I tested several keyboards before ultimately electing a new-to-market keyboard made by WASD as my go-to model. In this essay, I’ll briefly describe it, plus a couple others that I tried in my search:

WASD CODE Mechanical Keyboard

Before the CODE was release, WASD essentially produced variations on one (solid) keyboard. On their website, you can customize the flagship WASD V2 to your specification in regard to its layout, keycap color, mechanical switch type, Mac/Linux/Windows markings, dampener o-rings, etc. The CODE keyboard is a refinement of the V2 and the direct result of a collaboration between Weyman Kwong of WASD and Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror.

The CODE keyboard is particularly suave: it has a clean layout, white backlighting and readable font (Helvetica). There is the option of two types of switches: the quiet, ultra-rare Cherry MX Clears and the nostalgia-inducing Cherry MX Greens with rubber o-ring dampeners. I personally use the CODE 87-Key - Cherry MX Green (WASD also makes a 104-Key version, if that is your style.) While the Greens require more force than most other keyboards and I was initially concerned about finger fatigue, I have found it inconsequential; in part, I imagine, because of the dampeners.

The CODE keyboard has a DIP switch on the back of the keyboard that allows the key-layout to be set at the hardware level. With it, you can choose between QWERTY, Dvorak and Colemak, swap Alt (⌥) with Command (⌘, for OS X), disable/lock the Windows key, and make the Caps Lock key function as Control (^). Also, note that the command (⌘) key is blank but can be replaced with a Mac specific version, if you so desire, and can easily be moved to the usual Mac layout—a key puller is included with the keyboard.

There are many other advantages to this keyboard, including n-key rollover and a removable (read: replaceable) USB cord, so definitely take a further look.

Razer Blackwidow Ultimate

I also have the 2013 Razer Blackwidow Ultimate. It uses the Cherry MX Blue keys (great for typists) and has a solid build–key backlighting, braided cables, usb, microphone, and audio ports, and a frame that will not budge under torsional force.) However, while the hardware has worked well over the past year I have used it–I have not had any problems with the keyboard itself—the included software (Razer Synapse v2.0, which manages macros and macro profiles) has proven quite buggy and as far as I am concerned, worthless. Thankfully, you can forgo the software and simply use the keyboard as is; however, you will lose the use of the macro keys if you do. At this point, Razer has made some progress since I first had the keyboard but there are still functions that do not work correctly (I am looking at you, display brightness).

Das Keyboard Professional Model S

There was an endeavor with the Das Keyboard Professional Model S but I was put off by the glossy surface and it’s magic ability to trap fingerprints. To each their own…

Matias Quiet Pro

I additionally sampled the Matias Quiet Pro. Typing has a great feel and the keys remain relatively quiet while doing so, if that is something you are interested in. While I enjoyed the feel of the keyboard, I am not impressed with the plastic that forms the frame and base. It looks cheap to me, is a poor color match to the aluminum of today’s Mac, and in comparison to the WASD and Razer keyboards, does not provide satisfactory torsional rigidity to the keyboard.


If I had to buy again, I would not hesitate to buy one of WASD’s keyboards. They are absolutely solid.