It has long been established that when it comes to quality Ducky has been a big-time player in a very busy game.
There are countless keyboard manufacturers that try to have the market share and versatility that Ducky possesses, there are very few that have managed to match them. Fewer still that you could argue have overtaken them.
Ducky has a fair few keyboards on offer, each with its own pros and cons, and each serving its own purpose. While all of their keyboards are fairly versatile it cannot be denied that some do better in certain areas, like gaming, while others are better for programming, just as an example.
All of Ducky’s keyboards are great and each one has their specialty. The well known Ducky one 2 is an upgrade from the Ducky one and is great for both programming and gaming. The Ducky Shine excels in programming while the Ducky Mecha excels in gaming. If you’re on a budget, the Original Ducky One is a great choice. The most unique Ducky keyboard in terms of looks is the Ducky Miya Pro.
This article will cover not only the facts and figures that may interest you about these 5 keyboards but how they stack up against each other. By the end of this comprehensive article, hopefully, you will have a clear idea in your mind which of these 5 excellent keyboards might best for you.
These keyboards aren’t listed in any particular order as this is not a top 5 article, each keyboard is arguably better than the rest in certain ways so there is very little use ranking them without knowing what purpose they are going to serve. Let’s get right into it!
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Table of Contents
Chances are if you have heard of Ducky you have actually heard of the Ducky one 2. I feel it’s very important to make it clear right now that the Ducky One and the Ducky One 2 are NOT the same keyboard. In many ways, they are functionally the same but there are some distinct differences.
The Ducky One was naturally the first of the pair to enter circulation meaning it’s arguably a little bit more bare-bones. That’s not to say this isn’t a great keyboard, it certainly is, but you are going to get a little less than the One 2.
I will cover the specific upgrades the One 2 made in its own section, but I think it’s important for clarities sake to mention now that I’d universally recommend the Ducky One 2 over the Ducky One unless you are working on a budget.
- Solid frame – compact options available though the standard full-sized model is also pretty slim and rather easy to transport.
- RGB backlight.
- Professional looking.
- Cherry MX switches available.
- Double shot keys.
- Can pick one up fairly cheaply.
- Arguably just a worse version of the Ducky One 2.
- RGB backlight can’t be customized.
- Very limited design options.
- No USB pass-through.
Ducky One 2
Next up we have the Ducky One 2. This keyboard is very similar to the original Ducky one in pretty much every way. In terms of functionality, they are pretty much identical, the One 2 has a better case and frame and is potentially lighter.
I say lighter because there are so many options of the One 2 available it’s hard to pinpoint its exact weight. There are far more variants of the One 2 than there are for the One, so if you are someone who likes to have plenty of options perhaps this is the keyboard for you.
There is a bit of a price increase but it’s also newer and better looking so what do you expect? The ducky one 2 is probably the most popular model on the market because of its flexibility and just how many variations there are.
While it is similar to its predecessor in many ways it does have some noticeable improvement. For example, the updated USB slots. Although there is still no passthrough they are considerably better. Another HUGE upgrade is the ability actually program your RGB backlight rather than just having to use a set of default options.
- Very cool designs available – endless variations to find the right one for you.
- Cherry Mx switches as default (even expensive blues) so there are plenty of choices.
- Double-shot PBT Keycaps.
- Programmable backlight.
- RGB backlight.
- Calculator key (great for programming!)
- Still no USB passthrough.
- A tad expensive (depending on which model you choose)
- The illuminated keys (NumLock, etc) aren’t very bright. Hard to see during the day.
There have been a fair few Ducky Shine models, so we are going to be discussing the Ducky Shine 7. This is the most impressive and newest model so that’s the one we should focus on.
The Ducky Shine is a very nice keyboard. It is excellent for typing on and is a far sight better for programming than most of its competitors. The shine is a full-sized keyboard meaning you get all of the functionality you could hope for as well as the ability to program custom macros to be run from the keyboards various function keys.
If you think about getting a Ducky keyboard for gaming you would probably naturally lean towards the Ducky One 2 but I would confidently argue that the Shine is equally as competitive in said field.
- Sleek design – looks slim and comfortable to use despite its hefty size.
- Cherry Mx Switches come as the default (browns)
- Very tactile – good feedback.
- Programmable keys (macros).
- Very versatile – perfect for gaming or office work.
- Cherry Mx browns only (quite-loud) but is also of high quality. This is a bit hit or miss.
- USB-C cable – this would be a plus as the data transfer is far better but it’s a cheap capable so the benefits are negligible.
- Compatible with most computers but only programmable with Windows.
The Ducky Mecha Mini is one of the smallest keyboards that Ducky has in their armada. But, is also one of the most fun to use. This is a very versatile keyboard and though it certainly can be used for just about any purpose gaming is where it tends to thrive.
It’s a compact keyboard, duh, but you’ll still find it to be highly functional. This RGB 60% keyboard is the most portable on this list and is therefore the most ideal for traveling.
Whether that means taking your keyboard over to a buddies house or transporting it to and from work. Maybe you end up desk hopping a lot (common in IT) so this would be great for you.
- 60% compact keyboard.
- Highly portable and transportable.
- Pretty functional given its size.
- RGB backlight.
- Plenty of Cherry Mx switches available to you on purchase.
- Sturdy aluminum frame.
- Can’t program the backlight.
- USB-C cable isn’t very good quality.
- Poor ergonomics. No wrist rest is available.
- Calculator keys don’t work on Mac or Linux.
Interested? Check it out at mechanicalkeyboards.com!
Ducky Miya Pro
The Ducky Miya Pro is the final keyboard we will be discussing today. The Miya Pro is a slightly larger model than the Mecha. While the Mecha is 60% the Miya Pro is 65%.
The increase is not huge, but it’s certainly noticeable. If you are someone who needs a lot of functionality that extra 5% could be the selling point of this keyboard.
I really like how many different styles and options you have with this one. The Miya isn’t strictly Ducky’s, of course, Vermillo has their hand in the design so you can expect to see some interesting aesthetic choices as an option to you.
This is a very comfortable keyboard to use and great for taking with you into the office. You don’t have quite as much functionality as the full-sized models, of course, but you aren’t lacking too much.
- Do many design choices – easy to find one that suits you and your particular taste.
- Cherry Mx Switches – many options.
- Double-shot PBT Keycaps.
- Good backlight – various lighting effects available to you.
- 65% – a good middle of the pack keyboard size-wise.
- Very durable – which isn’t always the case with smaller keyboards.
- The backlight only comes in white which is a little disappointing.
- No wrist support available – common in sub-full-sized keyboards.
- Many people dislike the Spacebar as it feels a little odd and its stabilizers are different than the rest of the keyboard.
- Macro software isn’t available on Linux or Mac.
Ducky One vs One 2 vs Shine vs Mecha vs Miya Pro
Which is best for gaming?
When it comes to gaming you really probably want to choose between one of two models. The Ducky one 2, or the Ducky Shine.
Either is fine of course where they differ is mostly comfort levels and programmability. That’s not a major factor for gaming but it can be, it depends on the game. And whether or not you feel so inclined to bend the rules so to speak as you play.
If you are looking for a good keyboard for gaming on the fly, the Mecha is probably your best bet. When gaming, switches matter. Since they all use very similar keycaps switches are pretty much the only place they differ.
Some people like silent switches, some like to have some feedback. Whichever of those two suits you will very likely guide you to one keyboard or the other.
The Shine only comes with browns, which are loud, the One 2, and the Mecha have a huge variety of options. I should note, you can change the switches out if you have the time, but not everyone wants to fiddle with their keyboard like that.
Which is best for programming?
When it comes to programming I’d say the Ducky Shine is the way to go. It’s got a ton of versatility and is highly customizable whether you are trying to make tiny micro changes to how responsive your keyboard is or if you are trying to program and run custom macros.
The downside for programming I would say is that it comes with Cherry Mx browns by default. Now, this could be seen as positive as feedback is good for accuracy. And programming requires a great deal of accuracy. But, if you work in an office setting with other people you are likely to tick them off a bit as these switches are quite loud.
This keyboard is designed to be used with windows but is compatible with most OS. It’s not programmable with any but windows, which is something to be aware of if you use Linux. If you wanted a compact keyboard for programming I’d go with the Miya. It still has a lot of functionality but is far smaller. The best of both worlds, you might argue.
Which is best for day to day typing?
When it comes to the day to work, emails, just general typing, and what not, id suggest that you use either the Mecha or the Miya Pro.
Both may be small but if you aren’t needing functionality rather just a pleasant typing experience why not? Which you’d prefer is probably going to be style based.
The Miya Pro is a tad more functional but not by a huge amount. The Mecha and Miya both have various Cherry options available so you can choose how tactile or how loud you want your switches to be.
Both use double-shot PBT plastic keycaps so the general feel of each cap is going to be the same. However, in terms of looks and aesthetics, the Miya might be the way to go.
Since it is part Ducky part Vermillo you will find that you can get just about any kind of style you might want. Whether you want a very plain and professional-looking keyboard or something a little more flashy.
Which is best on a budget?
This one is a little harder as these keyboards are all very similar in price. Sometimes you’ll find that choosing one set of switches over another is enough to bump one keyboard up or down on the rankings of cost.
Furthermore, since two of these keyboards are compact you can reasonably expect to pay a tad less for them than a full-sized keyboard. If you are comparing the three full-sized models then it again depends on which specific model you choose.
The Ducky one 2 is going to be more expensive in most cases, whereas the shine is more likely to be a little bit more affordable simply because it doesn’t have as many different options available to it. And, it comes with far cheaper switches.
Switches do certainly affect the price. More so in full-sized keyboards than compact ones. Duh, more keys equal more switches. The Ducky One may perhaps be the cheapest simply because the One 2 is far better and they are trying to shift inventory.
When trying to find the best Ducky keyboard on a budget it’s best to go small and it’s best to shop around. None of the models are insanely expensive in all fairness but sometimes we simply have to go with the cheapest option. Which is very likely to be the Mecha.
Which would I recommend?
This might be a bit of a boring recommendation because this particular model is already widely popular and easy to come by, but the Ducky One 2 is the best choice in my eyes.
It has a ton of customizability in both style and functionality. You can find just about any style or design of Ducky one 2 because so many people want them. It’s certainly a buyers market and as a consumer that’s what we like to hear!
The Ducky One 2 is a little pricey compared to some alternative models but you genuinely do get what you pay for.
The ducky one 2 has its drawbacks but they are honestly negligible in the grand scheme of things. No USB passthrough? Is that a major problem. Probably not.
The Ducky one 2 is perfect for gaming but also excellent for programming. If you are simply using it for everyday typing then you can feel confident in your decision to use a keyboard with your choice of Cherry switches and some nice double-shot PBT keycaps you’ll be typing just as comfortably as you would with any of the other keyboards on this list.
Hopefully, this article has given you some useful information about these 5 keyboards. Especially the lesser-known models. As you can see, each of these keyboards tends to excel somewhere. Some of them even excel in a few places.
While I may have suggested the Ducky One 2 as my personal favorite that doesn’t mean it has to be yours. We all have preferences so make sure you fully consider what it is you NEED your keyboard to do before you start thinking about what you might like it to do.
We all enjoy having flashy RGB backlights but that’s very likely not a real priority.
If you are looking for a keyboard for programming, perhaps go with the Shine. Gaming, go with the Ducky One 2. If you are on the fence about getting a Ducky and just want to dip your toe in the water then the original Ducky One might be your best bet, assuming you can get one on the cheap.
Whatever you decide, good luck with your new keyboard and happy typing!
If you want to see more of my product reviews, check out my Guides and Reviews category!