Ducky keyboard is finally making their return with newer models after a year-long absent in the Malaysian market. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at one of the models brought into Malaysia this year, the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL.
Packaging wise, Ducky finally decided to keep the design standard (or at least) with the same unified color across its current product lineup. The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL comes in a pretty similar looking box as the previous generation Ducky One but the differences in the Lego blocks are actually different for each different models.
At the back of the box, you won’t find any other information on the specifications except for the dimension, weight, and type of interface used.
Inside the box, you’ll find the plastic dust cover, user’s guide, warranty card, USB type-C to type-A cable, a metal wire keycap puller and some extra PBT keycaps.
The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL comes with a set of reasonably thick PBT + POM doubleshot keycaps with translucent legends for RGB lightings. Although you’ll find doubleshot keycaps on other cheaper alternatives as well, those are actually made of ABS material and will not last as long as PBT material made keycaps.
As this is the year of Pig as according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, Ducky will be releasing its limited edition keyboard as usual. The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL here comes with an extra ‘Year of the Pig’ edition spacebar, just for the aesthetics.
If you need some extras for the keyboard, you can also decorate your Ducky One 2 RGB TKL with the included keycaps. Just like the original keycaps, these included keycaps also comes with translucent legends, so it wouldn’t affect the RGB lighting of the keyboard.
The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL
The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL comes with a standard TKL ANSI layout for the Malaysian market, which makes it easier to find keycaps replacement as compared to the non-standard layout. It might not look like it, but the keyboard does come with quite a number of functions which can be triggered with the combination of the FN key – you will have to refer to the user’s guide for the full list of function keys combo.
We’ll leave a list of useful function keys here just in case of emergency:
- FN + F10: Toggle RGB lighting modes (hold for 3 seconds to disable all LEDs)
- FN + Left/Right keys: Decrease/Increase LED speed
- FN + Up/Down keys: Increase/Decrease LED brightness
- Left Windows key + Right Windows key: Reset to factory default
- FN+ Alt + Windows key: Hold for 3 seconds to enable/disable Windows key
The keycaps used is the standard R1 to R4 height, which gives you that ‘ergonomic curve’ that everyone is talking about for the past decades. Due to the slightly elevated section at the bottom of the keyboard, it gives the keyboard a floating-like impression when it’s viewed from the side.
The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL comes with a dual color case which consists of a black top cover and a white bottom case. As the case comes with a rather unique clip-on locking mechanism, a proper plastic pry tool is required in order to take this keyboard apart without breaking any parts of the case.
Unlike some of the previous Ducky keyboards, the Ducky One 2 RGB now has its logo printed at the back of the case, not on the spacebar keycap.
As for the switch, Ducky is going with the usual Cherry MX RGB switch for its keyboards with RGB lightings. The sample I have here is using the Cherry MX Red switch, but there will be other types of Cherry MX RGB switches available for the Ducky One 2 RGB as well.
We’ve also noticed some grease on the stabilizers on the longer keys, which means that these are actually prelubed. Back in the days, I will always lube our keyboard stabilizers with some grease (notably the Tamiya Cera-Grease HG) to improve the smoothness of the key travel.
For its base, the Ducky One 2 shares many similarities with most of the existing Ducky keyboards. The elevated section on the keyboard feet for the tilted angle, long rubber feet on each corner to prevent the keyboard from sliding around your desk, etc.
It’s good to see that Ducky uses USB type-C connector for its keyboard instead of micro-USB or mini-USB. Other than the ease of plugging in, USB type-C is also capable of carrying more power, which would benefit keyboard manufacturers to deliver brighter LEDs or perhaps, better connectivity for USB hub on higher-end keyboards.
As for the dip switch here, I wouldn’t really mess around with it unless it’s necessary. The first 3 switches are responsible for assigning the position of the FN key, while the 4th dip switches are just to toggle the keyboard key rollover mode.
If you’re interested in reassigning the FN key position, here’s a list of combinations taken from the user’s guide for your reference:
The 3-level adjustable feet has been around for quite some time and can be seen on most of the previous gen Ducky keyboards. Quality-wise, it’s solid sturdy build is definitely among the best around.
While it’s good to have a dedicated cable route path design, the cable seems to be bending really hard if you were to route the cable to the side. I would really recommend you to leave it as it is after plugging in the type-C connector and not to route it to the side. This will ensure the longevity of the cable, as excessive bending will result in damaging the cable and render it useless over the long run.
In order to cater to the market demand, NKRO via USB has already become a mainstream feature that every mechanical keyboard marketed as a ‘gaming keyboard’ will have. The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL too, comes available with this feature as well, and you can even toggle between 6-KRO and NKRO via the 4th dip switch.
Typing Sound Test
While most Cherry MX switch based keyboards feels pretty much the same when it comes to the typing experience, there are still a number of factors that will affect the user’s experience, notably the type of keycaps used. The PBT keycaps on the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL has a distinctive solid clack when you bottom a key, which is much more satisfying as compared to the thinner ABS keycaps you’ll find on the budget mechanical keyboards.
The spacebar is one of the most notable difference if you were to compare Ducky made keyboards to other mechanical keyboards you’ll find in the market. Not only that the key travel is way smoother than most of the budget-friendly alternative, the landing feel is also way more solid than the rest. This is especially favorable when it comes to games that involve rapid multiple tapping on the spacebar.
Other than the usual features you’ll find on a modern mechanical keyboard, the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL also comes with another feature that is similar to the Windows mouse keys. The mouse function might not be the fanciest feature around, but it’ll definitely come in handy in certain scenarios. The key region for the mouse function is different between the TKL and full-size model, but personally, I find the assigned key region on the TKL model to be way more convenient than the full-size model.
After being stuck with mechanical keyboards for the last decade, I’ve become really picky when it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard as my daily driver. While it doesn’t come with a wallet-friendly price tag, the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL has the quality that is enough to justify its RM 549.00 price tag.
As an avid rhythm game player myself, a keyboard with that is solidly built, comes with NKRO feature, PBT keycaps are the qualities I’m looking into when it comes to picking the right keyboard for this very purpose. The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL pretty much meets all the requirement here and the spacebar design is definitely one of the very best around. It’s not surprising why Ducky keyboards have become one of the most popular choices among the elite tier rhythm gamers. Even when I’m not using it for gaming, the keyboard also fit well as a keyboard for daily work because it’s really comfortable to type on.
The only issue I have with the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL is the steep learning curve for the keyboard function keys combination. It might not be an issue for enthusiasts users, but users who are accustomed to visibly printed function keys will have a hard time to get used to it. If you’re really dedicated to learning all the function keys combination on this keyboard, some extra memorizing and practicing is required before you can get used to it.
- Good build quality
- PBT + POM Doubleshot keycaps
- Macro function
- NKRO over USB
- Detachable USB cable design with USB type-C connector
- Extra keycaps and metal wire keycap puller included
- Built-in mouse keys function
- Standard ANSI layout
- prelubed stabilizers
- Not for users with a tight budget for mechanical keyboard
- Steep learning curve for the keyboard function combination keys