Gear Keyboards

Ducky One 2 Mini: Initial Impressions

I’ve had a so-called “mechanical keyboard” for a couple of years now. It’s a Corsair something-something with Cherry MX Red Silent switches. It’s my first Cherry keyboard, and as the switches are kinda hard to test before purchasing, I ended up ordering the Silent Reds purely based on the noise level they produce.

Turns out Cherry Reds are what are called “linear” switches. It means they don’t have the noticeable tactile bump when pressed. I kinda expected all mechanical keyboards to have that, and was a bit disappointed to find out my keyboard felt so mushy. Had I tested other colors before purchasing, I would’ve definitely chose differently.

However it was not the keyboard feel that lead me to investigating new keyboards, it was the size. The almost worthless numpad caused extra travel when moving my right hand from the keyboard to the mouse, which is ergonomically speaking not too nice, and I somewhat constantly kept hitting the edge of the keyboard with my mouse when gaming.

After a deep dive into a bit higher-end keyboard (the next logical step-up from Logitech & Corsair -type gaming keyboards were brands such as Ducky and Vortex), I ended up with the awfully named Ducky One 2 Mini. That was mainly because

  • It is a 60% keyboard, meaning no keypad, no arrows and no home/end/page up/page down -block.
  • It has RGB backlights.
  • It was available in the ISO layout with nordic keycaps.
  • It was available to order from a reputable store.

Now the keyboard has arrived and I’m writing this post mostly to try the keyboard out. Here are my initial impressions:

The good

  • Cherry MX Browns really feel a lot better than the mushy Silent Reds!
  • …yet they are not as offensively loud as I thought they’d be
  • The keyboard is tiny, there’s hardly any extra casing that expands outside of the keys themselves.
  • The keyboard can move the mouse cursor with Fn+WASD, but in addition to that, it can simulate the mouse wheel with Fn+R and Fn+F.
  • It connects with USB-C.

The bad

  • Don’t know yet, but it might well be that I’ll start missing the arrow keys hard. Fn+IJKL simulate them, but AFAIK it’s impossible to do, for example, Ctrl+Shift+arrows, which is a combination I use when editing text to select text a word at a time.
  • The cable that came with the keyboard is somewhat bad quality, might need to replace it with something nicer.
  • Even though the keyboard is somewhat programmable, it’s not 100% so… meaning I’m stuck with IJKL being to arrow keys and not being able to remap more Vim-style HJKL.

So overall that’s my first impressions, obviously with they keyboard being on my desk for a measily 24 hours the jury is still out. However I just noticed Ducky has released One 2 SF just a while ago and it looks really, really tempting already! It’s basically like the One 2 Mini but with arrow keys, Del, Page up & Page down and not that much bigger footprint. Now if only they released one with ISO layout…