A simple, but well-built keyboard that will stand up to the rigors of daily use.
It wasn’t easy to settle on the Ducky One 2. I’m pretty picky about keyboards. They have to be mechanical, obviously – Double-Shot keys for preference. Blue Cherry MX are essential, much to the chagrin of anyone in Discord who isn’t me. I’m not particularly averse to backlighting, but I don’t want something that is going to strobe. I also absolutely hate bloatware, and every keyboard company wanting me to install a program just to control my keyboard is getting old. I like being able to switch out keys pretty easily, and I have a thing for thin bezels. I knew I more than likely wanted a full board or a TKL (tenkeyless) at the most. When you have big boy hands, a 60% board is for the media PC only. So, I knew what I wanted, but all those factors made things just a little awkward. I didn’t want to sacrifice anything, because when your hands make contact with a keyboard for hours on end, every day, you want it to be a good experience.
Eventually, I went for the Ducky One 2, full board, with white backlights. It ticked just about every box, and also had the advantage of being a nice, weighty board. So I placed my order, and two days later my new keyboard arrived. The first thing that struck me was the packaging. While you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can judge a company by their packaging and branding. The Ducky One 2 box was neatly designed, fancy but understated, with no wasted space. Those three aspects would, in all honestly, accurately describe the board itself.
Ducky One 2 Features
The Ducky One 2 features a thin, two-tone bezel. Even the full board has a much smaller footprint on my desk than my previous Black Widow Ultimate. It came with Blue Cherry MX switches, and the keys are seamless double-shot caps. The numbers, letters, and symbols are not printed on, but are actually white plastic, and fused into the rest of key. These things will not wear down, ever.
You connect to the PC via a detachable USB Type C cable, so good news for people who need to bring the board with them. It has simultaneous key input, using N-key rollover. This allows for accurate inputs, no matter how busy a game gets. Because the keyboard can register every keypress, even if all the keys are pressed at once, you never lose an input. Important for gaming, but surprisingly vital if you type at any kind of pace.
There is no program to install, and the lighting can be controlled from the board itself. Holding the Fn key and hitting F10 will cycle through the board’s 9 different lighting themes and holding Fn and the arrow keys will alter the strength of the lighting or the speed of your chosen style. For me, I just go with static, full board lighting on the lowest brightest. It is exactly what I hoped for, leaving a board that is easy to see in all conditions, but is not distracting in a low light environment. You can, if you wish, simply turn off the backlight completely.
Daily Use Darling
At first, I found the board slightly tall at the front, but popping up the second pair of adjustable legs solved that for me pretty quickly. That strangely alien feeling of a new keyboard also passed surprisingly quickly, and it didn’t take long for typing on it to feel perfectly comfortable. One issue some people might have is that the four lights used to show if the various Lock buttons are pressed can be a little hard to see behind the keys. The rest of the board lights up just fine, with pretty good coverage through all the keys, although some of the fuller keys can be a little dull as you venture out from the center of the key itself.
What was also nice is that the Ducky One 2 comes with some alternate keys. Mine came with red variant keys for the arrow keys, Esc, and Enter key, as well as the numpad enter key, and the backspace key. It also came with two stylized keys that you can use on whatever key you want. I put mine on the volume control keys, or else I tend to forget they exist. It’s a nice touch and encourages customization, and inevitable expansion into buying full key sets.
Overall, the build quality is impressive. Clocking in at just over a kilo, the board has weight but is not unwieldy, and the manufacturing feels solid. This is not, in any way, a delicate board. It is designed to be used and to live up to the rigors of travel, or passionate use. I paid roughly $120 dollars for mine, and I certainly don’t regret it at all. Ducky has made me a fan, and I plan on picking up a TKL for a new system I am building, and a 60% for the media PC. If you are in the market for a nice, understated mechanical keyboard that is well-designed, considered, and built, then the Ducky One 2 might just be exactly what you are looking for. Should you want something a little more exciting than the simple white lighting I went with, you will more than likely find something that suits your needs in Ducky’s expansive range of keyboards.