Overall and Final Verdict
After using the Oaken at a few events I couldn’t be happier with it. It protected my wife’s keyboard perfectly when traveling to and from LANs. With the clamshell design I doubt I will ever even have to worry about dust and dirt getting up under the keys. It also got a lot of attention, people were drawn to the keyboard because it’s such a unique design. No one else at an event is going to have an all wood keyboard. Getting it setup was simple, you basically just remove a few strategic keycaps and remove the six screws that hold the Poker 2 into its case and then slide it into the Oaken and then install the new screws. The two-piece design does allow you to get creative when using the keyboard as well. You can use the lid to give the keyboard an angle for example. But my favorite is using the lid as a matching wood wrist rest.
Switching to the wood design does mean you lose the thin bezels that give your Poker 2 its simple styling. The Oaken case has thick bezels all the way around for structure and so that the case can lock together when transporting it all. That’s not the elephant in the room though. The only real issue with the Datamancer Oaken 60% case is its price. If you aren’t a keyboard enthusiast you have to be looking at me like I’m completely off my rockers now that you have seen the $189 price tag. Especially when we consider that a stock Poker 2 or Pok3r is going to cost you less. For comparison, some of the other aluminum 60% cases can run up too $139 and we have to remember than the Oaken 60% case is actually giving us two halves. It doesn’t make it sting any less but I can completely see how a custom made CNCed wooden case would hit the pocket book.
So is it worth it? Well for the average user there is no way. But I know that there are going to be a few keyboard enthusiasts who take their 60% keyboard to and from LAN events or to and from work every day. For that person, you aren’t going to find a better way to protect your keyboard. On top of that you will most certainly be doing it in style.