Das Division Zero X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review

Article Index

X40 Pro Introduction and Specifications

Mechanical keyboards are commonplace now, but that wasn't always the case. For many years, squishy membrane and dome-switch keyboards dominated the landscape in part because they're cheap to produce, and also because typists who've never used anything else didn't really know what they were missing. Imagine trying to describe the taste of ice cream to someone who's only eaten salad. It's no easy task, and before mechanical keyboards rose in prominence, it was similarly difficult to sell typists on a superior plank with a premium price tag.

An open-source software company located in Austin, Texas called Metadot Corporation decided to give it a shot, though its initial effort was focused on offering a blank keyboard to hardcore typists. That desire led to the now infamous (among mechanical typing aficionados) Das Keyboard, which as it turned out could also help improve typing speed. Schools even took interest in the Das Keyboard as a more effective way of teaching students to type.

It was the second generation model, the Das Keyboard II, that introduced mechanical key switches into the equation. Released in 2006, the Das Keyboard II featured a distinct and satisfying "click" sound with each keystroke, one that reminded old school typists of the original (and long ago discontinued) IBM Model M keyboard.

Division Zero X40 Pro

In the years since then, Metadot, now more commonly referred to as Das Keyboard, has released numerous mechanical keyboard models, both with and without labeled keycaps. They remain popular options because of Das Keyboard's reputation for quality, though by neglecting the gaming category, Das Keyboard left the door wide open for the competition, and they've rushed through it like a crowd lined up at Walmart on Black Friday.

While once a niche category, every peripheral maker on the planet seems to be releasing mechanical keyboard models to gamers at this point. You can now count Das Keyboard among them. The pioneering company created a new gaming unit called Division Zero, and its first mechanical keyboard to come from that division is the X40 Pro.

Das Keyboard Division Zero X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
Specifications & Features
Form Factor:
Full size
Switch Type:
 Alpha-Zulu Tactile
Backlight:
 Yes (per key backlighting)
Backlight Color:
 Red
Dedicated Macro Keys:
 5
Anti-Ghosting:
 Yes
Disables Windows Key:
 Yes
Audio Ports:
 Headphone and microphone
USB Ports:
 1 x USB 2.0
Wrist Rest:
 No
Dimensions (WxHxD):
 6.81 x 1.22 x 19.13 inches
Weight:
 3.26 pounds
Warranty:
 1 year (upgrade to 3 years available)
Price:
 $149 -- Find It At Amazon

Alpha-Zulu Key Switches

Das Keyboard created two brand new types of mechanical key switches for its X40 Pro, the Alpha-Zulu Linear (top left) and Alpha-Zulu Tactile (top-right). The model we received uses the Alpha-Zulu Tactile switches, which have a soft-tactile feel with minimal audible feedback similar to Cherry MX Brown key switches. We'll discuss these switches in more detail a bit later on, but the takeaway here is that they're new and exclusive to Das Keyboard.

Looking over the spec sheet above, you can see two staples of a gaming grade plank, those being a backlight and dedicated macro keys. They're what we would (unofficially) consider the bare minimum requirements to market a keyboard to gamers, and they're both included here. However, they're not the only standout features the X40 Pro.

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

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