Input Devices Guide

Ducky DK-9008 Shine review

Ducky DK-9008 Shine Mechanical Keyboard - Glow in the Dark Duck

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Overall rating 9/10
Design:
8
Features:
9
Performance:
9
Value:
8
THE GOOD
Cherry MX Black - gamer friendly
Good construction
Useful media and shortcut keys
Key rollover: 6 (USB), full (PS/2)
THE BAD
Expensive


Performance & Conclusion

Usage & Performance

If you’re new to mechanical keyboards, one thing you’d notice when you take out the Ducky DK-9008 Shine from the box is its heft; it weighs a good 1.2kg. There’s no extraneous space around its frame, so this is about as small as you can get for a full-sized keyboard. Construction is solid too, with little to no flex. The 1.5m USB cable is detachable, which makes the keyboard that little bit easier to bring out and about. The smooth matte finish of the keys is fairly resistant to fingerprints; but if your fingers were oily, they would still collect a shiny sheen, though that’s easily remedied with a wipe using a damp cloth.

Despite having several media control keys, backlight function keys and program shortcut keys, there’s no software to install; it’s solely a plug-and-play affair. The blue LEDs have five levels of brightness, though we seldom needed to go beyond level 2. The Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock keys use green LEDs and their brightness cannot be adjusted. You also can’t adjust the intensity of the blue LEDs for the four shortcut keys above the numeric keypad (not that there’s a need to).

Key rollover is the ability of the keyboard to recognize multiple key presses at once. Over USB, the DK-9008 Shine supports 6-key rollover (6KRO) plus modifier keys such as the Shift, Ctrl, Win and Alt keys. Full n-key rollover (NKRO) – this means you can press as many keys as you like and they’d all register – is achieved using a PS/2 adapter. That being said, I find 6KRO to be sufficient most of the time, since I rarely air-strafe, activate the comms, check the scores, toss a grenade and...(you get the idea) all at once.

While many professional gamers swear by their Cherry MX Black switches-fitted keyboards, I'm not going on record to say that this is the best switch type for gaming. It really boils down to individual preference. The kind of games you play should be taken into consideration as well. While many FPS (first-person shooter) players prefer the linear Black switches for their stiffness and lack of a tactile bump, many RTS (real-time strategy) players instead find the lighter Brown switches less stressful on the fingers during a prolonged gameplay and more assuring due to the tactile response.

Coming from a keyboard that uses Blue switches (widely accepted to be ideal for typing), I perceived improved gaming performance when switching to the DK-9008 Shine. At the very least, I was able to double tap much faster. On the other hand, since I’m so used to the tactile feedback of the Blue switches, I always feel awkward typing on any keyboard using Black switches. In addition, I don’t find the DK-9008 Shine with the Black switches to sound loud in use, though it certainly is louder than keyboards using rubber domes. Be warned though, using a mechanical keyboard in the office can irritate your nearby colleagues to no end; using it at home or at a LAN party is another matter.


Conclusion

All in all, the Ducky DK-9008 is a well thought-out, nicely constructed, and performing mechanical keyboard that justifies its S$169 price tag. It’s slated to arrive in Singapore at the end of August. Hydra Distribution is the sole official distributor here for the Ducky keyboards; Bell Systems Electronics in Sim Lim Square is the exclusive retailer. And don’t worry if you’re not a fan of the Cherry MX Black switches, we're told that DK-9008 Shine with Brown and Blue switches are coming too. In October/November, there would also be a version with Red switches. Quack, quack!