HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini keyboard review: The most ambitious crossover in gaming keyboard history
- Snazzy size
- Customisable keycaps
- Zero software integration
- Lack of arrow keys is sometimes troublesome
If you’re already indoctrinated into the hobby-grade keyboards of Ducky or accustomed to the performance allowed for by HyperX’s own switches, there’s something for you here.
Price$ 209.00 (AUD)
HyperX has never really bought into the idea that bigger keyboards are always better. With the rare exception that proves the rule, they’ve approached peripheral design with a fairly spartan mindset. Even if you splurge on their most extravagant gaming keyboard, you’re still gonna end up with a fairly minimalist piece of hardware.
Their latest effort pushes that notion towards minimalism further than ever before.
In ways both big and small (but mostly small), the new HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini is pitched as a collaboration between the two brands with Ducky bringing the basic design and HyperX supplying the switches. Even if the sum of those parts is somewhat predictable, the results are fun and consistent enough to appeal to both home crowds.
If you’re already indoctrinated into the boutique keyboards of Ducky or accustomed to the performance allowed for by HyperX’s own switches, there’s something for you here.
Dimensions: 302 x 108 x 40 mm
Switches: HyperX Red Switches
Price when reviewed
In Australia, you can buy the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini keyboard for an RRP of AU$209 through PC Case Gear.
Design & Performance
Even compared the brand’s prior tenkeyless efforts, the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini (they’ve got to find a better name for this thing) is positively tiny. As opposed to some of HyperX’s other keyboards, it’s got a more plasticky vibe that extends across both the frame and keycaps. For the most part, the co-op keyboard feels like more of a Ducky product than it does a HyperX one - which makes sense given it is ultimately a retooled Ducky One 2 Mini. It doesn’t come across as rigid and durable in the way that the Alloy FPS does, for instance.
Still, as far as HyperX keyboards go, the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini (again, someone’s gotta find a shorthand for this keyboard) gets the most important thing right. It’s completely compatible with other Ducky keycaps.
Adding to that extra dimension of customisation, the keyboard also supports up to six on-board profiles and the creation of macros without any dedicated software. This will either work for or against you, depending on the kind of person you are. The absence of a GUI makes the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini feel like guesswork to configure but it’s nice not having to install any extra software just because you want to use a keyboard this small.
There are two legs on the bottom of the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini that can be used to tilt the hardware upright and a USB Type-C cable that’s used to connect the keyboard to your PC. Otherwise, this thing is as feature-sparse fas gaming keyboards come. There aren’t even any arrow keys on it.
This specific absence did occasionally prove vexing in the context of writing emails or editing copy, the amount of free space that the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini freed up on my desk made it an instantly appealing option. All of a sudden, my desk didn’t feel nearly so crowded.
As far as RGB illumination goes, the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini is vivid and lively enough to look at. You’re not getting the kind of light show you’d find in other, larger or brighter keyboards but I wouldn’t say the spectacle here is particularly dim either. Toggling the settings on this feature is a little bit clunky, since it relies entirely on multi-key shortcuts. It would be nice if this integrated in some way with HyperX’s Ngenuity software.
The Bottom Line
The HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini is a limited run product so, if you’re gonna buy one, best act on that impulse sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, I hope the spirit of this product finds its way into a more permanent spot on the HyperX roster. The name sucks and the smaller form-factor here isn’t going to be for everyone but the ability to kit this thing out with Ducky keycaps makes it a treat to tinker with.
HyperX are often guilty of covering the same bases over and over again but their latest collaboration yields fresh results and lets them tap into a kind of keyboard experience that neither they nor their many rivals are offering.
If the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini is a little too small for you, check out our guide to the best gaming keyboard here for a few other choices.
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