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Ducky One mechanical keyboard review
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Review

Ducky One mechanical keyboard review

by January 28, 2016
Positives

+ Slim bezels
+ Unique translucent green frame
+ Durable and comfortable ABS double shot keycaps
+ Even lighting of keycaps
+ Multitude of lighting features
+ Massive customization potential
+ microUSB connector

Negatives

- Difficult to make use of programmable keys/macros

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Pokde Rating
Appearance
8.0
Features
9.0
Materials
8.0
Performance
8.0
Portability
7.0
Value
8.0
Bottom Line

If it is a full-sized programmable keyboard you seek, the Ducky One is worth a look. However be prepared to read the manual thoroughly.

8.0
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I have always thought mechanical keyboards to be an unnecessary extra in a gamer’s arsenal. I considered mice to be of more importance as accurate tracking can mean the difference between hitting or missing the mark. After joining Pokde.net, I was a proud defender of my opinion. However the team at Pokde.net convinced me to get one. Determined to see what is so special about mechanical keyboards, I got a secondhand CM Storm Quickfire TK. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, I have a Ducky One mechanical keyboard here with me. Let’s not waste time and go through this keyboard.

 

Unboxing

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As you can see the packaging of the Ducky One is rather basic, with just the right amount of info like the switches used, LED color and frame color.

 

Appearance

The Ducky One features a translucent green case, a refreshing change from all the black mechanical keyboards in the market. The frame sports the thinnest bezels Ducky has ever made. Aside from the striking green color, the Ducky One is pretty simple looking.

Ducky One (1)

The keys are still black, with a matte finishing that doesn’t look set to get any fingerprints soon. The translucent print of the legends are quite hard to see without the backlight on, but that happens with most, if not all, backlit keyboards.

Ducky One-2

Flipping the keyboard over we see a DIP switch, wide rubber feet and the label. A surprise find was the microUSB port instead of the usual miniUSB connector. To be honest I didn’t realize it until I checked it out on Ducky’s website,

Ducky One-3

It’s really about damn time keyboards embraced the newer standard. It essentially makes the cable user replaceable as microUSB cables are a lot easier to find than the miniUSB ones. Users  can now pick whatever microUSB cable they want to use with their Ducky One, even the iCable i10 Power Series cables if they so wish.

Ducky One wire

The cable here doesn’t come with any sleeving either, just like on the Ducky Secret mouse. Gold plating is featured on both ends.

 

Specifications

Body materialABS
KeycapABS doubleshot, backlit
USB report rate1000 Hz
Switch typeCherry MX Brown
Microprocessor32 bit ARM Cortex-M3
Cable1.5m, detachable
Weight1300 g
Included accessoriesKeycap puller
Menu keycap
User manual

 

User Experience

Setting up the Ducky One involves plugging in the microUSB connector to the keyboard and plugging in the USB into a USB port on your computer. There are nice inset channels for you to tuck the cord into but because the cable is unbraided and the channels are a little tight, after squeezing the cables into the channels you will notice that the cord bears permanent scuff marks on its surface. The cable also bends at a rather acute angle, leaving me worried about its durability. It didn’t fail during my testing though so it should be fine.Ducky One-1

There are no drivers to install with the Ducky One, but it does come with a load of built-in features that require some careful reading of the user manual to understand. Everything is done on the keyboard itself, from macro programming to custom lighting options. Ducky offers a lot of features with their keyboard but I believe it is about time they invest in making a proper GUI to manage all their peripherals’ settings.

The keyboard are held in place by thick rubber feet, so it will not slide around your table no matter how hard you type. I used the highest level of tilt because I like it that way. There are three levels of tilt for you to choose from.

The intermediate feet are less sturdy and pushing the keyboard forward will cause it to collapse.

Ducky One (2)

The media keys on the Ducky One are limited to the volume control buttons above the numpad. There is also dedicated key to access the Calculator. I am not sure whether this was a community-sourced idea or Ducky engineers use the calculator that much to justify putting a dedicated shortcut there. You can also set your preferred repeat delay and repeat rate. I did mess with that feature but found it rather unnecessary. Setting macros are unbelievably difficult. Ducky really should hire a team of software engineers to make a proper GUI to handle all these features. On the upside, you can almost reprogram every key’s function.

Ducky One (4)

The DIP switches on the One’s underside allows you to make the Fn key double as a Menu key, as well as disable some of the modifier keys. The 4th DIP switch is to switch between NKRO and 6KRO, an important feature as certain OSes do not support NKRO functionality.

Ducky One-1-3

Alright, its time to talk about the LED backlighting. The backlighting here is pure white, with 7 levels of brightness and 6 modes of backlighting, including completely off. I really like the Reactive Mode but wished it stayed lit a tad longer for me to actually bask in the glow of my furious typing. You can even customize TWO custom backlighting profiles which can be turned on together, making for almost limitless combinations. One thing I really like about the backlighting is that Ducky aligned the numbers and symbols above the LED so every legend is backlit nicely.

Ducky One-1-4

The keys feel great with the sandblasted finishing. The keycaps are ABS double shot, meaning that the legends will never ever fade. Real Cherry MX Brown switches are used here, so no worries about quality. Gaming or typing on this keyboard is flawless. Thanks to the NKRO function you do not need to worry about ghosting no matter how many keys you press at once.  Bottoming out the keys is satisfying both in terms of audible and tactile feedback, typical of mechanical keyboards with a steel backplate.

 

Conclusion

The Ducky One’s RRP is RM449, not a small sum any way you look at it. It does offer a huge number of features but they are hidden by key combinations and the DIP switch under the keyboard. If the keyboard came with a proper intuitive GUI I would love it to bits. If you want to make use of the macro/reprogram function and don’t mind the learning curve when setting it up, do get this keyboard as right now it is currently on sale for RM399, while stocks last. I will only give it our Silver Award because of the steep learning curve when setting up the macro features.Pokde-Silver
We express our thanks to Ducky Keyboard Malaysia for lending us the Ducky One review sample.

About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy graduate. Strongly opposes proprietary standards and always on the look out for incredible bang-for-buck.