Ducky One 2 Mini Vs. Razer Huntsman Mini: Which is Better?
The Ducky One 2 mini and the Razer Huntsman mini are popular 60% mechanical gaming keyboards.
If you’re a mid-range to a pro gamer, you know that your keyboard can significantly affect your gaming action’s consistency, speed, and response. This means that having the right keyboard can be the game-changer you’ve been looking for.
While a gaming keyboard’s design is also critical, it’s less important than features like response, speed, ergonomics, and actuation. A keyboard that ranks well in response and actuation but falls below standards in design will still be a much better gaming keyboard than the one whose design is superior but whose features are subpar.
If you’re in the market for a Tenkeyless (TKL) gaming keyboard, you’ve likely come across recommendations of either the Ducky One 2 mini or the Huntsman mini. This is because they are some of the best mechanical gaming keyboards.
This article reviews both keyboards, including their features, advantages, and downsides, to help you decide which is best.
Ducky One 2 Mini Vs. Razer Huntsman Mini: Terms Used in The Article
Before diving into the particulars of both keyboards, it’s essential to understand what some terms used in the article mean. Here are a few examples of terms you will encounter in the article:
Key Travel Distance
If you’re hearing key travel distance for the first time, it refers to the distance the keyboard switch requires to send a command after pressing. When defining key travel distance, we circle two terms: low travel keyboard and full travel keyboard. Outside of gaming, optimal key travel distance is a matter of preference. But, where distance can impact the outcome, like in gaming, it becomes an essential distinction.
Low-travel keyboards have a total key distance of 1.0mm to 2.5mm. You require minimal pressure to press the key and give a command. Full-travel keyboards have key travel distances of 3.0mm to 4.0mm. Typically, most mechanical gaming keyboards have full travel distance as they have fewer accidental strokes and are durable.
Actuation distance relates closely to key travel distance but has different meanings. Actuation distance is the distance the key travels to make a signal. This distance isn’t necessarily the entire length of the keystroke which would refer to the key travel distance.
Typically, actuation distance determines the responsiveness of a keyboard. The keyboard’s actuation distance may be insignificant if you’re a casual gamer. But pro gamers know that saving milliseconds in a competitive game is critical to the outcome.
There’s no way to talk about the advantages or disadvantages of a particular keyboard without mentioning the key type. Generally, keyboards have one of these three key types, tactile, linear, or clicky.
Linear switches have a smooth feel as they don’t have resistance or feedback to inform you when they complete action. The ease of use for linear switches is popular with gamers but not with users who type frequently. Linear switches can input multiple commands quickly. Gamers consider this a key feature. But, the same feature is a disadvantage when typing as the lack of feedback causes typos.
Clicky switches derive their name from their sound. Mainly these keys have a tactile bump that produces a clicky sound when the key actuates. Tactile switches, on the other hand, don’t always have an audible sound. Instead, they produce a tactile bump when the key actuates.
Like any other product, durability is important when considering high-quality keyboards. Keyboards are rated by the number of keystrokes they can accept. Mid-range mechanical keyboards have a lifespan of 20-50 million keystrokes, while high-quality keyboards have a 50-100 million keystrokes lifespan.
Actuation force is the pressure you have to apply for the keys to respond to a command. Keys can have minimal, mid-range, or high actuation force. Keyboards with high actuation force require more pressure to actuate keys than minimal ones.
Now that we have reviewed the basic terms used in this article let’s delve into the actual review of these two keyboards.
Ducky One 2 Mini Review
Ducky One 2 Mini Keyboard
Ducky One 2 Mini is one of the most popular mechanical gaming keyboards, and with good reason. It has several useful features, is durable, and has sleek packaging. It is also considered a premium keyboard, meaning you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets to enjoy this high-quality keyboard.
As stated in the introduction, Ducky One 2 mini is a 60% gaming keyboard. The size is ideal for people with a clean, minimalist look or those with tight desk space. As for the design, the One 2 Mini has a clean, sophisticated look with dual-color backing. The keyboard’s top is black, and the back is black. The backplate is made of high-quality reinforced plastic, so you don’t have to worry about durability.
The keys are low-profile with a floating design. Their design and the dual-color combination complement the RGB backlighting. The entire design and color make the Ducky One 2 Mini one of the most appealing gaming keyboards available today.
Moving on to the connection type, this keyboard uses USB type B and C connections. The USB-A port is at the top-left edge of the keyboard. It also comes with a case to keep the cables clean and to help with packaging when traveling. For ergonomics, the One 2 Mini has two-level adjustable levers with rubber tips. The rubber tips are an excellent addition to ensuring the keyboard remains steady during game time.
One of the features that help any gaming keyboard stand out is the versatility of optical switches. The One 2 Mini does well on this front. It offers several Cherry MX Switch options like Brown, Blue, Speed, and others. All the Cherry MX switch options listed above will work well with this keyboard, but your preference depends on the extent of tactility and feel. This keyboard’s switches are smooth and stable, with no wobble or muffling. The response and feel might make typing with this keyboard your best typing experience yet. For gamers looking for the tactile bump, the Cherry MX Browns, Silent Reds, or the Speeds are ideal.
Away from the switches, the One 2 Mini also outperforms the keycaps front. The keycaps are made of durable PBT plastic that is highly resistant to shine. They also have a laser engraved label on the side and are thicker than other keycaps in the market. The packaging includes special keycaps and a keycap puller. Because the Ducky One 2 Mini is a standard 60% keyboard, it’s relatively easy to find compatible keycaps.
One of the downsides of this keyboard is that it doesn’t have dedicated software. But this shouldn’t be a big challenge because the manual has all the information on key combinations needed to customize the keyboard’s program. The One 2 Mini supports 6 profiles, each with 3-level macros. The manual also details the shortcuts and key combinations to customizing these profiles and macros.
For the RGB backlighting, the One 2 mini has various modes and colors you can utilize. You can assign specific or different colors depending on your preference. It also features playful modes like Gambling and Minesweeper, which you can utilize using the assigned shortcuts.
Overall, the Ducky One 2 Mini’s features, quality, and one-year warranty make it one of the best mechanical gaming keyboards on the market.
Reasons To Buy
- Texture high-quality PBT keycaps
- Full per-key RGB backlighting
- No board flex
- Customizable macro support
- Mechanical switches
Reasons To Avoid
- No arrow keys
- No dedicated software
Razer Huntsman Mini Review
Razer Huntsman Mini
The Razer Huntsman Mini is an ambitious keyboard as it seeks to offer gamers everything they need in a compact keyboard. For its price, users can expect nothing less. From its design and features, the Huntsman mini gets close to being the ultimate gaming keyboard. It has an aluminum top plate and a sturdy plastic base. From the touch, everything feels strong and durable.
As you can tell from the name, it’s a 60% keyboard that works well for minimalist setups and small desk spaces. 60% keyboards are also ideal for travel. It comes in two colors: black and white. Overall the Huntsman Mini has a laid back but sophisticated design.
The Huntsman mini gets it right with the keycap design and material. They are made of PBT plastic, known for their high quality and resistance to shine. Its ‘purple’ clicky optical switches are similar to the Cherry MX Blues. If you’re a Cherry MX Blues fan, you’ll like the steady but tactile bump the switches have. To be specific, The Huntsman Mini’s optical switches have a 3.5mm total key travel distance. The switch actuates at the 1.5mm point with a 45 g actuation force.
Most high-rated switches have a 4.0mm key travel distance and an actuation point of 2.0 mm-2.2 mm. This tells you that the Huntsman Mini’s response and accuracy are outstanding. If you’re more of the smooth switch experience type, Razer offers its linear red switches that don’t have the tactile bump or clicky sound. The switches generally feel light and responsive.
For connectivity, the Huntsman mini has a detachable type –C cable. It has a cable latch that ensures your cable is secured during gaming. The cable is long enough to ensure comfortable movement and distance during game time. In addition to the detachable cable, the Huntsman Mini ensures maximum comfort by having two-level adjustable feet inclined to 6 or 9 degrees.
The typing experience is a breeze, given the tactility and responsiveness of the keys. But, the switch feel depends on preference. As stated earlier, Razer offers linear switches for those who like the smooth non-clicky switch better.
For users who prioritize keyboards with dedicated software, the possibilities are endless with the Huntsman Mini’s Synapse software. You can reconfigure the RGB backlighting, remap the keys and save software configuration profiles. This keyboard supports up to 5 individual profiles.
Unfortunately, you can’t remap the 60% specific shortcut because of the secondary input limit.
One of the notable user-friendly features this keyboard has is the printed functions that help you perform basic customizations without downloading the software. These printed functions include the pre=set RGB effects, game mode activation, how to set your PC to sleep, and others.
Overall, the Huntsman Mini comes close to becoming the perfect gaming mechanical keyboard. Everything from the design, optical switches, PBT caps, and all other features is meant to deliver the ultimate gaming experience.
Reasons To Buy
- It has light optical switches that are responsive
- Shine-free, durable PBT keycaps
- Detachable cable
- 5 onboard memory profiles
- Dedicated software
Reasons To Avoid
- No dedicated arrow keys
Head To Head Comparison of the Ducky One 2 Mini Vs. the Razer Huntsman Mini
Now that you understand the features, capabilities, pros, and cons of the One 2 Mini and Huntsman Mini, we’ll delve into a side-by-side comparison. Because both are top-rated gaming keyboards, it helps to have an in-depth comparison, especially if you’re looking to settle on either.
The design doesn’t significantly affect a keyboard’s capability, but it doesn’t have to have an appealing keyboard with even better features. The Ducky One 2 mini and the Huntsman Mini are 60% keyboards. The former has a dual-color scheme with white at the top and a black backplate. The Huntsman mini has an aluminum top plate and plastic backplate. While both are clean and stylish, the dual-color combination and the RGB backlighting effects have a more appealing look. If design matters to you, the Ducky One 2 mini is the one to go for.
There’s not much difference in the materials used in making both keyboards in terms of quality. The aluminum top plate and the plastic backplate on the Huntsman mini are sturdy and durable. So is the reinforced plastic on the Ducky One 2 Mini.
Both keycaps are made of PBT plastic which is high-quality and resistant to shine. The One 2 Mini’s keycaps are slightly thicker. But this doesn’t speak to the overall quality of the keyboard. None stands out, so it’s a tie on durability.
Both keyboards have high-quality PBT keycaps, but the One 2 Mini stands out with its customization. The One 2 Mini gives you extra keycaps that you can interchange with the ones on the keyboard to get a different color combination. You don’t get extras with the Huntsman Mini. Instead, Razer offers linear replacements purchased separately.
The Huntsman mini has Razer optical switches, while the One 2 Mini comes with Cherry MX Switches. The Cherry MX Switches have a smooth tactile bump. They have a total key travel distance of 4.00mm and a 45g actuation force. These switches score high in sound and weighting, especially for users who like light tactile switches.
Even though the Cherry MX Switches are excellent, they are still not a match for the Huntsman Mini’s optical switches. The optical switches have a 3.5mm total key travel and a 1.5 actuation point. The actuation force is 45g. The specifics of the optical switches mean the Huntsman Mini’s response is faster than the Cherry MX’s.
The difference in response is especially notable in competitive gaming, where seconds can significantly differ. The Cherry MXs feel better in smoothness and stability, but the optical switches respond better.
The ultimate choice depends on your priority, but if you’re willing to compromise on the response, the Ducky One 2 Mini is still a solid choice.
Both keyboards are 60% and similar in height, but the Ducky One is shorter with a slight angle. The One 2 Mini’s angle and height put less strain on the wrist. You don’t have to raise your arm slightly to type like you would with the Huntsman Mini. Both have two-level adjustable kickstands, so they tie on this part.
Both keyboards are standard 60% size with detachable USB-C cables. This makes both easy to pack for travel. The One 2 Mini has a cable storage case which is a plus, while the Huntsman Mini doesn’t. The case, however, doesn’t make a strong case for the One 2 Mini, as portability is the same.
You could argue that One 2 Mini is wider and taller, but the Huntsman Mini is wider, so they are even. The difference comes in at the slight weight difference. The One 2 Mini is slightly heavier than the Huntsman Mini, so if we consider all factors, the Huntsman wins.
On the surface, it can feel like both keyboards have similar RGB backlighting, but there are significant differences when you dig deeper. The main difference is in the customization. The One 2 Mini doesn’t require software for backlighting customization, while the Huntsman mini relies on the software. Comparing both processes, the Huntsman Mini customization process requires an extra step that the One 2 Mini doesn’t.
Additionally, the One 2 Mini’s dual-color concept compliments its RGB backlighting creating a more intense reflection and overall better appeal.
The Huntsman Mini has shorter key travel and actuation point, but the variety of switches the Ducky One 2 Mini offers means that you can find switches that match the Huntsman experience. This factor alone gives the One 2 Mini an edge over the other.
The One 2 Mini also has stabilizers, and the tactile bump and feedback of the switches make typing a breeze. Generally, tactile switches are best for typing because the feedback means better speed and accuracy. The angled floating key design on the One 2 Mini also means better wrist positioning and, consequently, better typing.
While the optical switches have shorter actuation distance, the Cherry MX switches have better tactile feedback and better typing pace features.
Even though the Cherry MX switches are equally good for gaming, the actuation point and the key travel distance on the Huntsman Mini’s optical switches save you seconds of reaction time in gaming. This puts the Huntsman Mini ahead of the One 2 mini in gaming. For users looking for an exclusive gaming keyboard without considering the differences in design and backlighting, the Huntsman Mini is an excellent choice.
Essential Things To Consider When Buying a Gaming Keyboard
While this article is focused on the Ducky One 2 Mini and the Razer Huntsman Mini, there are other things to consider when looking for a gaming keyboard. These include:
There’s no one-size-fits-all keyboard in gaming; some prefer the 60% keyboard, while others prefer the 75% or full-size keyboards. Tenkeyless and 605 keyboards are ideal for gamers with minimal working space or a minimalist and clean gaming setup. The full-size and 75% keyboards work for those with more space.
Like all other devices, quality is critical when buying a mechanical gaming keyboard. First, good quality guarantees longevity. If you’re looking to spend a significant amount on the purchase, you’ll need to feel like you’re getting value for money. Finally, high quality assures you that the keyboard won’t break down after a few months of use and can withstand intense gaming.
High-quality keyboards also offer replacement parts to replace the broken features instead of replacing the complete keyboard.
Key technology refers to mechanical or membrane keys, the most common keys on gaming keyboards. Mechanical keys are popular with gamers who enjoy the satisfying clicky sound after key actuation. They also have spring stems that are excellent at responding and are durable.
On the other hand, Membrane keys are popular with heavy-handed users who like to press firmly on the keyboard. They are also low-profile and typically affordable.
While features like key technology, connectivity, and quality are critical considerations, your budget ultimately dictates the gaming keyboard you purchase. Remember that price is not synonymous with quality. Several affordable gaming keyboard options are affordable and have excellent features.
The Ducky One 2 Mini and Razer Huntsman Mini are supreme gaming keyboards. Both aim to offer gamers the ultimate experience with many features targeting user experience, comfort, durability, speed, and response. However, the One 2 Mini scores higher in the design, switch, and ergonomics sectors, while the Huntsman Mini ranks better at gaming and software.
Both are durable and portable as they are 60% with detachable cables. Even though this article reviews the keyboard’s features, it all comes down to preference. Remember to refer to your budget before settling on either.
Which Is Better for Gaming, the One 2 Mini or the Huntsman Mini?
Most aspects of gaming vary from person to person. Some gamers prefer tactile switches like the Cherry MX switches on the One 2 Mini, while others lean towards the optical switches on the Huntsman mini.
When dealing with specifications, the optical switches have shorter key travel and actuation points, while the tactile switches have a clicky sound, a tactile bump many gamers enjoy. If you prioritize speed and response, go for the Huntsman Mini. If you value tactile feedback, feel, and comfort in switches, the One 2 mini is best.
What Is the Difference between the Ducky One 2 Mini and the Razer Huntsman Mini?
The keyboards’ main differences are switch types, ergonomics, software, and accessories. The One 2 Mini has Cherry MX switches, while the Huntsman Mini has optical switches. The former doesn’t have dedicated software and has an angled floating key design, while the latter has dedicated software and is relatively lower.