Ducky Shine 3 – Mechanical Keyboard Review
Ducky are now a well-known brand in the now saturated mechanical keyboard market, but despite only arriving to UK shores early last year, Ducky have gone on to become one of CCL’s most popular keyboard brands and with new models released this year, and even newer models expected in the next month they are showing no signs of slowing down.
Today I am going to be looking at this year’s model, the full size Ducky Shine 3, which is the 3rd iteration of their flagship keyboard and comes packed with lots of interesting features.
Ducky Channel International Co. was established in 1998, the initial goal of operation strategies targeted at the agent and distributor of computer peripherals. What we were agents for are now most of the world’s leading manufacturers of computer peripheral products, such as Japan EIZO high-quality screen. Years of hard work has contributed to Ducky’s foundation of its own brand in 2008 and helped it become one of Taiwan’s top manufacturers. It has committed itself to delivering high-standard professional mechanical keyboards, and insisted to offer items with the best quality. Moreover, it keeps on developing new products from the old ones. So far, we have promoted our products internationally, and have partners in many countries.
USB Interface with 1000Hz polling rate.
Dual layer PCB for extra durability.
Removable mini USB with dual sided routing.
Backlit illuminated keys with multiple lighting modes.
Laser etched keycaps with dual coating.
Multiple function DIP switch.
USB N-key Rollover.
Adjustable brightness and repeat rate.
|Switch Type||CHERRY MX Red|
|LED Colour||Red LED|
|Interface||Detachable Mini USB Cable|
|Keycap Type||ABS UV coated, laser etched|
|Lighting Modes||7 (Including off)|
|Lighting Effects||Full (100%), Breathing, Wave Marquee, Snake Marquee, Reactive Mode, Ripple Mode and Two User Defined|
|Multimedia Keys||Mute, Volume Up, Volume Down|
|USB Acceleration||Adjustable USB repeat delay time and USB repeat rate|
|DIP Switch Instructions||Windows Key LockCtrl and Capslock SwapWindows Key and Alt Swap
Ducky Keyboard, Dust Cover, USB Cable, Keycap puller, red WASD keycaps, User Manual
Ducky sends the Shine 3 in a fairly plain looking black box, which features an embossed silver Ducky logo and the Shine 3 model on the front of the box.
The rear of the shows off some of the updated features such as the adjustable RGB LEDs under the space bar, a new snake lighting mode, the upgraded and adjustable reactive lighting mode, as well as the new adjustable repeat delay rate functions and the return of the adjustable repeat rate.
The packaging of the Shine 3 is a bit more robust than previous models, due to the included accessories. The keyboard itself is sectioned and housed within its own corrugated box and the division on the left is where all the accessories of the Ducky are located.
Opening the box within a box, you get your first glimpse of the keyboard itself which is provided and fitted with a protective cover which helps to stop your keyboard from getting dusty; it also offers some protection from the rigors of transit.
The keyboard comes with a few accessories, namely replacement WASD caps, a Key Puller which allows you to change said keycaps, a gold plated mini USB cable, a warranty card for Taiwan, the User Manual, a business card pointing you over to the Ducky UK Facebook Page (go like it) and lastly a replacement spacebar which you can use to replace the Year of the Snake version originally fitted – I personally prefer the snake one.
You will notice that the keyboard itself – apart from the space bar – does make it look rather plain, especially when you compare it to some of the crazier keyboards available, but this is standard from Ducky and all models have a discreet appearance if the LEDs are left switched off.
Ducky like to keep things simple because of this no software is given or needed with their keyboards, with all the features being handled by the keyboard itself, either by the DIP Switches underneath, or by Fn+Key Combos. Ducky keyboards also eschew macro keys so the need for macro software is also negated.
The Shine 3 does have one feature other keyboards do lack, which is lots of lighting modes. One of these is the ability to record two different customised lighting modes (storing them in the keyboards memory); in practice this means that you can have only the keys needed for that game to be lit up, which can be a useful feature for gamers.
The other light mode of note is the reactive typing one, which has been improved for the Shine 3 model as you can adjust the speed of the transition, which if you type fast can leave extremely nice trails as you navigate your fingers across the board – this one would be a bit hard to show in a picture so what we are going to do is let the video links below show everything..
As you will also see, the Ducky Shine 3 also has another interesting feature, one I hope they will be able to implement in upcoming keyboards. Under the spacebar there are two RGB LEDs and using FN+ (Insert/Home/PgUp) you are able to scroll through a near full spectrum of available colours. You can also save nine pre-set colours into the respective numbers on the number pad, and recall them with ease.
As previously mentioned on the Ducky Shine 3 you can also adjust the delay repeat rate and repeat rate of the keyboard, which means that you can shorten the time before the keyboard starts repeating a letter after pressing and how quickly the keyboard repeats that key press, again this is quite hard to show in pictures, so we will show you in the form of interpretive dance – Just kidding we will once again let the Ducky Channel video below show you.
Underneath the keyboard are 4 DIP Switches, which control the button swap features of the keyboard as well as the ability to set the keyboard into a Demo Mode, but the other keys can change the positions of the Left Control and Caps Lock, or the Alt Key and the Windows Key, Dip Switch 3 can also be turned on to disable the Windows Key, which is useful in games to stop you accidentally pressing it.
On my normal work keyboard I use Cherry MX Black keys, but the Ducky I am reviewing uses the lighter Cherry MX Red switches this slight change I found quite annoying and it did lead to one or two errors whilst typing, but after a short period of getting accustomed to the keyboard all was well again. Cherry Red switches are not what I would normally use for day to day use, I would have preferred one of the other switches such as Blue, Brown or Black because these either have a tactile feel or have more resistance which I am used to typing with.
After this I moved onto using the keyboard in games, which is where it seemed more at home, I decided to use the keyboard in the games that I had available, but I started with my favourite FPS games as the keyboard lent itself to that type of game. I started with Counter Strike:Global Offensive and then Battlefield 3 I am pleased to say it handled these with aplomb although again coming from Cherry Blacks did cause me to bottom out the keys quite often which meant that playing on this keyboard was quite a loud experience, although when using a headset this wasn’t much of an issue to me – but it did annoy people in the office.
I then moved onto They Bleed Pixels and Super Meat Boy which often require quick keyboard controls and in later levels can be extremely hard but once again the Ducky Shine 3 had no issues here and all key presses were painstakingly recreated at much amusement as the character deaths piled up with much blood being spread through the levels.
Ducky, who only a year ago were a relative unknown on UK soil are already known for their quality keyboards and the Shine 3 doesn’t disappoint, retaining the simple and clean looks the Shine series is lauded for, the Shine 3 has improved upon this archetype brilliantly.
If I could be negative it would only be a personal gripe the switch type and backlight I sampled, but as Ducky are able to provide Shine 3 with all four major switch types and an accompaniment of different backlight colours there is bound to be a keyboard to suit you.