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2020-08-22

The Ducky One 2 SF

I fell for the mechanical keyboard meme

Thanks to the pandemic yada yada I’ve been working from home (and attending college from home), and I figured my WFH setup could use an upgrade. Unfortunately, the choices for mechanical keyboards in India are fairly limited. All imports from China don’t get through, and imports from elsewhere have a fat duty slapped on it—sometimes up to 300%1. It’s obscene!

The only reliable source I’ve found (and folks on r/mkindia will concur), is Meckeys. They aren’t particularly abundant in variety, but there’s some decent prebuilts that you can pick up on there—and I copped the Ducky One 2 SF.

Ducky One 2 SF side view

It’s a 65% board, so unlike standard 60% boards, this comes with arrow keys and the Del, PgUp and PgDn keys. I don’t really need the arrow keys, but they do come handy on the occasion—like scrolling, for example. Since this board lacks the function row, the Esc and the ~ keys are merged. I have to hit Shift + Esc for tilde (same action as usual), and Fn + Esc for the backtick. Takes a bit of relearning, but it’s manageable.

Ducky One 2 SF top-down view

The key switches I went with were the Cherry MX Speed Silvers—like Reds but actuate a bit faster. As it’s my first ever mechanical keyboard, I don’t really have anything to compare it against. It feels great, but it was pretty jarring initially because even the slightest touch (with the palm for instance), would cause a key to actuate, leading to typos. Again, just a matter of getting accustomed to it; all smooth sailing after. Why did I pick the Speed Silvers? The other switch options were out of stock.

That said, I think I really quite like linear switches. They’re not too noisy, and they feel just right. I haven’t noticed any great improvement in my typing speeds though—I still maintain an average of 90-100 WPM.

The One 2 SF is fully RGB, i.e. each key is individually lit. Not that I make big use it. I have it set to plain white, and only light up under the key I’m currently pressing. Yes, this also makes it incredibly easy for people to shoulder-peek your passwords. I certainly won’t be using it outside home.

The keyboard itself cost 9599 INR, which is about 128 USD. Meckeys took exactly 10 days to ship it (3rd Aug–13th Aug). Overall, it’s a lovely keyboard, and I cannot type on my laptop’s low-travel chiclet-style keyboard, again. There’s just no going back.

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