Division Zero X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review
The angry red glow is pretty sweet and different face plates increase cosmetic appeal
Full n-key rollover and short keystroke is quality
USB pass through port makes it easy to attach your FitBit dongle or flash drive
Requires two USB 2.0 inputs to fully function
Not as clicky or loud as the typist Das Keyboards in comparison
Decent for gaming but Das Keyboard still are the best for typing (non-gaming)
Typists Go Gaming –
Das Keyboard has made a name for itself over the last several years thanks to the quality design of their mechanical typist keyboards. The clicky keystrokes generated from these keyboards can not only make you a better typer but also have some fun along the way, not to mention the perfect way to annoy your co-workers and neighbors.
Das Keyboard took their experience from making several different mechanical keyboards and applied that same technology in their first gaming keyboard. Dubbed the X40 and featured under the new Division Zero brand name, this new gaming focused keyboard is a congruent compliment to the Division Zero M50 gaming mouse.
Here are the key features of the Division Zero X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard:
- Mechanical key switches with gold contacts
- Durability of 60 million keystrokes
- Each key glows with a red backlight
- Full n-key rollover
- Has one USB 2.0 pass-through port along with audio and mic jacks
- Dedicated gaming mode that disables the Windows function key
- Interchangeable aluminum top face plate can be swapped for different designs
- 5 macro keys
- Media controls and function keys
- 5 foot braided USB 2.0 cable
- Laser marked keys
- Flip down feet on backside
- Can be used with KVM switches
- The Fn + F1/F2/F3/etc keys perform media options and adjust LED brightness
- 7mm pre-travel key distance with 4mm total travel distance
Like the Das Keyboards before it, this Division Zero X40 is a mechanical keyboard meaning each keystroke results in a “click” sound and has some tactile feedback. While not as loud or extraordinary than the original Das Keyboard models, it still makes a noise that non-users might view as annoying. However, for the user, the click sound can be heaven. I personally am a big fan of the mechanical keyboard sound and feel. While I like the sound and feel of the Das Keyboard units better, the X40 is nothing to disapprove. This X40 model’s keystroke sound is more muted in comparison to the Das Keyboard tone and is not as clicky. But the X40 is designed for gaming not for typing.
X40 users gain can gain a tactile gaming advantage because of the speed of each keystroke. Since the user doesn’t have to fully depress each key on the keyboard, input registers faster. In other words, the slightest taps of each key will result in a keystroke which can make shooting or movement faster, for example.
Sharing a personal story, I was actually just resting my fingers on the keyboard while looking away from the monitor for a moment. When I looked back, I saw that the keyboard actually registered a couple dozen semi-colons because apparently my pinky finger was resting a little too hard. The smallest touch will register a keystroke. However, this is not seen as a negative as the speed, sound, and tactile feedback is the kicker with this board.
Cosmetically, the X40 looks rather angry but in a sexy way. With a violent red backlight, typing in the dark has never looked so cool and intimidating. It is also worth noting that it visually pairs with the M50 mouse perfectly. The red backlighting can be adjusted or even turned off but would have been cooler if additional lights or pulsing features were available.
The keyboard stays lit as the user is obviously hitting keys. However, the red backlighting will shut itself off after some time has passed, saving some energy along the way.
The unit also has a minjack for a microphone and a headset located at the top. More importantly, the single USB port next to these minijacks provides a convenient pass through option. I was able to plug in my FitBit dongle into this pass through port to save myself from fumbling around the back of my tower. It is also important to know that this keyboard requires two USB 2.0 ports to fully power. Having this one USB pass through helps to alleviate this issue by regaining one port and it also makes it easier to access. Just keep in mind this port is USB 2.0 and not 3.0.
After just a few seconds, my computer recognized the keyboard after being plugged in for the first time. The unit is truly plug-and-play. However, if you wish to take advantage of any of the cooler features, like macro programming, you will need to install the optional driver.
Once the optional software is installed, the user is free to customize the board as they see fit.
Making this a true gamer’s keyboard, there are 5 macro buttons located to the left of the unit. Used in conjunction with the Fn+F12 button, the user can program up to 5 macros. Combine this with the N-key rollover function and the user should have no issue making accurate macros.
If the red backlighting wasn’t cool enough, the X40 can optionally be outfitted with different skins. Composed of anodized aluminum, these skins are attached to the unit with the included allen wrench. Although it is not difficult, it is just a bit of a pain to remove 8 screws, then place the new top panel on the unit, then reattach the 8 screws. The good news is, the top panel is secured firmly and does actually look pretty sweet when finished. These optional panels are also made with quality; the metal is sturdy as can be.
For about $150, the Division Zero X40 gets the job done for gamers looking for some extra functionality and cosmetic flare. Like the mouse and headset industry, the keyboard market is becoming more and more crowded with each passing year. While there really isn’t anything too negative to say about the unit, there isn’t really anything here that has not been done before. Razer, Corsair and even Logitech units can offer similar features with a similar price point. However, if you plan on typing a lot, there is no question to go with a Das Keyboard. Gaming, on the other hand, the X40 should please users if they don’t mind the paying for the price of admission.
Not As Good As: Das Keyboards when it comes to typing
Better Than: that keyboard that came with your computer
Wait For It: the inevitable X50 unit a year or two from now
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com