Before reading this review, please note that production of the Ducky Mini has been stopped and there are no more available to buy unless you are lucky enough to get one second hand. If you are looking for something similar to the Ducky Mini, KBT Poker 2 has an almost identical design and comes with the choice of blue or green backlit keys.
Now on to the review!
Keyboards come in many sizes. There is the full blown layout (100%) that includes a number pad, home keys, and normal sized keyboard layout, plus the added F-keys above. Then, below that, is a 80% keyboard that doesn’t include the number pad, but still includes the home keys. After that, there is a 70% keyboard that doesn’t lose the home keys, but retains them in a different position, usually lined up on the outside of the main keyboard area. And finally, there is the 60% keyboard, which loses all the fluff, and you’re left with just the main keys. There aren’t that many 60% keyboards around, so when Ducky announced they were going to produce one, people got a bit excited. Previously there was only a couple that were available, being the KBT/Vortex Poker and the Happy Hacking Keyboard.
The Ducky Mini is a 60% size keyboard collaboration between Vortex and Ducky and was finished in September with a run of only 600 being produced. It’s body and shape/size is a Poker2 and a Poker case, which makes it readily moddable, with many cases available . The Ducky Mini is the 1st ever commercially available 60% mechanical ISO keyboard. There was only one production run and came only in ISO Nordic layout. Options were the main four MX Cherry switches; red, black, brown and blue. Backlighting was either white or purple. The option I went for was the MX Browns with white backlighting.
When unboxing I was greeted with a quick start manual, the Mini USB to USB cable, and the Ducky Mini itself, wrapped in opaque cellophane wrapping. I was amazed at the weight of this thing. Nowhere near as heavy as my Filco, but it felt weighty and well built. The ABS caps feel great and the letters are defined well without the backlight. The keyboard doesn’t include extendable legs, but offers small rubber feet pads instead. Because of it’s portability and lack of extra keys, the Ducky Mini has an extra FN layer that is accessible through the FN key (FN+W is up) or you can toggle the layer using FN+SPACE. The FN layer includes all the keys you are missing; Arrow keys, F-keys, Home keys, among others. All these extra keys are printed on the front side of the keycaps. The backlight has 7 settings so can be very subtle or very bright, or off completely, depending on your needs.
Using the keyboard is a joy and is really easy to get used to. It can’t be a little annoying when using the Arrow keys a lot, but you can easily get used to this or switch the layer completely. I ordered mine from Teraset and had a slight issue when I first recieved the product (the outer casing was warped so the keyboard wobbled when typing) but they were excellent at customer service and sent a brand new case in the mail the same day I brought up the problem, no questions asked (although I did send them a video for peace of mind.)
All in all i’m extremely happy with the Ducky, and use it every day. My Filco has been demoted to my work keyboard sadly.