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The Ducky One 2 Mini is a hallmark keyboard if ever there was one. As someone who has covered this space since 2013, it’s rare for enthusiast keyboards to break into the mainstream, but that’s exactly what happened here. I reviewed the original when it first came out, followed by the SF version, and the metal-encased Mecha Mini. The HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini may just be my favorite version.
To start things off, you should know that 99% of what I said in my original review will apply here. These are fundamentally the same keyboard, except HyperX and Ducky have worked together to create a version unique to them. The biggest changes come in the under the hood, with the inclusion of HyperX’s super smooth linear red switches and new bright red plastic bottom. The alternate keycap assortment is also red when previously it was a random draw which colors you would receive.
But let’s refresh ourselves on the basics, shall we? The Ducky One 2 Mini is a 60% keyboard, called such because of its small form factor design that is roughly 60% of the size of a full-size 104 key keyboard. To achieve that small size, it shaves off all but the most necessary keys. That means the number pad and function row are gone, as is the middle cluster of arrow, navigation, and editing keys. What you’re left with is a svelte package that leaves you much more space for your mouse hand — which is exactly why this board has become so popular in the competitive scene.
Even though it’s small in size, it lacks nothing in functionality. All of the different commands are now mapped to secondary functions accessible with the Fn button. The biggest difference is the arrow keys (and the navigation buttons if you do a lot of writing) which takes some getting used to. Once you do, however, you’ll officially have entered small form factor life. It’s hard to go back to even a TKL once you’ve gotten used to this layout.
Pro Tip: if you’re struggling with needing to use your right hand to hold the Fn key and whatever buttons you’re trying to access, remap it to Caps Lock. You won’t have to move your hands from their normal position anymore.
There’s a huge amount of utility here for such a small keyboard. You can record macros, customize your RGB backlight, control your media, and even move your mouse. Once you start playing around with the lighting, you’ll even find that Ducky has hidden a few games inside the keyboard. That’s right: you can play Minesweeper or a basic version of Roulette.
The keys themselves are a high-quality doubleshot PBT. PBT is preferable to the cheaper ABS plastic found on most gaming keyboards because it’s much more durable. As a denser plastic, it resists shine and HyperX/Ducky have taken it a step further by applying slight texturing to the keycaps’ surface that I much prefer to completely smooth keycaps. These are also thick-walled, which gives them a much nicer sound than mainstream gaming keyboards, and doubleshot so the legends will never fade.
Under the keycaps are HyperX’s own linear red switches. These will feel very familiar if you like Cherry MX Reds, as they have the same 45g actuation force. They’re an overall smoother switch, however, so actually gaming on them feels better. They’re also a touch faster with an actuation point of 1.8mm instead of Cherry’s 2.0mm, though I couldn’t really feel much difference there. More importantly, these switches are rated for a whopping 80 million click lifespan versus Cherry’s 50 million.
The impact of these switches on gaming performance is may be small, but I really can’t sing their praises highly enough when it comes to feel. There is no scratchiness whatsoever, no weird resistance in the key press. It feels almost as if these switches have been lubed they’re so good. If you like linears, you owe it to yourself to give them a try, and if you don’t, they might just make a believer out of you.
Finally, we have the lighting and it’s as bright and vibrant as they come. Like the original One 2 Mini, the HyperX version uses a white mounting plate which reflects the lighting upwards and allows it to blend into a beautiful bed of light. It’s almost remarkably bright through the translucent legends — something that’s actually rather challenging with PBT keycaps. There are the expected array of presets and onboard customizability.
The original Ducky One 2 Mini is one of my favorite keyboards, especially for gaming on the go. It’s small size and incredible functionality are second to none. This limited-edition collaboration between HyperX and Ducky is my favorite version yet thanks to their great linear red switches. If you’ve been on the fence about getting a 60% keyboard, the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini is one of the best ways to dive in.
Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight
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