Hi guys. My NZXT x Ducky Shine 3 in white is finally here
I’ve been living with it for a few days and wanted to write up my thoughts about it and share some pictures.Perspective
I’m coming from the perspective of living with and loving “chiclet” style keyboards for the last ~6 years. It started with me preferring the keyboard in my MacBook to using an Apple aluminum wired keyboard for all my PC use, including extended typing and gaming. I enjoyed the very shallow key depth. Due to wanting a little variety and using a few different mechanical keyboards in person (Monoprice with Blues, CM QuickFire with Reds, a Corsair model with Reds) I decided it might be good to have one of my own. When I saw one that didn’t scream “l33t gamer” in the form the white on white Ducky/NZXT collab, I decided I found the right one for me.Choice
For me, it was actually a close tie between this model and the Filco White Majestouch-2 (I was stuck on white
). I’ve never used a Filco personally, but from what research I’ve done, the general consensus is that the Filco is a little higher quality, with sturdier stabilizers. For me personally, generally speaking, I tend to go in the direction of boring-but-reliable vs flashy, assuming all other stats are the same. However, there were a few key differences that led to Ducky winning out:
- The Ducky is *actually* white. Firsthand reports with the Filco have described the “white” model as being closer to an offwhite or beige. Maybe I’m just being a stickler but that was a pretty big one for me.
- The Ducky allows the Win/Alt keys to be reversed. Since I go back and forth between OS X and Windows, this was important to me as well, because Apple reverses their meta and alt keys from the way PC keyboards generally come.
- Finally, and most pleasingly, was the capslock indicator light. On the Filco, when you strike Caps, a red LED illuminates in the upper right (near the funky looking silver logo, I might add). On the Ducky, the text “Caps” on the capslock key illuminates! That’s perfect! Not a red LED on another part of the board, not a weird green dot on the key like the Apple keyboards, but the actual lettering on the key, in white. So so good.
I also appreciate the lack of branding on the Ducky vs the Filco. The only logos present are on the meta key, which is entirely acceptable. I will probably be looking for vendor- or OS-agnostic replacement keycaps for these keys sometime soon.
The fact that this keyboard is backlit is actually fairly insignificant to me. I will be using this keyboard with the backlight nearly exclusively disabled, with the exception of the Capslock, NumLk and ScrLck modifier keys. The flashy effects were fun to play with, but they’re just a parlor trick to me
But if that’s what I gotta buy to have a Caps key that illuminates directly, so be it!Positives
The first thing that struck me about this keyboard was the weight. Coming from my Apple wired keyboard, this thing is like a tank, in a good way. I’d liken the difference as such: My Apple keyboard was like a Honda. Nothing unnecessary, small, lightweight, and razor-efficient. Racing shocks. This Ducky is like a Mercedes: large, heavy, yet luxurious. The pleasure is in the ride. They both have their benefits but I prefer the Ducky overall. The plastic used in this keyboard is very high quality. I have a pair of Rokit speakers, and the feel of the keyboard, especially the base around the keys, is similar to the plastic on the front of those monitors, which I regard as very pleasing. Build quality is not a concern.
Deskfeel is excellent. I have say that this is the best keyboard I’ve ever used. The love for Cherry switches is justified. Objectively speaking, it is a higher quality than my Apple aluminum keyboard (gasp). I don’t have any other mechanical keyboards with me to test, but the aforementioned brands also lack, to me, when compared to the Ducky.
I have read some complaints online about the stabilizers used in the Ducky keyboards vs. other brands. Again, I don’t spend a lot of time online geeking about keyboards, I just want a straightforward, high quality keyboard. There is nothing wrong with the key stabilizers that are used here, in my opinion. They are perfect. If you’re on the fence like I was, really, don’t worry about it.Negatives
The issues I have with this keyboard are few, and they do not affect me personally very much. The most glaring is probably the backlight inconsistency. Simply due to the position of the LED against the underside of the keycap, the illumination does not reach the entire key consistently. It’s most noticeable on keys with prints that extend to the bottom of the keycap, on the right side:
Again, personally, I’m going to have the backlight disabled 99% of the time, so I don’t really care about this. However, the one that I *do* use with any regularity, the Caps key, exhibits this same issue, although to a much lesser degree:
The effect is slightly worse in person. Still, nothing horrible. But it would be nice to see a version where the backlight is even across the key, if you really
want to drive home build quality.
Also, the actual color of the LED is a very bright blue. It would be great to see the light closure to pure white.
The DIP switch on the back is tiny and a little fiddly. Again, I’m only going to be interacting with this rarely, and it’s better than not having it at all, but I can’t help but feel that the method of interacting with the switch is unfinished.
Also, I wish it came with a white cord, or Ducky offered one for sale.Consensus