Ducky One 3 review – Fuji TKL gaming keyboard edition

You’d suppose it’d be troublesome for a devoted gaming keyboard maker like Ducky to face out in opposition to behemoths like Razer, Corsair, and Logitech, however right here we’re, and the Ducky One 3 is a sight to behold – particularly the Fuji TKL version. It’s constructed like a brick, however its color palette seems as elegant because the cherry blossoms in spring, and it presents a complete lot of worth in its price ticket.

The smartest thing in regards to the Ducky One 3 is its customisability. You can select from a bunch of various sizes, together with the complete whack, TKL with out the numpad, SF (65%), and a Mini 60% mannequin that forgoes the arrow keys. There’s the mechanical switches beneath, which vary from Cherry MX Speed Silver to MX Silent. And there’s a ton of eye-catching colourways to fit your setup.

You may stick together with your lavatory normal backlit black when you fancy, however when you don’t thoughts sacrificing the RGB LEDs, there are an excellent few designs on provide. Daybreak is a superb deep blue with gray and yellow tones; Matcha blends a pastel inexperienced with a cream backdrop; and the mannequin we’re testing immediately, Fuji combines pinks with navy blue. Sure, the shortage of lights may flip some away and it’s good to have the choice, however I’d argue something extra can be overkill.

While the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 and Corsair K65 RGB make a acutely aware effort to chuck in a customized spacebar to string your setup collectively, the eye to element on the Ducky One 3 Fuji TKL is next-level. The legend on every doubleshot PBT keycap compliments the color of the important thing itself, the two-tone physique with an additional vast bezel provides a neo-retro flare, and the default association is past satisfying to take a look at.

Image credit score: PCGamesN

Pros Cons
  • Beautiful colourway
  • Smooth typing expertise
  • Sturdy construct
  • Themed doubleshot PBT keycaps
  • LED indicators are distractingly brilliant
  • No software program
  • No RGB backlighting
  • DIP change and a few shortcuts don’t work

If you’re not proud of the color format straight out of the field, there’s an additional set of scorching pink keys, a navy enter key, and a customized rounded keycap with the Ducky emblem so you possibly can actually make this your individual. Usually, you solely get these form of high quality keycaps if you go for a customized set or go artisan, which might simply push the worth of your gaming keyboard into eye-watering territory.

You often solely get this degree of keycap high quality in customized or artisan choices

Every inch of this keyboard is themed to actually full the look, together with the blue underbelly, the pink USB-C to USB-A wire you possibly can feed by the left, proper, or centre utilizing the cable routing system, and the two-step pink ft that may alter between totally different heights. I choose a steep incline and virtually at all times default to the best I can prop a keyboard up, however it’s good to have the choice for a shallower carry.

For a quick second after unboxing, I truly mistook the Ducky One 3 TKL for its full sized cousin, partly as a result of I’d grown accustomed to the petite Mountain Everest 60, however primarily as a result of it seems like a little bit of a chonk. It’s truly greater than 4% lighter than the Ducky One 2 TKL sequence at 908g, however it feels weighty and its protruding bezels give the phantasm that it’s bigger than it’s. It won’t be as hefty as its predecessor, however it received’t slide round your gaming desk simply, because of robust rubberised ft that hold it in place.

Ducky One 3 review - the caps lock and scroll lock indicator lights shine brightlyImage credit score: PCGamesN – and sure, this actually is unedited

My greatest gripe in regards to the design is the LED indicators that signpost when your caps lock and scroll lock keys are energetic. You may suppose I’m exaggerating once I say they’re as brilliant because the solar, however no matter hyperbole, utilizing caps lock as my Discord push-to-talk button makes for an enormous distraction throughout firefights in Rainbow Six Siege. It’s virtually as if the enemy is signalling morse code for me to give up. I is perhaps formidable in explaining away my aggressively common Ok/D with a pair of LEDs, however they definitely rubbed salt within the wound once I’m watching the killcam partially blind.

I’d be misplaced with out the caps lock LED, however does it must be as brilliant because the solar?

On one hand, I reward the shortage of software program making this a very plug-and-play system with none bloat, however this additionally means there’s no solution to flip these lights off. You merely must suck it up and get used to it or danger ruining the aesthetic with some tape. Of course, your mileage could differ with totally different keybinds and it won’t trouble you as a lot, however Ducky may stop it completely if it simply dialled it down a notch.

Without software program, you’re additionally on the mercy of on-board controls to profit from your keyboard. There’s the return of six totally different profiles, 5 of that are customisable, however you’ll have a ton of key mixtures to be taught with a view to form macros the way you need them. Some default shortcuts don’t even work, resembling locking the Windows key, whether or not you’re following the directions or attempting to make use of the DIP change on the rear. In truth, the DIP change was merely ornamental for me, which is perhaps a firmware challenge. Sadly, the firmware updater wouldn’t play ball, both. Needless to say, it’s about time Ducky unveiled software program to make this course of simpler.

Ducky One 3 review - hot swappable Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches have been removed from the gaming keyboardImage credit score: PCGamesN

Typing on the Ducky One 3 Fuji TKL is a dream. It’s not simply in regards to the Cherry MX Browns that I’m loads used to from earlier fashions, however the ergonomics, high quality of the construct, and considerate design components that each one make this a super work keyboard. The new silicon layer between the plate and PCB and EVA foam base, which Ducky dubs its ‘Quack mechanics’, makes it really feel such as you’re clicking a cloud with no undesirable sound, simply satisfying clacks. The solely exception is the area bar, which is considerably thunkier than the remainder of the keys and could possibly be bothersome to heavy typists or these round you in an workplace.

Hot-swappable switches imply the Ducky One 3 will final far longer than most different mechanical gaming keyboards

Another improve over the Ducky One 2 sequence is the inclusion of scorching swappable switches. It might sound slightly fiddly at first, however Ducky arms you with all the things you want and it definitely will get simpler essentially the most you do it – offered you don’t lose the keycap and change pullers. It’s removed from the primary to allow you to change between totally different switches, however it’s a welcome overhaul that’ll make the Ducky One 3 TKL final far longer than most keyboards available on the market. Break a stem? Temporarily change it with a change from a key you don’t use all that a lot whilst you wait for brand spanking new switches to reach, which is much cheaper than forking out for a whole new board.

The Ducky One 3 TKL Fuji TKL packs an enormous punch for its $122 / £130 price ticket. While its lack of software program means it isn’t as practical because the likes of the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL, the price is offset by the very good themed PBT keycaps that’d in any other case take one other huge chew out of your checking account and hot-swappable switches that always come at an added premium. There are minor design flaws that drag it down and it could possibly be extra intuitive in its strategy to profiles and shortcuts, however when one thing seems this good for simply over $100, it’s laborious to argue that it’s a discount.

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