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Das Keyboard 5Q is smart mechanical keyboard with an open API that allows each key to be color-controlled over the Internet.
Das Keyboard 5Q is smart mechanical keyboard with an open API that allows each key to be color-controlled over the Internet.
3,475 backers pledged $580,902 to help bring this project to life.

Das Keyboard 5Q May Update

Posted by Das Keyboard (Creator)

Hey Backers!

We’re excited to announce that we’ve begun shipping the next batch of keyboards, which includes international layouts. We have already shipped 200 additional keyboards, and will continue to ship 800 more by Friday. We will continue shipping in multiple batches over the next few weeks.

Additionally, we are very happy to release Q Desktop v2 beta 4 software for Windows. We also made builds for Mac and Linux *beta users*. Note that Mac & Linux version are standalone apps without connectivity to the keyboard at this point. If you want to become a beta tester please apply here.

IMPORTANT: Before upgrading, please quit the Q App service and uninstall the current version of Q Desktop. v2 users will need to upgrade the 5Q firmware.

Notable Software Changes: Q desktop v2 is a complete rewrite of the software. It is faster, more stable, and simpler to use.

  • Merged illumination and dashboard modes. 
  • Simplified signal center - it opens in an external app window. Signal center is now 100% in the cloud, allowing for a much faster release cycle. 
  • Illumination profiles now are stored in the cloud (instead of locally in HD), this fixes all multi-desktop synchronization bugs. 
  • Limited local HTTP API server to listen to localhost only. 
  • Added ability to address LEDs using X,Y coordinates via the API.

Community / Documentation: 

  • A new Q documentation website has been released, allowing the community to easily submit edits via github pull requests.

Notable Firmware changes: 

  • A ton of improvements and fixes as well, including fixing unaddressable LEDs, LEDs flickering after auto-dim fix, blinking synchronization fix and most importantly, fixing the white color LEDs setting to be actually white and not pink. Not everybody likes pink apparently. 
  • Added a Mac configuration that sets the command, option and FN keys (and more) at the “correct” Mac locations. 
  • Added ability to change color profile manually (i.e. without desktop software) using a keyboard key sequence.


As a reminder, the following resources are available to all backers. The forum is the best place to interact with the Das Keyboard team. It is always recommended to check the forum first for any issue.

  • Das Keyboard Q Forum - Discuss software questions, bugs, ideas, and anything technical with other users and the Das Keyboard team. 
  • Das Keyboard Helpdesk - Use the help desk for help on shipping and defective hardware. NOT for software questions. Software questions should be discussed on the forum. 
  • Q Documentation Website - Downloads and developer documentation. 
  • Changelog - A detailed changelog is also available at the documentation website.

Here is where to get the goods:


Daniel + Team.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Richard Downey on

      I finally bit the bullet and paid the £27 tax earlier this week and the 5Q turned up today - considering how shambolic everything about this dire process has been I was amazed to find it's in a retail quality box with professional looking artwork etc. it looks like a real product and wouldn't look out of place alongside logitech etc. so that's a huge surprise! I will check out the actual keyboard when I get back from holiday.

    2. Missing avatar

      Richard Downey on

      I've also just recieved an invoice in the post today for £27.08 import VAT (FLOSHIP mechanical computer keyboard) , I had sent Das a message saying to cancel my order if import duties were payable and I was assured it would ship from the EU
      "We should be able to ship your keyboard out from EU! I will send you an
      email, rather than respond to this ticket, as soon as we have those
      keyboards available to ship."
      What is the current opinion of people who have recieved the keyboards are they worth wasting another £27 pounds on? Given that I'm typing this on a mechanical cherry keyboard that cost only £70 and arrrived the day after ordering and doesnt have the ringing or buzzing reported on the Das Keyboard.

    3. Dave Nattriss

      I've also just been asked to pay customs fees on a delivery to London from 'FLOSHIP'. Is that this?

    4. Missing avatar

      Peravel on

      I'm sorry for ranting, there's an qwertz option after all. Damn it took me two days to notice it Q_Q And thanks for the updated link.

    5. Missing avatar

      Ashleigh Charlesworth on

      Mines finally arriving, no shipping notification, but the shipping company has just charged me 22 quid customs duty on it! Do I claim that back, or is it just tough luck?

    6. Missing avatar

      Joe Williams on

      How strange waited 2 years and now a few hours after I leave that comment I get a call to pay customs £27.. not terrible but what can I do. I really hope this keyboard lives upto the hype.

    7. Missing avatar

      Joe Williams on


      I asked the question about a year ago will I need to pay Import duties for taking delivery of the keyboard to the UK. I was told No I would not have to pay import duties now I am hearing people had to pay €40+ for import duty. That's really poor I was told I would not have to pay for this before I actually pledged and now I have to pay more money after waiting 2+ years for delivery. Please tell me this is not the case? I'm really disappointed that you have not offered refunds.. why not just refund me and sell the keyboard to someone else?

    8. Das Keyboard Creator on

      @Peravel the documentation site moved to

    9. Missing avatar

      Peravel on

      I think we got scammed after all? The github page is down (just click on the link in this update), I am "not permitted" to create new bug reports or support tickets in the forum even though my account seems to be confirmed and my keyboard's lighting doesn't work right bc it's a qwertz board and the app only adresses qwerty boards lol. Please help, Daniel + Team, if this is no scam.

    10. Missing avatar

      Craig Dobbs on

      @Dave O'Dwyer. Yes it's Floship, Ltd. that is shipping the 5Q

    11. Missing avatar

      Craig Dobbs on

      I got the May 31 email saying that my keyboard would ship soon. I never got a tracking number but it was just delivered to my door by DHL. I live on the east coast of the US.

    12. Missing avatar

      Peter Bryan Susse on

      #DelayedKickstarterCampaigns #CrappyCommunications #RobYouForExtraPostage

    13. Missing avatar

      Peter Bryan Susse on

      Wakey wakey. any chance of an update where my keyboard is?

    14. Missing avatar

      Dave O'Dwyer on

      Anyone know if FLOSHIP LTD are responsible for shipping? Just got hit with import tax with DHL. Not happy 😣

    15. Missing avatar

      Ashleigh Charlesworth on

      Still no shipping announcement for me, even though I was one of the first backers..... Oh well I may get this at SOME point!

    16. Missing avatar

      Matthew Gaunt on

      Just a note for others asking if they should have theirs yet.

      I received an email asking for final address, waited a few weeks, asked for a tracking number which I was given but doesn't work with the courier tracking because it hasn't actually been sent and it's been about a week since I got the number.

      In short, your keyboard may not have been sent yet.

    17. Steven Burnap on

      Should I have received mine yet? Have you shipped all of the pledge rewards yet?

    18. Josh Wright on

      How do we know what batch we are in? When we will get ours? This has been a long process

    19. Missing avatar

      Johnny Lowry on

      I was told last week to check back the next week for a tracking number. I have checked back with them this week twice requesting an update and all I got was silence. It would be nice to get this information as not everyone has the ability to be home when packages are delivered and with something that is so expensive I don't want to leave it on the front porch, in the sun/rain, only to find that when I get home someone has stolen it off my doorstep.

    20. Missing avatar

      David Ziegler on

      Anyway I can have a tracking number or anything? Shouldn't it arrive sometime now?

    21. Missing avatar

      Peravel on

      When will the last batch ship? How many to go?

    22. Missing avatar

      Willemijn Hoebert

      Am hoping I'm in this batch. Been taking long!

    23. Missing avatar

      Johnny Lowry on

      I agree with many other's in that we need to have some more specifics as to when we should expecting them to arrive. I for one do not want mine to be sitting in the sun all day until I get home where I may or may not see it on my front door step.

    24. Nathan Grovhoug on

      Please keep us posted on shipping. Many people are just getting surprise packages. I am not looking for specifics just rough timelines. Thanks

    25. Missing avatar

      Andrew Rossignol on

      +1 for the brief weekly update as units ship! That would be super.

      Thanks for these more detailed updates. They are very insightful. Can't wait to get mine!

    26. Missing avatar

      Daniel on

      I was hoping this firmware update would finally help be to change the illumination between applications (as it should have already done before but was bugged). So first thing: Install the firmware update and surprisingly the upgrade worked just fine.

      But: Since the update all my colors are wrong. Even putting all the keys on the same color in the Q Application, the keys on the keyboard itself are showing up in three different colors! It seems like the keyboard is split into 3 parts: Left, middle and right and each of these is calculating the RGB Values of a color differently now. The left side of my keyboard seems not be able to display the color RED anymore, while the middle and right side have troubles showing other colors.

      Even if I go to one of the predefined color schemes, all keys light up, but with totally wrong colors.

      Please fix asap ....

    27. Missing avatar

      RyanPR on

      As a later backer, I doubt I'm in the next 800. Do you have an estimated date for shipping ALL keyboards?

    28. Missing avatar

      Andrew on

      @ someguynamedmiles

      Thank you for the review - this echoes my own opinions of the board. I'm on Ubuntu and haven't gotten to play much with it yet. I've had mine since Monday and have already felt the keys loosen a fair bit. My coworkers are appreciative of the lack of sound and are quite happy with the change from my Das 4. I type fairly fiercely and this is the first board where I don't feel like I'm bottoming out constantly.

      One strange thing I will say is that if you pan your head too close to the keyboard, you can get a strange almost after-image from the LEDs - I think this i due to the the shape of the LEDs and isn't really a problem but a strange thing to notice.

    29. Missing avatar

      Colby on

      @someguynamedmiles. I'm glad you liked it, that was a very verbose response.

      I wish we had more peoples comments about the keyboard, as it's nice to see other opinions.

      I still think the design was developed by interns, as some of the other points you've missed are why i haven't even been able to really try mine out yet - status LEDs (caps,num,etc) lacking light pipes, ringing keyboard, buzzing capacitor. I hope you don't have or experience these issues, but if i spent even $139 i'd be pissed by these design issues. I'm hoping once mine is returned from RMA at least the buzzing will be fixed, there's still no real solution for the others yet.

    30. Missing avatar

      Roger Murpher on

      "Fri 7/1/2016 3:06 PM Thanks for backing Das Keyboard 5Q: The Cloud Connected Keyboard by Das Keyboard."

    31. Enrique Duran on

      @someguynamedmiles... that was an awesome review/experience witht he keyboard, i still have to play with it to see how it goes, but this gives me a more realistic and not-angry opinion about the product which can put me in a more realistic state of mind when trying it out. Thanks man and lets hope my experience with goes as well as yours.

    32. Missing avatar

      someguynamedmiles on

      Backer number 335 in the US. Both mine arrived yesterday (5/22/2018) and I have been working one of them all day and hacked around with the other one last night.

      Here are my impressions:

      I’ve been coding professionally for almost 10 years, and currently work using both a Ducky One 2 (mx reds, home desktop), and a Das Keyboard 4 Pro (mx browns, work laptop). Altogether, I’m on my keyboards almost 10 hours a day, so a good experience is vital to keeping me sane and preventing my hands from seizing up with carpal tunnel or having issues with my ulnar.

      Regarding the 5Q, the physical feel is superlative. Like, I was REALLY worried after reading some of the early reviews, but I can’t even begin to relate as to what they were talking about. Maybe it’s because I got a unit after the pause; I dunno. The keystroke is quiet but not silent by any means. The browns on the das4 were noisy in our programming room, but nothing my co-workers would complain about, while my wife borrowed the das4 to use at her work in a non-programing shop, it is way too loud; Her coworkers complained before noon the first day. In contrast, the 5Q makes even less sound than the Ducky reds, which are in turn significantly quieter than the browns. In opposite fashion from my wife, my coworkers have already mentioned that they miss the clickity clack of my das4. Fun fact: Some people really like that rhythmic background noise, even if they aren’t making it.

      The noise factor is probably related to both the switch design, and the fact the keyboard feels much tighter than both the Ducky or the das4. Which leads to my next observation: this keyboard appears very compact for a full-sized keyboard. The das4 and the Ducky both feel like they have more rise to their profile, which can aggravate the wrists, but the spacing between the keys also feels more compact on the 5Q. It might be the Zulu switches, but there is very little wobble on any of the keys if I were to just start tapping on them. A telltale quality clue on a keyboard is the amount of wobble on the space bar. While the 5Q’s is not perfect, it’s better than any I can remember in recent memory. Now, given the compact nature of the 5Q, Das has done an excellent job with the lighting.

      Normally, lighting on keyboards is somewhat of an afterthought, but given the central roll of notifications on the 5Q, the lighting really needed to be done as close to perfect as possible, and I think they nailed it. The lettering is large enough, and transparent enough to let the light through comfortably. But at the same time the transparency is opaque enough so as to diffuse the light such that it appears the letters themselves literally glow, as opposed to having a light shined on them from below. It’s quite nice. In contrast, while I like the Ducky, and the Ducky’s lighting is better than like 99% of the other boards I see around, it has hot spots where different angles make certain keys brighter and can even be sharp on the eye; further, even in a semi-dark rooms like our dev offices, I literally see zero light bleed from under or between the 5Q’s keys unless I get down and put my head on the desk to look for it. The Ducky has a significant enough light bleed that it almost appears they are trying to frame the keys, but they aren’t, its just bleeding that much. Light bleed is such a hard problem that many keyboards you see opt for the ‘screw it’ angle, and just open up the keys and crank up the lights so all the excessive light is a stylistic thing. In my opinion, that presentation doesn’t look good. Kuddos to Das for nailing this. If I remember, one of the big delays was them working on a light bleed issue, so I guess now I appreciate the significance of their obsession. There is one exception to the excellence of the 5Q’s excellent light balance, and that’s around the media keys. They put a piping around all 3 keys in addition to the key icons so that the upper right corner of the keyboard is significantly brighter. It’s nothing to riot over, especially considering the overall excellence of the other keys, but they should have either dimmed the lights feeding that piping, reduced the amount of transparency there, or eliminated the piping there all together.

      Now, the cons:

      The font is stupid. While the overall presentation so great that I had 10 devs oh-ing and ah-ing around my keyboard the morning, it only took about 2 minutes for one of them to look at the ‘#’ sign on the ‘3’ key and call shenanigans. I immediately agreed and said I would be buying the alternate keycaps once they became available. After that we ripped on some of the other characters and symbols then did some type-racer and played with the lights. But seriously, the font is soooo bad. I’m not trying to look like a l33t haxxor over here, im trying to look like a professional coder with a justifiable salary. =P Inconsolata, source sans, or open sans all would have been a much better and stylistically correct choice than this robo-tron circa 1980 font.

      The key travel feels rougher than the cherry reds or browns. It’s not a resistive type thing, because I’ve worked on blacks and greens before, it feels like there might be some additional rub while pressing the keys. It’s not bad by any means; I anticipate there will be some loosening up over the next while as I continue to work on this thing. However, given the very fast actuation of the 5Q’s keys, the rougher travel is almost a good thing in that it has already begun training me to depress each key less.

      The software is rough around the edges but shows promise. Need to figure out how to get it to notify for comments on pull requests and such.

      Wrist wrest is neat with how it snaps into place, but the texturing on the top is already collecting lint and I expect will get disgusting rather quickly. Maybe offer a smooth leather one with actual padding as a separate purchase like the keycaps. I know Ducky does this.

      Closing thoughts:

      These keyboards are definitely worth the $139 a peace I paid to kickstart, but I question whether they will have a big draw at the $240 you are currently asking for them, especially given the half-baked software. Would I buy it at $240? If I saw it in person and demo’ed it, probably. It really is a nice experience.

      Really wish the Kickstarter process hadn’t been so painful for everyone involved, but given the recent new regarding the Ossic headphones, I think everyone’s paranoia was pretty justified.

      Thanks to Metadot for getting the product right, let’s wait and see how things go over the next couple years. Hopefully the 5Q will last as long as my das4 and my Ducky.

    33. Missing avatar

      Klaus on

      Highly appreciated. If I can suggest something I would welcome a (very brief) weekly update of the quantities (possibly including backer numbers, if logisic separation allows for that), so everyone can get a better projection when receiving their pledge until all 3.500 pledges have been fulfilled.

    34. Missing avatar

      Ashleigh Charlesworth on

      Can't wait for my UK one to turn up, my MS natural died on me, so sick of using the rubbish HP one now. Any way of checking if 'ours' has shipped?

    35. Matt Killmon on

      Is there anywhere we can go to find out if our number has come up for shipping? I only ask because I had to change my shipping address via a help desk ticket and the old address is at an old job whose location is closing soon. I don’t want to miss out on my keyboard because it shipped to the wrong, now non-existent address.

    36. August Sturm on

      Great work everybody!! I totally stoked about the progress made, keep up the good work!

    37. Andrew Hsieh on

      I'm pleasantly surprised.