If you've been around the PC gaming space for a while, then you'll no doubts be familiar with the Ducky Channel brand. The Taiwanese company has long been regarded for its class-leading keyboards, and each of its units is an object of desire.
I've wanted to try a Ducky keyboard for some years, and now, finally, I get to see if it lives up to the hype. I've got my hands on the admittedly awkwardly named Ducky Channel One 2 Mini, a 60% gaming keyboard.
And live up to the hype it does. This is an incredible keyboard.
Bottom line: A staggeringly good 60% keyboard with a range of switches to choose from.
- Excellent build quality
- Range of Cherry MX switches
- No companion software required
- Two angled sets of feet
- Doubleshot PBT keycaps
- Sturdy typing experience
- Changing RGB settings is awkward
- USB-C port is a tad loose
What you'll like about the Ducky Channel One 2 Mini
There are many reasons you might want a 60% keyboard, but the biggest is going to be the size. You have to sacrifice a little, for example, there are no arrow keys, no function keys, you literally have the bare essentials. For gamers, that's not likely an issue since most of a full-sized keyboard is wasted space. Switching to a 60% gives you more space on your desk for mouse movement.
The Ducky Channel One Mini 2 is quite possibly the finest 60% keyboard you can find. It comes in either white or black frames, a range of colored keycaps, and with one of several different colored accent keys in the box and a choice of different Cherry MX mechanical switches. The one I have is in white, with Cherry MX silent switches and blue accents.
The silent switches were a great choice, too. I love mechanical keyboards, and I have been known to be partial to a good clack, but sometimes you just wish the noise would go away. If you're on a conference call, for example, or streaming, or just wish your day in front of the PC was a little quieter.
That's precisely what you get with these silent switches. The same excellent feeling action as you'd find on other Cherry MX switches but without the noise. It's my first experience of these switches, and I'm honestly blown away that you can have this feeling with this low amount of noise. I've been using the Razer BlackWidow Lite a lot recently with its own silent switches, but the difference between that and the One Mini 2 is night and day.
Even though you'll find Cherry MX switches on other brands of keyboard, I'm not sure I've ever used one that felt this good overall to type on. The keys are extremely sturdy, with no hint of rattling about, even the space bar barely wobbles. Ducky's key stabilizers are extraordinary.
The keyboard is all plastic, which is fine; it feels strong and well put together while also being light enough to take on the road with you. The bezels, for lack of a better term, are almost non-existent, giving a clean appearance and absolutely no excess size.
Underneath is glossy white plastic whichever color you go for it seems, and it's underneath, so it's not a problem, but it highlights how nice the matte white finish is on the top and sides as well as the PBT double-shot keycaps. An added nice touch is the metal plate with the necessary product and legal info on in place of a sticker. It just oozes that this is a quality product. Also underneath you find two different sets of angled feet to get the position just how you like it, though I would suggest possibly the largest angle is perhaps a little too much,
Oh, and there's a laser engraved space bar in the box, too, if you want something a little jazzier to break up the clean, no-fuss look.
Like most top gaming keyboards, the One 2 Mini has full N key rollover and full RGB support. There's no companion software required either, all changes to the RGB, as with adding macro functions, is done on the keyboard itself through a combination of key presses. The RGB looks fantastic, too, especially on this white version.
What's it like to actually use, though? Well, if you're new to 60% keyboards, there is some adjustment to make, but I've been using this thing for a full week before writing this review and will find it hard to use anything else. For gaming, it feels sublime, and the smaller size is perfect for my somewhat cramped office space. If you're into macros, then you will have to switch away from the default profile, but you have a pretty wide range of freedom to remap keys as you need.
It's also been a dream to type on, and my days have been much less noisy as a result! As cliched as it sounds, your fingers just dance from key to key effortlessly.
What you'll dislike about the Ducky Channel One 2 Mini
The Ducky Channel One 2 Mini is an extraordinary keyboard with very little to actually pick fault with. But there are a couple of areas that might cause a bit of frustration.
The first is the cable. It's USB-C, which is awesome, it's detachable, equally so, and for those who like to angle their keyboards while they game, it's on the left-hand side, so it's entirely out of the way.
But the port is a little loose, and it doesn't take long looking around online to see that it's a fairly common problem. It shouldn't cause any issues in regular use, but just be aware that if you do move the keyboard around, you might just yank it right out of there.
For me, what's perhaps more frustrating is how convoluted it is to change the lighting settings or add your macros. On the one hand, it's great that you don't need software, but on the other, might it have been more user friendly to at least provide the option to set up your RGB on your PC instead?
The process involves pressing different combinations of keys, as with applying macros, and you don't want to toss the manual out with the box. This is one product it actually makes sense to read it for.
Should you buy the Ducky Channel One 2 Mini?
If you're hunting for a 60% keyboard, then yes, absolutely, you should buy the Ducky One 2 Mini. I've been describing it to friends as the "Ferrari of keyboards," and I genuinely mean that. The whole experience, right from seeing the exterior of the box, has been utterly joyous.
And while it's gamers that might be looking at one of these the most, if you just like good mechanical keyboards, you're in safe hands here. And I definitely give a big thumbs up to the silent Cherry MX version.
I've wanted to try a Ducky Channel keyboard for such a long time now, and it's easy to see why the company is so highly regarded. Instead of chasing fancy features, the One 2 Mini just gets the basics absolutely right.
If you want the best 60% keyboard you can get your hands on, the Ducky Channel One 2 Mini is it.
Ferrari of Keyboards
One of the best small keyboards you will ever touch
The Ducky One 2 Mini is simply staggering, not because of flashy features, but because it's just an exceptionally good, well put together keyboard that's a joy to use.
Sadly there are several counterfeit Ducky keyboards sold through even mainstream stores like Amazon by resellers. The buy links here are approved Ducky Channel resellers, and it's worth checking the approved list and how to spot a fake before you part with your cash.
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
"The Cherry MX silent switches are ridiculously good." LOL
You are also missing out on a hot swap PCB which comes default with the GMMK Compact from Glorious gaming. You are able to inter change switches and narrow down ones that meet your preference. Ranging from the likes of tactile, linear, silent, clicky etc. Some switches even allow for spring swaps and lubrication to create a buttery smooth actuation. The true Ferrari of keyboards is the real premium boards like the Keycult boards. They future gasket mounted pcbs, sound dampening, screw in stabilizers etc. KBDfans also has great entry level premium boards if you are getting in the the enthusiast keyboard market. Paired with high quality keycaps from GMK, which have amazing color ways, and a hefty price for this top notch quality caps.
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