Hey guys, Kaelaris here! Normally you’d see me at eSports events and broadcasts. I’ve been a professional eSports commentator for 4 years now at ESL, covering StarCraft, Heroes of the Storm, and more recently, Guild Wars 2, all across the world. I’ve had the pleasure to cover each games World Championship over my time, and got to meet some of the very best gamers on the planet, who became good friends along the way.
I’m not usually a reviewer of sorts, but ever since I started in StarCraft and watched streams where you could hear that unmistakable click, i’ve always appreciated DasKeyboard and their, erm, Keyboards hah. So I didn’t want to take the ultra formal path most do, and give you my personal thoughts.
DasKeyboard were kind enough to send me a sample of their new Division Zero gear in order to review it and get an impression of how it feels and works. During my time in the top tier of eSports i’ve used a lot of different gear from all kinds of companies. Because of this I have a good idea of how our gear should feel when it comes to pushing it towards gamers who are playing with drive and a passion. Let’s start with the Division Zero X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard.
There are two things that are very evident from the get go with this Keyboard. The first being that it is not a compact keyboard. Some on the market at the moment remove the number pad as a compromise for saving space. The X40 keeps the traditional layout of a keyboard but definitely executes it in sleek fashion. The second observation is that the keyboard most certainly has some weight to it. Because of that though, you can tell the build quality is there. A sturdy build is very clear. I could strap it to my arm as a shield and feel safe from attack! The front metal plate really adds a firm finish to the keyboard that is extremely attractive, stable and also has the functionality of being interchangeable. I was provided with “Stryker” silver, “Stryker” red and “Defamer” mustard, but I believe there are also “Stryker” olive and “Defamer” silver available if you want them. Since it matched the backlit keys well, I eventually settled on using the Stryker red metal plate, which was very simple to replace with 8 screws.
Aside the X40 being very good looking, the main reason I was particularly attracted to the keyboard is because of the new switches it exhibits. They’re called “Alpha-Zulu” Gaming Switches, which boast a 15% quicker response time compared to Cherry MX. This is obviously a massive selling point for me when it comes to having even more responsiveness when i’m playing. I opted to go for the Tactile switches, which have a bit more click to them, as well as some stronger feedback of a slight bump halfway through the press. You can get Linear as well for a smoother keystroke press, and they’re also quieter, however I personally really enjoy the feedback in the touch as well as noise. I like to know very clearly there is a distinct signal for my actions.
What do I think overall? I’m in love with this keyboard. Don’t even get me started on the idea of game branded metal plates. A Heroes of the Storm or StarCraft one would make me very excited if they ever started doing custom covers. Depending on the game i’m playing I will sometimes remove the macro keys on the left but they’re easy to take out and place back in. I think some pro-gamers and people that travel frequently may prefer a smaller keyboard when on the move, but for usual home use, its brilliant.
Let’s move on and take a look at the M50 Mouse. This is actually the first Ambidextrous mouse i’ve ever had to actually play with, so this was a slightly different experience for me than other mouse i’ve used before. That being said, ergonomically it makes so much sense. When i’ve held Ambidextrous mice in the past without playing with them, i’ve felt they do sacrifice some convenience to accommodate for using either hand. After playing with the M50 for a while though, I feel no fatigue in comfort. Another minor but neat feature i’m particularly fond of but didn’t notice initially until it was pointed out to me, is that the scroll wheel makes virtually no noise on scroll, but you can still feel the tick as you go.
Overall the mouse has 9 buttons, however two of those are to mostly accommodate someone who may use a different hand to you, which is understandable. In theory you could use them comfortably with some practice and precision. I usually only ever use thumb buttons extra though, and the two located in that area are easily accessible. The mouse also has a 4D scroll wheel, which basically means you can tilt it left or right for a bind. I’ve never actually had a mouse like this before, but being a previous hardcore raider in WoW, I can see the applications as sometimes in MMOs for example, there are so many buttons you require to be close and comfortable. I should also mention the DPI options that are easily changeable on the mouse from 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400. For me I settle on a usual 1600 and adjust from there when it comes to RTS, MOBA and MMO gaming.
Once again you can feel the quality of the build in the mouse. It’s very clear that DasKeyboard has really taken care when creating these new products. The only thing that became noticeable during play was very slight visual imprint on the buttons, but it is eventually to be expected of most mice.
Finally we have the mousemat, the 47W-Flex. Now i’m really picky with mousemats. I don’t like hard plastic or metal ones, and I certainly don’t like cheap made material ones that will either peel or have noticeable edge damage after continued use. This mat though instantly dispelled those concerns though by having a tough edge that i’m not going to catch my hand on after extensive handling.
In conclusion looking at their peripherals, the Keyboard stands as the clear MVP for me. To be expected really from DasKeyboard as they really know from the past how to produce a good one. I mean it when I say I can’t think of a single other keyboard that feels and looks this good that i’ve used.
Thanks for reading, it was a lot of fun trying out their new products and taking a look at them in this way. Make sure to come say hi and shake my hand at events to come up in 2016!
I believe the keyboard retails as $159, The mouse at $79, and mousemat at $19 – Available in the U.S. at the moment.