Ducky Shine II Review

Hello everyone! Once again, I bring you another mechanical keyboard review. I'm happy to announce I've convinced my Dad to get his first mechanical keyboard, and might I say, he picked one of the best!

The switches on this particular model are the Cherry MX Browns. Cherry MX Browns are a very versatile switch in that they are good for both typing and gaming. They have a light tactile bump at 45g. The bump helps with typing, but the lightness and snappiness of the switch allows for fast response during gaming. Still, if you're an avid gamer, a linear switch such as Cherry MX Reds are the better option. Ducky uses Cherry stabilizers for the larger keys. Some would say it feels mushier than Costar stabilizers, as you cannot easily bottom out. I like the experience though, and I certainly wouldn't take a point off. As far as build quality goes, this keyboard feels extremely solid with its' can't-go-wrong-with black, blocky, matte, plastic design. Also, the dual layer PCB really makes a difference. There are four grippy pads on the bottom to prevent slippage — larger than most. I'm still waiting for a keyboard manufacturer to put the rubber pads on the flip-out feet. The cable is removable, and underneath the keyboard there are three reroutable tracks for the cable to follow. The backlighting has 6 levels of brightness, and several modes that allow for really neat effects.
  • 60%, which only shows the main typing area.
  • Full backlighting.
  • Fading, which ranges from fullest brightness to lowest brightness.
  • Reactive mode, which lights up each key as you type.
  • Scrolling marquee, which scrolls across the top row.
But wait, there's more! Ducky gives you the ability to have two custom profiles! Just press FN + REC1 or FN + REC2 (underneath the Print Screen and Pause keys) to start recording. The keyboard has 64kb of onboard memory, so you can plug it into any computer, and it will remember your custom lighting without having to install software. Super cool. Other than your brightness controls, custom profiles, and backlighting modes, there are many other shortcut keys on the top row. You'll find all of your volume adjustment and media keys from F1-F7, and on the right side you'll find a dedicated calculator key, a Windows Explorer key, a Default Email App key, and a Default Web Browser key. There are also four dip switches on the underside of the keyboard which change key layouts and functions.
  • DIP 1 swaps left Ctrl and Caps Lock.
  • DIP 2 swaps left Alt and left Windows key for Mac users.
  • DIP 3 disables Windows key.
  • DIP 4 enables N-key Rollover over USB (otherwise it's 6-key rollover).

Now let's talk about the cons — which were clearly fabricated from my innate attention to detail. Seriously, these don't matter; just buy this keyboard.

The Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock keys stay at the highest brightness level at all times. It would be nice if they were just one brightness level higher than your chosen setting, so it doesn't overpower the rest of the backlighting. The backlighting can be **very** bright if you want it to be.

I suppose they were starting to run out of keys to add more shortcuts and functions, but personally, I like the layout of the shortcut keys much better on the Ducky Zero DK2108, which has only the volume and calculator shortcut keys above the keypad. You would miss out on Windows Explorer, Email, and Web Browser; but I don't use those keys as often as I use the volume adjustment. I'm used to pressing Win + E for Explorer already, and I rarely close my web browser to have to open it again.

The Windows key lock is a tiny dip switch on the underside of the keyboard instead of a shortcut key, which makes it very inconvenient to reach if you use that feature often.

Fingerprints gather on the space bar and other larger keys because the texture of the keycaps (ABS) is surprisingly smooth. It feels great, but the fingerprints are a little disconcerting. So there you have it, my review is complete. Thanks for reading; I hope you've enjoyed it enough to share it with your friends. Try to get them to switch to a mechanical keyboard! ##Note: I have done custom white balancing on my camera to try to achieve the most accurate color. Still, my camera cannot seem to pick up the bright green LEDs accurately. Be assured, it looks much cooler in person.

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Nathaniel Hirschler Avatar
By Nathaniel Hirschler

I started Rhinofeed in 2011 as a way to share my various hobbies with the internet. I hope you enjoy reading my articles and watching my videos as much as I have enjoyed sharing them!
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