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Ducky One 2 Mini Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Jan 20, 2020 at 09:11 am
Ducky One 2 Mini Picture
Test Methodology v0.8
8.0
Mixed usage
8.7
Gaming
3.8
Mobile/Tablet
7.8
Office
8.2
Programming
Connectivity Wired
Size
Compact (60%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Ducky One 2 Mini is an excellent gaming keyboard that has a unique style. The variant we tested has Cherry MX Brown switches, but this keyboard is available in a variety of switches and sizes, as you can get a 60%, 65%, TKL, or full-size keyboard. It has one of the best typing qualities we've tested so far and it offers a lot of features built directly into the board, as it doesn't have an interfaced software. It allows for a lot of customization thanks to its RGB lighting and different colored keycaps.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed usage

The Ducky One 2 Mini is a great mixed usage keyboard. It's an excellent gaming keyboard thanks to the Cherry MX Brown switches that have a nice tactile bump. The double-shot PBT keycaps also feel very nice and offer an amazing typing quality, which is great whether you're playing, typing, or even programming. However, this keyboard can't be used via Bluetooth with mobile devices.

8.7 Gaming

The Ducky One 2 Mini is an excellent gaming keyboard. The actuation force and pre-travel are low and the inputs feel responsive. It's also very well-built and provides great feedback thanks to the brown switches. The board is very customizable, although you have to do everything on the keyboard itself as there's no interface available.

See our Gaming recommendations
3.8 Mobile/Tablet

The Ducky One 2 Mini isn't designed to be used with mobile devices or tablets.

7.8 Office

The Ducky One 2 is a good office keyboard. While its ergonomics aren't the best, it does have two incline settings, which helps to find the most comfortable position for you. The variant with the brown switches has one of the best typing experiences we've tested so far, but some people might not like the lack of arrow keys on the Mini version of the keyboard. The brown switches are also quiet and won't bother people surrounding you.

See our Office recommendations
8.2 Programming

The Ducky One 2 is a great programming keyboard thanks to its amazing typing quality, great build quality, and full RGB backlighting. However, the Mini version without arrows might not be the best option and you might want to look at a bigger variant. Also, it's fully compatible on Windows, and only the calculator hotkey doesn't work on macOS and Linux.

See our Programming recommendations
  • 8.0 Mixed usage
  • 8.7 Gaming
  • 3.8 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.8 Office
  • 8.2 Programming
Pros
  • Excellent typing quality.
  • Very well-built design.
  • Great customization options.
  • Excellent backlighting.
Cons
  • Built-in software can be confusing to use.
  • Lack of dedicated arrow keys makes navigating text harder.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.5" (3.8 cm)
Width 12.4" (31.5 cm)
Depth 4.2" (10.7 cm)
Weight 1.3 lbs (0.6 kg)

The Ducky One 2 Mini is a very compact 60% keyboard that doesn't take much space on your desk. Note, however, that this keyboard is available in 65%, TKL, and full-size as well.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Ducky One 2's build quality is excellent. The frame is made out of solid plastic, which feels durable. The board does have a bit of flex, but this won't matter too much for normal usage. The PBT double-shot keycaps have a high-end feel and longer keycaps also have Cherry MX switch stabilizers, which is great. The only downside of the keyboard is the generic cable that comes with it. It has markings on it and gives off a cheap feel. On the upside, it's detachable so you can easily replace it.

6.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Incline Settings
2
Wrist Rest No

Although this keyboard has two incline settings, its ergonomics are just okay. It doesn't come with a wrist rest and its straight board isn't designed to have an ergonomic shape. Typing on this keyboard feels nice and you shouldn't feel any fatigue due to the board design.

10
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color RGB
Brightness Settings
Yes
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes

The Ducky One 2 Mini has amazing backlighting. It supports full RGB lighting and its max brightness is good enough to see colors when using the keyboard in a well-lit environment. However, all the settings must be controlled on the board, as the software is built-in, and you don't have a downloadable interface.

Design
Cable
Detachable
Yes (Wired Only Keyboard)
Length 5.2 ft (1.6 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) USB type-C

The Ducky One 2 Mini's cable is disappointing as it just seems to be a generic, cheap-feeling USB-C cable. On the upside, since it's detachable, you can easily replace it.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Multi-Device Pairing
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

This keyboard is wired only and can't be used wirelessly.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Extra Controls
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
Yes

The Ducky One 2 Mini has a lot of features as everything is built-in the keyboard itself; it doesn't have any interfaced-software. This keyboard has two layers of hotkeys, one with the 'Fn' key, and one with 'Fn+Alt'. There are also DIP switches on the bottom of the board, so you can change the location of the Windows key, Fn key, Caps Lock, etc. We expect that only enthusiasts will look at this and can find the instructions inside the manual.

Design
In The Box

  • Ducky One 2 Mini keyboard
  • USB-C cable
  • Red Enter, Backspace, Escape keycaps
  • 4x red arrow keycaps
  • 1x Year of the Pig spacebar
  • 2x red keycaps
  • Keycap removal tool
  • Manuals

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Cherry MX Brown
Feel
Tactile
Actuation Force
44.4 gf
Pre-Travel
2.18 mm
Total Travel
4.01 mm

The Ducky One 2 Mini keyboard variant we tested uses Cherry MX Brown switches. It seems to take a bit more force to actuate than other brown switches and have a bit more pre-travel, but most people won't notice this.

Note: This keyboard is available in Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Silver, and Silent Red switches, which will result in a different typing experience.

9.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Ducky One 2's typing quality is amazing. It's one of the nicest feeling keyboards we've tested so far. The keys are very stable and the brown switches offer nice tactile feedback just before the actuation of the keys. The mini version of the keyboard is a bit restrictive as it doesn't have dedicated arrows, so it might be a bit hard to navigate through your text, but some variants of this keyboard have them. Even if the board is small, the spacing between the keys is big enough and helps to reduce typos.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The Ducky One 2 Mini is a fairly quiet keyboard with its MX Brown switches. Note that different switches might be even quieter, or some like the Cherry MX Blue switches will have a very clicky noise. The variant we tested is fine to use in office settings as you won't bother people surrounding you.

Software and Operating System
5.6
Software and Operating System
Software
Software Name No Software
Account Required
No Software
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
RGB Programming
Yes
Macro Programming
Yes
Software Windows Compatible
No
Software macOS Compatible
No

Unfortunately, it seems like the Ducky One 2 Mini isn't compatible with the Ducky RGB software, while other size variants of this keyboard are, just like the Ducky Shine 7. Instead, the Mini has all features built inside the board. so it still has the features, but without an interface. You can create six different profiles and can play around with the RGB settings, or record macros by using the Fn key. Using all the features can get pretty complicated, even if they are marked on the keycaps. We suggest taking a look at the manual to get a better description of which key does what function.

7.2
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Partial
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

The Ducky One 2 Mini's compatibility is decent. This keyboard is fully compatible with Windows, and only the calculator hotkey doesn't work on both macOS and Linux. It isn't compatible with smart mobile devices, but this is expected for this type of keyboard.

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

This keyboard is available in many different configurations. We tested the Mini/60% variant, with tactile, yet quiet, Cherry MX Brown switches. The board is also available in a 65% compact design with arrow keys (called SF), a tenkeyless version, and a full-size board. You can also choose between a wide variety of switches: Cherry MX Red, Blue, Brown, Silver, and Silent Red. Note that our review is only valid for the brown switches and the Mini variation.

Compared to other keyboards

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Ducky One 2 Mini is a much better mixed usage keyboard, but the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is a better gaming keyboard. The Ducky has a great build quality with an excellent typing experience, but it doesn't have a dedicated software, so any customization has to be on the keyboard itself. However, the linear switches on the Razer make it exceptional for gaming, and it comes with a dedicated software.

SteelSeries Apex Pro
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a slightly better overall keyboard than the Ducky One 2 Mini. The customizable pre-travel distance on the switches makes the SteelSeries an outstanding gaming keyboard. The SteelSeries is a full-sized keyboard, but the Ducky is available in compact, 60%, 65%, TKL, or full-sized variations, so depending on the size, it doesn't take up as much space as the Apex Pro.

Razer Huntsman
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Razer Huntsman and the Ducky One 2 Mini are rather different keyboards. The Huntsman has a full-size board that has proprietary optical clicky switches while the Ducky has Cherry MX Brown switches, although it's available in a wider switch variety. The Ducky is also a compact 60% format, but it's also available in more formats. Unfortunately, the Ducky doesn't have software and all customization has to be done on the board directly.

Obinslab Anne Pro 2
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Obinslab Anne Pro 2 and the Ducky One 2 Mini are both great mechanical keyboards. While the Anne Pro 2 can be used wired or wirelessly, the Ducky One 2 Mini is wired-only. Both keyboards are compact 60% keyboards that feel very well-built. While both provide an excellent typing experience, the Cherry MX Brown keys on our One 2 Mini was more enjoyable to use than the Gatreon Browns on the Anne Pro 2. On the other hand, the Anne Pro 2 has software available, while the Ducky can only be customized by pressing keys on the keyboard itself.

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Ducky One 2 Mini and the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL are similarly performing keyboards. The Ducky Mini is a compact 60% keyboard, while the Apex 7 TKL is an 80% TenKeyLess keyboard. The ergonomics of the Apex 7 TKL are better thanks to its detachable wrist rest. While the Apex's wire is built-in, the Ducky is powered through a detachable USB-C cable. Both of the units we tested use tactile Brown switches, but the Ducky provided a better overall typing experience. The SteelSeries has a piece of companion software available for both Windows and macOS, while the Ducky has no software and all customization is done through the keyboard itself, which can be more difficult.

Corsair K95 PLATINUM
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Ducky One 2 Mini is very different than the full-sized Corsair K95 PLATINUM. The Ducky has doubleshot PBT keycaps and offers an excellent typing quality. However, it doesn't have dedicated macro keys or navigation arrow keys like the K95. The Corsair is also available in very quick Cherry MX Speed switches. 

Vortex Race 3
Unavailable
B&H

The Ducky One 2 Mini is a better overall keyboard than the Vortex Race 3 thanks to its full RGB backlighting. Both these mechanical keyboards are available in a multitude of switches, which is great. The Ducky has a 60% compact design without arrow keys, while the Race 3 has a similar footprint, but features more keys, including arrow keys. The Race 3 has a full metal frame, which makes it a bit sturdier. Although both our units have Cherry MX Brown switches, they feel a bit different and the Ducky has a bit more tactile feedback.

AUKEY KM-G9 Mechanical Keyboard
Unavailable
B&H

The Ducky One 2 Mini is a far better keyboard than the AUKEY KM-G9 Mechanical Keyboard. It has full RGB lighting, all its keys are programmable, and it's better built. It also offers one of the best typing quality we've tested. On the other hand, the lack of dedicated arrow keys on the Ducky might be a deal-breaker for some, and the AUKEY has them.

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