Mechanical keyboard specialist Das Keyboard has announced its first Q-series design to use original Cherry MX switches - and which it has, somewhat unfortunately, decided to call the Das Keyboard 4Q.

Named in a procedure that seemingly didn't involve anyone saying the chosen moniker out loud before the decision was made, the Das Keyboard 4Q is based on the company's existing Das Keyboard 4 Professional but adds in RGB lighting and the cloud-powered Q notification technology first seen on the crowdfunded Das Keyboard 5Q - which, unfortunately, was panned by recipients for buggy software, long-delayed but now available-in-beta Mac and Linux support, and poor build quality.

The Q technology itself works on the theory of using the per-key RGB LED lighting built into compatible keyboards, along with a dedicated 'Q button', for notifications: Applets are downloaded from a dedicated Q marketplace and can perform a variety of functions, from animated stock tracking graphs to weather forecasting as well as bi-directional communication with selected smart home devices.

The move to retrofit Q to the existing Das Keyboard 4 Professional means a shift to Cherry MX keyboard switches: Buyers are given the choice of soft Cherry MX Brown or clicky Cherry MX Blue switches, while the company has confirmed 104-key US and 105-key UK, German, and Norwegian layouts at launch. Each keyboard includes laser-etched ABS keycaps, a two-metre sleeved USB cable, N-key rollover over USB, an integrated two-port USB 2.0 hub, and a detachable footbar which for some reason also functions as a ruler.

Das Keyboard has launched the 4Q in the US priced at $199, with European availability to follow priced at €199 (around £173 excluding taxes). More information is available on the product page.

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