Mechanical keyboards are very personal, so when I say I didn’t like the Das Keyboard MacTigr, you should take my opinion with a grain of salt. But this $219 full-size keep is only for macOS, so Mac users who have been dying for a full-size keyboard should jump for joy.
I want to warn you, though, that the MacTigr might not be everything you’ve been hoping for, especially when you look at what it offers. It has a solid aluminum and steel build and a built-in USB-C hub with two ports, among other good things.
But the keyboard didn’t work for me because the keycaps felt cheap and popped off their switches very easily, even while I was typing. The switches were also soft and made a sound that I couldn’t stand.
In this review of Das Keyboard MacTigr, I’ll explain what’s going on with this keyboard and why I’d rather use other Mac products instead.
Das Keyboard MacTigr review: Price and availability
The MacTigr only comes in black with Cherry MX Low Profile Red switches, and there is only one way to set it up. This keyboard has 105 keys, and you’ll have to pay $219 to get it. The MacTigr will be for sale on Amazon and Das Keyboard starting in early September (link opens in new tab).
The MacTigr is one of the most expensive keyboards made just for Macs. Even though it is already a niche market, companies like Vissles and Keychron have made a number of additional viable solutions available.
In the second case, you can buy the full-size wireless K10 in a way that lets you swap parts while it’s running. The majority of mechanical keyboards made for Macs have a 75% layout, so there aren’t many full-size options.
Review of the Das Keyboard MacTigr:
When I think of the MacTigr, I think of the word “unassuming.” This keyboard has a low-key look, so it won’t draw attention to itself with flashy key caps, RGB, or lights that are worth mentioning. Both the solid black metal shell and the black caps can go with most types of desk furniture. (White is used for the legends.)
Even though steel plates aren’t usually my first choice for a custom keep plate, I don’t have any problems with them most of the time. But the one shown here on the MacTigr doesn’t do anything to make me happy. It has a boring shape, and I don’t like how it sounds when the caps are in their lowest position. I don’t think there is much noise reduction below the plate either.
In fact, no one in my house liked listening to me type on the MacTigr. One of my quieter boards, on the other hand, is so quiet that most people don’t even hear it. If you like full-size keyboards or feel like you need one, that’s great.
The MacTigr has three extra keys: an eject button, a sleep button, and a second F13 key. On the other hand, it doesn’t have most of the keys on the Mac’s function row. At least you can change how bright the screen and the media player are.
On the other hand, the volume knob is a great extra. It feels really silky, both when you touch it and when you use it. It makes a soft click when it is turned on, which I find to be a very nice sound. On the back of the MacTigr is a two-port USB-C hub, which is helpful because the keyboard on your Mac takes up a USB-C port.
This is partly to make up for the fact that the MacTigr can’t connect to the internet wirelessly. It doesn’t make sense to me that this $219 keyboard doesn’t work wirelessly when there are other mechanical Mac options that do.
A review of the Das Keyboard MacTigr’s switches and keycaps
This whole review was written on the MacTigr, and I can honestly say that I can’t wait to use my regular keyboard again. When it comes to typing, I prefer tactile switches, but I’ve come around to linear switches in some cases, like with the Vissles V84 and its VS II switch. But I’m not excited by the Cherry Low Profile Reds that come with the MacTigr.
They feel mushy and unsatisfying when you touch them. Even though the switch requires 45 g of force to activate, it makes typing feel strange. It’s possible that what’s throwing me off is the 3.2mm of travel. In any case, I don’t like these switches, and the MacTigr doesn’t let you take them out and put something else in their place.
The fact that this device doesn’t support hot-swap compatibility is one of its flaws.
The low-profile keycaps are driving me crazy in the meantime. They look thin and cheap, and you can easily pop the switches off of them.
In fact, at least three or four of the caps were missing when we got the keyboard. Even though I pressed each cap to make sure it was securely attached to its switch, one still came off while I was typing.
Since the MacTigr doesn’t have a backlight, the keycaps are just black with white letters. I don’t find them that interesting, but I understand that this is a matter of opinion.
Das Keyboard MacTigr: Features
The MacTigr doesn’t have a lot of features that make it stand out. It is more for people who work on Macs professionally and need a full-size keyboard than for gamers. There is no RGB or backlighting, no special profiles, and not much else to talk about.
But NKRO, which stands for “n-key rollover” and can also be found on the MacTigr, is one of the most interesting things about Das Keyboard. This makes it possible for the keyboard to record multiple inputs at once, which is very useful.
Since “n” is an integer, you could theoretically set up your keyboard to record five keystrokes at once, for example. So, even if you type quickly, you won’t have to worry about your keyboard missing a keystroke as you move from one keystroke to the next.
In reality, though, this is not a very common feature. In the case of the MacTigr, I could see it being useful for fast typists, like when using the Numpad to enter data.
Other than that, I don’t think most people will ever need NKRO, and even though it’s cool, it doesn’t make up for the MacTigr’s flaws or its high price.
Review of Das Keyboard MacTigr: Conclusion
Even though I like full-size keyboards, I can’t say that the MacTigr made a big impression on me. The keycaps are not pleasant to touch in any way.
This is the part of a mechanical keyboard that can be changed with the least amount of work, and if you decide to buy one, I strongly suggest that you do this.
But, I don’t like the way the Low Profile Red switches feel when I touch them. I now think that a linear switch might be useful in some situations, but these don’t do it for me. You can’t switch them out because the board doesn’t allow hot swapping.
The fact that the MacTigr costs $219 makes it seem like a lot of money. I like that the housing is made of aluminum, but the steel plate and flimsy-feeling caps make for a sound profile that neither I nor anyone else in my house likes.
You might be able to find keyboards with a Mac layout for $100 less than the MacTigr, but they might not be made of metal like the MacTigr is. I still use the wireless Vissles V84 that I reviewed a while back.
The MacTigr seems to be over-engineered, but it doesn’t do enough. No matter if you like full-size keeps or not, this one doesn’t live up to the price. Before you read my review of the Cherry Low Profile Reds switches, keep this in mind:
I don’t like Cherry switches in general, and it wasn’t fun for me to type on the MacTigr. If you don’t have to have a full-size Mac mechanical keyboard right away, I wouldn’t buy this one until the price goes down by a lot.