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Ducky One 2 RGB: Razer Edition Mechanical Keyboard Review

By Christopher Coke on June 17, 2019 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

Ducky One 2 RGB: Razer Edition Mechanical Keyboard Review

Ducky has earned quite a name for itself in the gaming world, finally breaking out into the mainstream after being adopted by eSports starts like Tfue. Two weeks ago, we were surprised to find that Razer is actually partnering with Ducky on a special Razer Edition of the One 2 RGB! It’s coming soon to the United States and looks to be the hands-down best value gaming keyboard you can buy. This is our full review.

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Specifications

  • Current Price: $109 (Coming Soon)
  • Key Switches: Razer Green
    • Switch Feel: Tactile and Clicky
    • Actuation Force: 50G
    • Travel Distance: 4.0mm
    • Actuation Point: 1.9mm
    • Actuation vs Reset Point: 0.4mm
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Keycap material: ABS or PBT
  • Simultaneous key input: USB N-Key Rollover (NKRO)
  • Illumination: Full RGB, Synapse Compatible
  • Legend printing: Double-Shot or Laser Engraved
  • Programmable: Yes, illumination and macro (Ducky Macro 2.0)

If you read our review of the One 2 Mini, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect here. The One 2 RGB is a full-size version of that same keyboard, so you can be confident that if you liked something about that board, the One 2 RGB Razer Edition has it too. Thanks to the partnership with Razer, this version of the One 2 has one of the most distinctive appearances I’ve seen in a keyboard and guaranteed to give your setup a unique flair.

That said, I won’t make you read the whole review for the big takeaway. The thing you need to know about the Ducky One 2 RGB: Razer Edition is this: at only $109, this keyboard is better built, more fully featured, and feels better to use than virtually any gaming keyboard you’ll find for less than $200. It is amazing to me that they’re only charging $109 for this keyboard while offering so much, especially since the normal One 2 RGB is $129. If you get the chance to pick up this keyboard, do it. I’ve used everything else; this is better.

As you can tell from the picture above, the One 2: Razer Edition is a great looking keyboard. Like all One 2s, it comes with a selection of alternate keycaps to add some color flair and they’ve opted for a bright green to match Razer’s branding. All of the keycaps are also very high quality and made from thick PBT plastic. The keycaps are all doubleshot so you’ll never have to worry about the legends fading away.

If you’ve never used PBT before, you’re in for a treat. The most popular benefit is that they prevent your keys from getting shiny over time, but what a lot of reviewers fail to mention is how much better they feel to type on. PBT is a denser plastic (ABS floats, PBT sinks) and the thicker walls making typing feel more solid. It’s difficult to describe the sensation but it truly feels like you’re typing on a higher quality tool.

Underneath the keycaps, you have Razer’s clicky Green switches. They’re styled similar to Kailh BOX switches, if you’re familiar with those. Compared to a Cherry MX Blue, you’ll notice the distinctive side walls on the stem. These make the keys more stable and reduce wobble while also cutting down on key noise when you move your fingers across the caps. The switches themselves also have a louder click and bigger tactile bump so you can really feel when you hit that actuation point.

There is flair all across this keyboard. It ships with the Year of the Pig spacebar installed. It’s a focal point for the keyboard’s lighting and looks great. Like the green keycaps, if this isn’t your style, there’s also a solid black PBT spacebar included in the box.

The keyboard also does away with the floating key design seen on many other keyboards and includes a top plate. This keeps the light nicely isolated from the back and sides. Ducky has included a white plate under the key set, though, so when viewed from above you get a beautiful bed of flowing light that is fully customizable with or without software.

The underside of the board it also a bright green. I have to admit to worrying I wouldn’t like the bright coloring but when viewed from the side, it really makes for a striking accent without being overbearing (you’ll rarely ever have it flipped like the above picture. Instead, you have something closer to this:

The green really does look great with the black plastic top plate and RGB illumination. The underside also features a USB Type-C connector to support the detachable cable, so if a wire ever breaks, you won’t be stuck buying a whole new keyboard.

The other big selling point of this keyboard is just how programmable it is. Using key combinations, you can quickly remap virtually every key or set its custom lighting. This is what I wrote in my review of the One 2 Mini:

In fact, it’s fair to say that this keyboard does substantially more than your average gaming keyboard, all while keeping software completely optional. All but a few important keys (like Fn) can be programmed to send macros or even shortcuts like opening your email, Windows Search, or changing your playlist. The One 2 Mini even offers mouse control and left, right, and middle click, as well as media keys for controlling volume. Using the DIP switches on the back, you can move the Fn key along the bottom row until it’s most comfortable for you or swap it with the Caps Lock like several popular coding keyboards.

The on-board customization doesn’t stop there, as you can also control all of your lighting, including programming custom lighting schemes. This is done using a built-in RGB mixer set as a second layer to Z, X, and C.  If you’d rather not bother, you can choose from nine different preset lighting effects, including your standard rainbow, but also some cool presets like raindrops and radar mode, as well as the classics like ripple and breathe.

All of that is true here, including compatibility with Razer Synapse 3. The way this integrates is a little  different than you might expect, however. The Ducky One 2 RGB doesn’t can’t be customized with the Razer Synapse software - at least in my testing - but Synapse can send game specific lighting effects through to it, which is a cool effect, especially if you have other Razer of Hue peripherals/lighting.

The one thing I wish is that the keys had side legends to show secondary functions. Unlike the One 2 Mini, there are no secondary legends at all, which forced me to keep the manual on hand.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, what we really have here is an enthusiast level keyboard packed with onboard features you would usually need software for (it’s available as an option), a great keycap set, unique looks, and tons of programmability for half of what you would expect to pay. What you sacrifice is… an aluminum top plate? Since there’s a steel one inside, that doesn’t feel like much of a sacrifice at all. At $109, this keyboard is a better value than virtually anything I’ve seen from keyboards this year. The release date is TBD but if black and green appeals to you, this should absolutely be on your radar.

Pros

  • Unique and very cool aesthetic
  • Fully customizable lighting and macro programming with or without software
  • Doubleshot PBT keycaps
  • Detachable USB-C cable
  • Dedicated media controls
  • Great key feel, so long as you like clicky switches
  • Razer Synapse compatible
  • Excellent value for the price

Cons

  • No side legends on the keycaps

The product described in this review was provided by Razer for evaluation purposes.

Christopher Coke / Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight