Ducky Shine 5 RGB mechanical keyboard review
+ Multitude of lighting features, in all the colors of the rainbow!
+ Solid build quality
+ brushed-metal texture ABS frame looks great
+ Impressive RGB lighting options
+ Bright and clear RGB back light
+ Durable and comfortable ABS double shot keycaps
+ Even lighting of keycap legends
+ Massive customization potential; lighting and macro programming
- No GUI to manage the extensive feature set
- Lacks cable management channels on the underside of the keyboard
- Risk of losing detachable feet
Previously we reviewed the Ducky One, a no-frills mechanical keyboard. It was solid, but people looking for more bling may not find it suitable to their tastes. Ducky also has a solution for them, in the form of the Ducky Shine 5 RGB keyboard, with full color back-lighting. Let’s take a closer look at it.
The packaging makes it very easy to guess that it is features RGB lighting. It features multi-colored polygons all over the box. The large RGB Cherry print on the top part also helps. Once again the packaging here lacks the catchy jargon and flashy product images that most mechanical keyboard manufacturers plaster all over the packaging to entice potential buyers. A little information is found on the underside of the box, with the switch type found on the back end of the box.
Open up the box and you see some documentation, keycap puller and a Menu keycap.
Here’s the entire family hiding in the box. Yes, there is a free alternative keycap for the spacebar.
The frame of the Ducky Shine 5 is a little wide, with rather generous bezels, especially when compared to the One. As usual for Ducky keyboards, it feature few aesthetic flairs, so gamers who prefer the garish designs that certain gaming keyboards offer may want to look elsewhere.
The Ducky Shine 5 sports a cool brushed-metal texture on the frame, making it look more premium than the cheaper Ducky One. The frame of the Ducky Shine 5 is actually ABS plastic, but I was fooled for a while thinking it was metal. It doesn’t collect fingerprints so you won’t have to worry about wiping it down every once in awhile.
The keycaps are black with a matte texture, similar to the ones found on the One. The keys will not attract fingerprint and thanks to the double-shot molding, the key caps are set to last a very long time.
Flipping the keyboard over, we see the familiar DIP switch and the generous rubber feet. Also note the label is an engraved metal plate instead of just a sticker. While it doesn’t enhance the user experience in any way, some people do find such small premium touches interesting.
Instead of the microUSB port on the Ducky One, the Ducky Shine 5 features the usual mini USB port. It also lacks the cable channels that the Ducky One had, so the cable will stick out perpendicular from the middle of the keyboard.
The cables are not sleeved here. The connectors are gold plated.
|Keycap||ABS doubleshot, backlit|
|USB report rate||1000 Hz|
|Switch type||Cherry MX Brown RGB|
|Microprocessor||32 bit ARM Cortex-M3|
|Included accessories||Keycap puller|
Replacement Year of the Goat 2015 spacebar keycap
The Ducky Shine 5 is plug and play like any other keyboard. All you need to do is to plug in the included cable into the miniUSB port and you are set to go.
The Ducky Shine 5 doesn’t offer channels for you to tuck the cable into so the cable will stick out perpendicularly from the middle of the keyboard. As per Ducky tradition, the Shine 5 doesn’t come with any driver, which means that MKB n00bs like yours truly will face some trouble configuring the RGB lighting and macro feature. I was informed that Ducky targets enthusiasts who actually enjoy the lack of drivers, but I think that a GUI to manage the customization will be a lot more appealing to the masses.
Instead of feet that flip out, Ducky opted for detachable rubber feet to enhance the sturdiness of the Shine 5. Ducky also claims better flexibility and durability with removable feet instead of the flipping feet. While this may be true, you do stand to misplace the removable feet, a risk that keyboards with flippy feet will not worry about. The feet are grippy and the keyboard won’t slide around the table.
The preset media keys are volume controls, with a dedicated shortcut key to the calculator. However thanks to Ducky’s extensive maco programming feature, you can reprogram the keys with any of the 24 different presets below.
Speaking about programming the keyboard, the keyboard supports 5 separate profiles, with one default factory profile. You can re-assign almost every key on the Ducky Shine 5 or program macros to make your workflow easier. For enthusiasts with their own preferred repeat rates and delays, they will be pleased to find out that the Shine 5 also allows customization in that area. I personally did not find a need to change those settings, but to each their own.
The Shine 5 is an RGB keyboard, so lighting customization modes are a must. Unlike the Ducky Secret which didn’t offer enough lighting modes, the Shine 5 really shines in terms of lighting customization. According to Ducky, the SMD LEDs used in the Ducky Shine 5 are larger than in most other keyboards. The dual layer PCB in the Shine 5 sandwiches the LEDs in between, for better durability. There are a total of eight presets to play around with, and with two custom zones. You can set every key to a different color if you want to, or set a certain area to breath while the other area remains static. You practically have three zones to customize because there is the default zone, CM1 and CM2. That will guarantee that you will have a keyboard like no other.
You will really have to read the manual thoroughly to use this keyboard’s lighting features to the maximum. As I had mentioned before and I will say it again, Ducky’s keyboards are really customizable but they aren’t as n00b friendly as the competition. Come to think of it, that can be a selling point too as n00bs can’t mess up your configuration. They won’t know how to. Heh heh heh.
Amazing lighting effects aside, using the keyboard feel great with the sandblasted finishing on the keys. The keycaps are ABS double shot, meaning that the legends will never ever fade. Real Cherry MX Brown RGB switches are used here so reliability isn’t really going to be an issue here, unless you got a lemon unit. NKRO is also featured on the Ducky Shine 5, with an option to turn it off via the DIP switch on the bottom in case you are using it with an OS that doesn’t support NKRO. With no ghosting at all, basically you have nothing to blame besides yourself if you fail at gaming.
The Ducky Shine 5 is a great RGB keyboard, with macro features and interesting backlighting options. The price tag of RM699 may not make it the cheapest RGB-backlit keyboard out there, but the solid build of the Ducky Shine 5 will be hard to beat with cheaper alternatives. While I am beginning to get used to not having drivers, I would still prefer a software which offers an intuitive GUI to handle all the great features it offers. For the great build quality, extensive programmability and excellent RGB back-lighting features, I will award it our Silver Pokdeward.
We express our thanks to Ducky Keyboard Malaysia for lending us the Ducky Shine 5 review sample.