One of the best releases of 2020: HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini review

HyperX and Ducky continue to impress with their second collaboration of 2020.

Photo via HyperX

HyperX and Ducky have come together once again to give esports fans and keyboard enthusiasts one of the best peripheral collaborations in the history of gaming. While both companies have found their respective winning formulas, they shine even brighter when paired together. The HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini combines the success of the original Ducky One 2 Mini and the buttery smooth HyperX linear red switches, making for one of the best peripheral releases of 2020. 

Ducky is a popular name among keyboard enthusiasts. The company’s products tend to be many people’s first foray into keyboards as a hobby. The Ducky One 2 Mini Mecha made our 2019 list for best keyboards and this new collaboration with HyperX further showcases the popularity of the Ducky One 2 Mini platform while HyperX’s proprietary linear red switch steals the show.

Image via HyperX

The One 2 Mini is a 60 percent small form factor keyboard that comes with a rubberized USB-C cable, a custom HyperX x Ducky novelty spacebar, gray accent keys and arrow keys, and a keycap puller. If you’re a consumer who enjoys representing their brand of choice even further, there are two included keycaps featuring each company’s respective logos. There’s also an included flimsy plastic dust cover that doubles as a protective barrier when transporting the keyboard. 

Ducky’s finely textured double-shot PBT backlit keycaps are nice to see. The company consistently makes quality keycaps with clear legends that have little to no distortion in the shine-through portion. Ducky’s keycaps also maintain a pleasant tone and there’s no “pinging” sound upon the keycaps bottoming out. Along with the keycaps comes a neat alternative spacebar designed by HyperX. It’s plain cute while showcasing the vibrancy of the onboard RGB lighting well.

HyperX and Ducky went with a dual-color design for the keycaps. This is a nice touch, though gray seems like a somewhat underwhelming color choice. PBT plastics tend not to take to colorization as well as high-quality ABS plastic materials do, so this color choice may have been limited by keeping the materials and quality consistent. Despite the somewhat muted color choice, the board stands out between the novelty spacebar and gray caps. 

Image via HyperX

HyperX’s switches feel perfect in the One 2 Mini platform and we’d love to see these switches dropped into more Ducky boards in the future—specifically, the Mecha collection of boards. When HyperX released the Alloy Origins board in 2019 with its proprietary switches, we were a bit skeptical of what the result would be, but we were quickly won over once we got them in hand. HyperX’s switches sound great in both a plastic case like the One 2 Mini and in an aluminum case like the Alloy Origins line. The feel here is precise and responsive with an actuation point of 1.8 millimeters at 45 grams of operating force and a total travel distance of 3.8 millimeters, which undercut Cherry by 0.2 millimeters in both respective categories. HyperX’s switches are also rated for 80 million strokes, which isn’t the highest on the market but feels like a good trade considering the superior-feeling motion of these switches. 

Image via HyperX

In terms of overall build quality, this iteration of the One 2 Mini has a sleek, all-black plastic frame that’s relatively sturdy. The top of the case is matte black plastic while the bottom portion of the case is glossy black plastic. Despite being made of plastic, there’s only a bit of wiggle in the plastic when applying what our reviewer considers an unreasonable amount of pressure.

The One 2 Mini is known for its flexibility and that rings true here as well. The adjustable rubberized feet offer three different angles for users to find their optimal gaming position. Users will likely adopt a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to the angle, but the fact that there are three angles to choose from is appreciated and is something users have come to expect in gaming keyboards. 

Image via HyperX

The One 2 Mini is known for its flexibility and a large part of that flexibility comes from being a fully programmable board without the use of any software. Everything from recording macros to programming custom zone lighting, like the WASD cluster, can be done on the board itself. There’s a learning curve when trying to figure out how everything on the board can be programmed, but once you’ve got it down, the processes become much easier to perform. Our reviewer recommends reading the manual closely so that users are able to get the most out of the board’s capabilities. It’s not often that the lack of features is noted as a positive but the lack of software is a huge plus for the One 2 Mini. We’re happy to see that HyperX respected the keyboard’s existing programmability instead of trying to force the HyperX NGenuity software on users. The lack of NGenuity on this board only adds to the feeling of a true partnership between HyperX and Ducky. 

One of the more unique features included with the One 2 Mini is the under-mounted DIP switches that come pre-programmed. Users can reprogram DIP switches to disable or enable certain functions on the keyboard. For instance, DIP switch one on the board is programmed to disable the Windows key when flipped to the on position. DIP switches can be flipped on and off at the user’s discretion, but the board will need to be unplugged and plugged back in for the intended effect to activate. This isn’t a feature you see on many boards and certainly not on boards with major brands attached to them like HyperX. 

In keeping with the theme of flexibility, one of the highlights here is the small form factor of the keyboard. The 60 percent form allows for better optimization of the user’s desk and cuts the weight down to where the board is comfortable to carry in a bag. Using a small form means no more bumping your keyboard with your mouse, running out of desk pad and mousepad space, or uncomfortable commutes. While users will miss out on some keys here and there, the One 2 Mini does a fantastic job of maintaining the function of a full-sized keyboard.

In terms of mandatory functionality, there’s nothing a full-sized board can do that the One 2 Mini can’t. The side printed legends on the keycaps do a fine job of showing the user how to best use their board and the user manual provides detailed instructions on how to access each layer of functions. If users put in the time to read the manual, there’s nothing stopping the One 2 Mini from serving as a daily driver keyboard. 

Image via HyperX

The bottom line here is that gamers get the best of both worlds with the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini. All of the bells and whistles of the original One 2 Mini remain intact while receiving a big boost from HyperX’s proprietary switches. HyperX switches feel superior to many switches on the market and are one of the few switches our reviewer feels comfortable not modding with aftermarket materials such as lubes and films. The red linear switches feel solid out of the box and shine on a platform like the Ducky One 2 Mini. HyperX and Ducky have given gamers a great entry-level board that oozes flexibility and achieves solid performance in both gaming and daily use. The adjustable feet and full programmability despite a lack of software make this our reviewer’s go-to 60 percent board. There are many 60 percent options on the market, but the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini is the king among them and could only be improved by adding hot-swappable sockets and an aluminum case. 

Perhaps the only real negative is the limited availability of this collaboration. There’s nothing we can say about the scarcity of this board other than to get it while it’s hot. If you missed out on this collab, then let both Ducky and HyperX know you want to see more from their partnership.

Pros

  • HyperX proprietary switches steal the show
  • Small form factor doesn’t sacrifice functionality
  • Flexible programmability
  • No software 
  • Under mounted DIP switches
  • Great RGB
  • Extra keycaps 
  • Novelty spacebar
  • Durable build quality despite being plastic

Cons 

  • Programming learning curve
  • It’s probably already sold out