Ducky One 2 Mini Keyboard [Detailed Review]
When the Ducky one 2 mini was released in 2018, it was hyped to the point that most people wanted to own one. Even though technology has changed, it’s surprising that this keyboard still has more cool features than some newer brands.
It is stylish, easy to blend into most aesthetics, and has a high-performance rate making it perfect for everyday tasks, among other impressive features.
The bottom line is, is it worth it?
Ducky One 2 Mini Keyboard
Read on to find out why!
Introduction of the Ducky One 2 Mini
All things considered, it’s easy to see why the Ducky one 2 mini is one of the most popular keyboards in the market. It is designed to be used for both gaming and typing partly because consumers can choose the type of key switches they want during purchase.
Like all Ducky keyboards, this one comes with quality double-shot PBT keycaps bound to last you as long as the keyboard lives.
Another notable feature is that it comes with a detachable USB -C cable. Therefore, you don’t have to visit a professional to get it replaced. Last but not least, this keyboard allows onboard customization of several aspects, such as RGB lighting and macro controls.
Unfortunately, it also has shortcomings, such as it can only offer a wired connection, doesn’t have hot-swappable keys, and is limited in compatibility. Considering the aforementioned features you would expect to be included in a keyboard of its price, you can get better options in the market, especially from unfamiliar brands.
Pros of Ducky One 2 Mini Keyboard
- The keyboard comes fitted with double-shot PBT keys
- It is programmable, despite not having any software
- It has three inclination angles; thus, quite comfortable to use
- Designed with a rattle-free exterior that is of good quality
- You get to choose from a variety of switch options when making the purchase
- It is fitted with unique touches like an embroidered space bar
- This keyboard has a variety of RGB lighting options
Cons of Ducky One 2 Mini Keyboard
- It isn’t fitted with hot-swappable sockets
- The in-built customization feature is hard to master
- Lacks a lot of compatibility options
- Comes in a plastic build despite the hefty price tag
Overview of Ducky One 2 Mini’s Features
Before deciding whether or not a keyboard is worth it, it’s imperative to study all its minute and significant features. Especially because keyboards nowadays come packed with many features that might be hard to understand for a beginner or someone looking for a specific keyboard niche.
Either way, here is how the Ducky one 2 mini fairs regarding its notable features.
Build Quality and Design
Considering that the Ducky one 2 mini lies in the 60% keyboards category, it is relatively compact, meaning you will have more mouse pad space. The exterior is made of plastic but still surprisingly sturdy; therefore, you won’t have to worry about breaking or chipping over time.
If you are big on aesthetics, you will appreciate the dual-toned colourway of this keyboard. The top casing comes in matte black, while the bottom is white. Because the exterior is plastic, the white bottom casing projects a little of the RGB light enhancing the aesthetics.
Unfortunately, because the exterior is made of plastic, this keyboard moves around a lot, especially in high-intensity gaming/typing. Therefore, the designers fitted it with six rubber feet, making it more stable regardless of the surface. The best part is two out of the six rubber feet can be angled in whatever way gives you maximum comfort.
If you despise brandings, you might want to steer away from this keyboard. It has lots of the brand name plastered on the keyboard front casing, the USB-A ports, and the keycaps. However, the packaging comes with extra blank keycaps that you can use to replace the branded ones.
Overall, the exterior is ergonomically designed, and you can’t see the key switches from the side, which gives the keyboard an illusion of class.
One of the best marketing points of the Ducky One 2 mini is that you can choose your preferred key switch among any Cherry MX switches or Kailh switches. This way, you have total control over the sound that the keys will make and also the tactile feedback.
If you choose the popular Cherry MX switches, you can select one of the following colors; black, brown, red, silver, blue and silent MX (at an added cost). Each color, as mentioned earlier, is good for different tasks, has different tactile feedback, and produces different levels/types of noise.
Alternatively, if Cherry MX switches are costly, you can go with Kailh switches. Despite the reduced price, they are affordable and deliver the same performance level. Here you will have four options: box white, speed copper, and Speed pro burgundy.
For perspective, the Kailh box white is a clicky switch meaning it will produce a well-defined click sound whenever you press the keys. Also, it has a bump-like feel. As for the Speedy copper and burgundy, they both have shorter actuation distances meaning the response rate is a bit quicker than their counterparts.
The Ducky one 2 mini is designed to offer wired connectivity only, which is a bummer if you like to switch from wired to wireless connectivity. The connectivity in question happens via a USB type C reversible cable. By reversible, I mean that it can be plugged into the keyboard regardless of the side that the keyboard is placed in; this eliminates the probability of the keyboard knotting.
Another downside is the cable in question is of poor quality. The ends are gold-plated, and the wired part is rubber coated. For that reason, it is prone to start chipping in under a few months. On the upside, the cable is detachable and can be cheaply replaced.
You won’t have to worry about latency as this cable has a polling rate of 1000hz. For perspective, it can send input signals from the keyboard to the display 1000 times per second. With such a high response rate, you can use this keyboard for professional gaming.
Pricing and Availability
Considering this keyboard has a cheap-looking plastic exterior, no software backing and so much more, it’s a wonder it is priced above $120. The only argument is that you will be paying for the brand status.
However, one thing about Ducky keyboards is the fact that they are easily and widely available. Therefore, you are bound to find the Ducky one 2 mini in every retail or online shop you visit. And this also goes for any of its spare parts that you would want to replace.
Unlike most keyboards in the market that are designed to blend in with your static setup, the Ducky One 2 mini is designed to be easily portable. First off, it’s a 60% keyboard meaning it’s nicely compact and can fit in a small bag pack. For this reason, you can carry it around to competitions or even use it in the office during the day and for gaming at night.
As mentioned earlier, this keyboard doesn’t come equipped with the software. Therefore, it’s designed to store customization features such as Macro controls, RGB lighting, different game settings, and so forth in the keyboard’s hard drive.
Additionally, it also doesn’t have floating keycaps. Therefore, you can travel with the keyboard without putting it in a cover and are still guaranteed to find none of the keycaps have detached from their respective switch.
Software and Programming
Unfortunately, the Ducky One 2 mini keyboards aren’t fitted with any software which is a standard feature in almost all mechanical keyboards. However, this keyboard’s designers can argue that you won’t need any software. The aforementioned is because you can program and customize your gaming profiles, macro controls, RGB lighting, and so forth, all from the keyboard controls.
Out of the box, this Ducky keyboard allows you to create up to 6 profiles as well as 3 layers of macro controls, among other things. The problem is it will take you a while to get used to the keyboard’s settings, and the extra seconds used to get to your macros will slow you down, especially in professional gaming competitions.
Whether you are a gamer or a typist, RGB lighting plays a massive part in the overall aesthetic of your setup. Despite the Ducky one 2 minis not being supported by the proprietary software, it allows you to customize the RGB light through its key controls.
You can choose among 10 RGB modes, some of them being: Raindrop, random reactive, radar, wave, color cycle, and so forth. Also, you can set the colors to alternate automatically depending on the game being played or even assign different colors to specific keys.
Thanks to the fact that this keyboard comes with a half-white casing and clear PBT caps, you can easily see the RGB lighting peeking through and thus illuminating the rest of the setup.
Just like most quality mechanical keyboards, this one comes fitted with good-quality PBT keycaps. It’s easy to tell the keycaps are of impressive quality because the letters/functions on top are lasers engraved. This way, they won’t fade or, even worse, develop a shiny film after a short period of use.
The keys are in an OEM profile to make typing/gaming more comfortable for you. In layman’s terms, the keys caps differ in height row-wise to reduce the distance you have to move your fingers to press different functions.
Additionally, the keycaps are double-shot PBT. This means they were made by molding two layers of plastic together. This way, they are bound to withstand more keystrokes saving you the replacement costs.
As a final thoughtful feature, the original packaging comes with a bunch of extra keycaps in different colors and types. This way, you get to sample what other options feel like. Also, the space bar comes engraved with different Chinese zodiac signs for extra flair.
The compatibility of the Ducky One 2 mini leaves much to be desired. First off, it isn’t compatible with any mobile operating systems, which is surprising considering this keyboard offers wired connectivity. Also, it isn’t compatible with Mac displays and is only partially compatible with Linux displays.
With that said, the target audience for this keyboard is people with Windows displays, meaning a lot of people can’t use it.
Although manufacturers created the Ducky one 2 mini with gamers in mind, it’s better suited to programmers and typists. With that said, the typing experience on this keyboard is impressive, primarily because of how it is designed and the quality of the parts.
The keys are relatively stable and don’t wobble or squeak when in use, thanks to the fact that they are well-fitted and factory lubed. in view of the fact that you can choose the type of switch you want, you get to decide the noise level and tactile feedback you prefer when typing.
The keys have a short actuation distance, so you won’t have to press the keycaps all the way down to trigger a response. Lastly, this is one of the few 60% keyboards that are compactly designed without mashing the keys together. Therefore, thanks to the ample space between each function, the chances of making typos are significantly reduced.
For the price, it’s pretty thoughtful that the manufacturers of Ducky one 2 included lots of accessories in the box. Expect to find the following:
- Enter, Backspace, and Escape keycaps in the color red
- Four arrow caps in red
- One Spacebar
- Two keycaps
- A keycap removal tool
- USB-A to USB-C cable
- Dust sheet
The keycap remover is convenient because you can switch the keycaps easily and without destroying them. Also, whenever you choose to do this, the package contains a thin dust protector that will prevent any dust from invading the interior of the keyboard.
As previously mentioned, you get an extra space bar engraved with the yearly Chinese horoscope. That said, you have the option of ordering any of the previous designs to spruce up your keyboard.
It’s imperative to note that some packages don’t come with a manual, making customizing the keyboard quite hard. If this is the case, please visit Ducky’s official website to download the manual.
Unique DIP Switches
The Ducky One 2 mini is fitted with four DIP switches on the back casing to compensate for not having software. Each switch has its own task, but generally, they are meant to switch from one key control configuration to another.
You will notice that the Windows key doesn’t work straight out of the box, as that is its default setting. Such a scenario is where the DIP switches come to play. The first switch is tasked with turning the Windows key on or off. When turned off, the windows key turns to a caps lock function.
The second DIP switch is designed to help you shift from the N-key rollover to the 6-key rollover. Avid gamers will appreciate the N-key rollover as it means that you can press several keys at once, and the system will register all of them adeptly. Typists, on the other hand, prefer the 6-key rollover as it reduces the probability of making typos.
While there is not enough information about what the third switch is used for, the fourth one helps you shift from standard mode to display mode. The standard mode is the default, meaning the keyboard works as it should. Alternatively, when you switch to display mode, the keyboard seizes to work and displays your preferred RGB light choices. In short, it is used for aesthetics.
Ducky One 2 Mini Vs. Other Similar Keyboards
There are limited options in the market regarding good quality 60% keyboards. However, some come close or are even better than the Ducky one 2 mini. Below are a few worthy alternatives.
1. Gmmk Compact
Gmmk Compact Keyboard
If you find the Ducky one 2 mini expensive, consider checking out the Gmmk compact. It even offers the option of purchasing it without keycaps and switches if you just want a replacement board for your old one.
The Gmmk is designed with a detachable USB mini cable which is a bummer as most people would prefer a USB-C. Surprisingly, the exterior casing is better than Ducky’s, as this one is made of half aluminum and half plastic.
As expected, this keyboard gives you several RGB light options to choose from, and also you get to decide which key switch you prefer, which ultimately affects the overall price. If you buy the pre-built version, it will come with Double shot ABS keycaps and quality Kailh switches, which are dupes of the renowned Cherry MX switches.
The Gmmk compact one-ups the Ducky one 2 mini because it comes backed with software. This way, you can easily remap the key arrangement, create macros, customize RGB light, etc.
2. Razer Huntsman mini
The Razer Huntsman mini is a dupe for the Ducky One 2 mini. However, it is fairly new to the market, and few consumers even know about it. Therefore, if you want to save a few coins but don’t want to compromise on the quality, then this keyboard is for you. The key layout is the same, the overall performance is the same, and so forth.
The only remarkable difference is that this keyboard comes with an aluminum casing, making it sturdier than its counterpart.
Verdict: Is Ducky One 2 Mini Worth It?
The fact that Ducky one 2 mini is still a contender (despite being released in 2018) among the best mechanical keyboards in the market indicates that it is a worthy purchase for some people. However, its popularity could stem from the fact that it was among the first ever 60% keyboards to hit the market, and even now, there are not many good options to choose from in that category.
On the other hand, mechanical keyboards have evolved so much technology-wise; therefore, the Ducky One 2 mini is missing some standard features. Some of the elements in question include; hot-swappable sockets, proprietary software backing, Compatibility with every device, dual connectivity, and so forth.
If you don’t mind the missing features mentioned earlier, then the Ducky one 2 mini can still be a worthy investment. It still has features such as an ergonomic and trendy design, in-built programming, various switch options, and so forth.
The bottom line is that you can get an alternative 60% keyboard with more modern features at the same price as the Ducky one 2 mini retails at. For this reason, this product is not worth it!
Is the Ducky one 2 mini hot swappable?
No, it’s not. For that reason, you will have to take the keyboard to a professional to de-solder the switches with a specialized tool to prevent you from spoiling the keyboard and switches.
Since the Ducky one 2 mini keyboards aren’t backed by software, how do you change the RGB lighting?
There are several ways to go about it.
- Press the Function key, Alt and T simultaneously
- Choose your preferred RGB lighting by simultaneously navigating different color options by pressing FN, Alt, and Z/X/C.
- Finally, press Enter when you find a light option that you want.
- Press FN, Alt, and Spacebar simultaneously
- Each key will glow a different RGB light option, therefore, press the key that has your preferred lighting.
Does the Ducky one 2 mini come with a warranty or money-back guarantee?
Every Ducky keyboard comes with a one-year warranty, subject to terms and conditions. However, they don’t offer a money-back guarantee when the performance/quality is not up to standard.
Can the Ducky one 2 mini work as a controller for the Ps4 or X box one?
Yes, it can. If you prefer to use a keyboard as a controller, then all you will need in this scenario is a USB- C cable to connect the two.
Which switches are the best for use on the Ducky one 2 mini?
It depends on the function of the keyboard. However, you can’t go wrong with any of the Cherry MX or Gatreon switches.