Probably the hottest keyboard on the market right now is this guy. The Ducky One 2 Mini. Which is pretty surprising, because it is a 60% keyboard. And RGB 60% boards aren’t new or anything, we already have the Anne Pro keyboards and the Vortex Pokers, which are both super popular as well. So let’s see what this Ducky boy has to offer.
- Ducky One 2 Mini mechanical keyboard
- User guide
- USB type C cable
- Extra AKKO keycaps
- Wire keycap puller
- Warranty card
DESIGN & BUILD
In the hands it feels decent, maybe a bit less nice because of the glossy plastic on the bottom, but it has minimal flex because of the internal steel plate. And it comes in at just under 600g, so very similar to the Anne Pro and similar boards.
What this does have is a unique aesthetic. Usually we’ll have a 1 piece enclosure. Here we have this contrasting 2 piece design, with the top textured satin plastic sloping down the sides, and the bottom glossy plastic kind of going the two ways.
It’s certainly nice to see something different, because retail 60% boards have been so so stale in regards to enclosure design for a while now. And I personally like it, it has a bit more edge and character, while not looking too out there.
On the rear we have our USB type C port, again, showing that most new boards are moving to it. And then some branding in a non-obtrusive spot.
On the bottom there’s a couple of rubber feet. And we also have 2 stage flip up feet which are awesome. And we pretty much never see flip up feet on 60% boards, because of how small they are, so I’m actually really happy to see them here to give us some flexibility.
The keycaps are pretty nice as well, and have classy thin and clean legends on them. However we do get those extra keycaps in the box. And from what I’ve seen, there’s a bunch of different colours. I’ve seen green, orange, blue. But with this, I got blue on grey. And for whatever reason, we have arrow keys and a numpad enter keycap, which we can’t use on this keyboard, so that’s a bit weird. So really we get a backspace, enter, and 3 different escape keys.
And finally, the beautiful Year of the Dog spacebar. So they don’t really add much of an accent at all, so it’s a pretty tame addition. But the spacebar looks pretty sweet. It is a UV coated ABS cap this time, but that allows for this beautiful artwork that lights up as well.
The keycaps are made from 1.2mm PBT plastic, and are doubleshot, so the legends are another piece of plastic and will never fade away.
KEYSWITCHES & TYPING EXPERIENCE
And underneath the caps we have Cherry MX Browns on this particular board. This is of course available in the other Cherry MX variants, including MX Speeds and MX Silents. The browns are tactile switches, so they have a mild bump halfway, but have no click.
This actually provided a pretty decent typing experience, even though MX Browns aren’t my cup of tea, it felt solid enough on this board. And the stabs, they’re surprisingly pretty good. They look to be self made, with this actually quite cool grey and blue design. They have’ minimal rattle if any, which is a very rare thing to see on retail keyboards, and I can’t even see any lube in there, so yeh, pretty impressive.
LAYOUTS & LAYERS
For full demonstration, refer to video.
There’s a bunch more other little stuff that you can do, and the manual goes through everything in more detail that I didn’t, because there’s a lot to cover. So if you actually have or get this board, I’d recommend you read through it. And that’s the thing, you gotta know this stuff because it’s all onboard. There’s no downloadable software like nearly every other keyboard out there. And for many, that can be a negative, because you don’t have that interface to easily go through all the options. Everything is done with all these somewhat complicated key combos that to be fair are labelled, but it’s still not as intuitive.
So overall, the good old Ducky has impressed, and have come back to the 60% game with a very complete keyboard. It is a packed space, and they’ve differentiated the actual look of the keyboard with this unique enclosure design, which I think is quite important. But they of course have that big brand name behind them, helping its popularity.
There’s a lot to like about it. It has a solid build with an internal steel plate. Nice looking and feeling keycaps. Vibrant RGB backlighting, and a decent amount of customisability onboard. However onboard customisability isn’t for everyone, and even myself, I’d prefer some sort of graphical user interface to deal with all this stuff, because it can be a bit complicated.
Comparing it with the competition. I see 2 main competitors. The Anne Pro 2. And the Vortex Poker 3 RGB.
At average pricing. The Ducky is about 100 bucks. The Anne Pro 2 is about 80. While the Vortex Poker 3 RGB is about 140. So it’s coming in at about a medium price.
The Anne Pro 2 is a great value keyboard. It has most of the features this has, with RGB backlighting, doubleshot keycaps, programmability - BUT with software. It’s also available with either Gateron or Kailh Box keyswitches, which I consider to be better as well. Quality isn’t too different, but the Ducky probably edges it out in fit and finish, and quality components. But the big difference is the wireless capabilities.
The Vortex Poker 3 RGB, is pretty much the Ducky Mini, except it has a full aluminium case. But comes at a premium price.
With the Poker 3, you’ll be getting that for the heftier case. But that’s been out for a while now, so that may be refreshed soon.
So the main competitor for most people would be the Anne Pro 2. I really like both keyboards, the main difference being wireless. So if you need wireless, then it’s an easy choice. Again, the Ducky fit and finish is a touch better, including the nice stabilisers, but yeh, there’s not a huge difference between the two, and I’m sure you’ll be happy with both.
A big thanks to Joshua for lending me his keyboard for review.