From keytronic's website.
http://www.keytronic.com/home/products/specs/images/ErgoColkeyv2.gif

You would think that a magazine like Maximum PC would do more checking when it comes to things like this and protect consumers from obvious fraud. I doubt there's any legal recourse against Metadot but, it'd be the right thing to do for MPC to publish this information in their next issue. Otherwise I'll never be able to trust them again.

-Michael A. Smith
Staff Writer: http://www.thinkcomputers.org


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:54 am 
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Hi Michael,

For the record, the keys aren't actually painted black, the decals are removed, which is a more time-consuming process. That said, $40 seems like a pretty high premium for performing that service. For people who liked the novelty of having a labelless keyboard, it might still be worth the price.

We addressed the Metadot issue in a letter several months ago.

///Will


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:26 am 
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I'll get behind MPC on that I guess. Go down to the local hobby store and buy some black enamel, then try and get it to look as good, or last as long, as the Metadot. Like Will said, maybe not worth 40 dollars to some, theres people out there who are willing to pay for that. Reading the article, they never touted it as good value, simply as an interesting, effective, and perhaps novelty item.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:15 pm 
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In this day and age, I think making a stock Keytronic keyboard look actually better than the Metadot would be simpler than buying that expensive board. But what I don't understand is why, in the DMX article you didn't mention the fact that the board wasn't anything more than a Keytronic rebadged and stripped of color? Was it that you did not know or that you just didn't think it was worth telling readers about it?

Also, Will, you'll notice I didn't say it was "painted" black, I said "colored", there's a difference. I didn't suggest that Metadot just slapped some paint over the keys. However what they did do isn't a heck of a lot more complicated than that and certanily not anything to warrent releasing it as some special kind of keyboard. The simple fact is that Metadot attempted to trick people into thinking that their board was something new and unique, when in fact it was nothing of the sort.

When reputable publications that I have trusted for years start letting me down like this I'm going to have to wonder if it's about time I just relied on my own research and the information I can get on my own to make these kinds of decisions. I do expect Maximum PC to dig deeper than this when they grant a product such high accolades. If this was addressed in a previous issue, please, tell me which one because I've been a subscriber for a while now and I do not remember reading it in any issue.

In any event, I think you need to take Metadot to task for this, it's obviously a scam of sorts, if not an actionable one at least a dirty way to do business. I realize that Keytronic does allow this kind of thing but still, it's underhanded. If they were able to fool MPC, then they obviously were hiding the truth pretty good. Right?

-Michael A. Smith
Staff Writer: http://www.thinkcomputers.org


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