Minimalist gaming keyboards have been the buzz of 2020. HyperX started this trend of tenkeyless keyboards earlier this year by partnering with Ducky for the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini keyboard. This 60% form factor allowed for a smaller keyboard that would double up keys as function keys. It doesn’t just eliminate the number pad, but also the arrow keys and insert/delete functions that are traditionally housed next to the keypad. This is complete with full RGB lighting options and a good bit more.
The HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini has gotten a second release that’s once again limited. This release will offer only 6,500 units. The Ducky offers red linear HyperX mechanical switches, which sits between a clicky and tactile switch. The focus on the red linear switches is for speed and actuation. There’s no physical feedback as each keystroke comes off as somewhat flat. Switch choices all come down to the player’s preference, but the linear switches won’t provide a spring-like feedback or any type of sensation when pressed. It’s just a quick and quiet direct hit. These switches are rated at 80 million clicks, so the focus on longevity is included.
The look of the Ducky features a slick black colorway that allows the RGB lighting to shine through. The keycaps that are included on this are the Ducky PBT Double-Shot Keycaps that enhance the RGB through the fonts. Lighting also illuminates through the crevices. Each keycap has a secondary function and there’s a good amount here. You can actually replicate mouse movements by using and also create macros on the fly without the use of software with Ducky 2.0 Macro support. The keys to record are also mapped as secondary functions. Players can save up to six profiles on the keyboard. Brightness and volume can also be adjusted via the keyboard. The Ducky supports the HyperX NGENUITY software for lighting options, but a good bit of what can be done on this keyboard is directly mapped to the function keys. The biggest issue I have with this keyboard coincides with the function keys.
Due to the black colorway, unless there’s good lighting, it’s hard to see the secondary function options. The RGB does not illuminate through the fonts. HyperX has included replacement keys including a space bar that can change the look of the keyboard. The space bar does have transparent fonts that allow lighting to come through when you insert the replacement. The arrow keys also sit up high and having only one function key on the bottom right of the keyboard will make the player require a change to their keyboard strategy. Lastly, as with all minimalist keyboards, certain general commands will require the player to additionally hit the function key. This includes ctrl-alt-del, since the delete key is mapped as a secondary to the backspace key.
The main aspect besides the longevity and overall look of the Ducky is portability. This is most likely the purpose of going with a 60% form factor and the keyboard also includes a detachable usb-c cable with three different keyboard angles it can be placed at. The keyboard is light, but weighted enough in the center to maintain its position while using.
The HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini keyboard is purely focused on providing an advanced experience for players. The RGB stands out as light reflect all of the black colorway to create a sleek yet vibrant design. I just wish the function keys were more visible. I’m not sure if having the RGB illuminate through these would have affected the look or cause an issue, but it’s a bigger issue in a dark room. The ability to create macros is something advanced users will surely enjoy. It also sits at a solid price point of $109.99, if you’re able to grab one of the newly-announced 6,500. Hopefully, HyperX will offer different mechanical switch options in the future. If you prefer a red linear switch and are in the market for the smaller form factor keyboards with some customization options, however, then the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini will perfectly fit that bill.