Ducky Zero DK2108 Mechanical Keyboard Review
I recently upgraded a seemingly unlikely part of my computer - the
You're probably wondering "Aren't all computer keyboards the
Most are. The vast majority of computer keyboards use rubber
dome keyswitches. This is the cheapest method of building a
The Ducky DK2108 is one of a rare breed of keyboards built with
mechanical keyswitches. These feature metal springs and contacts that
close at precisely the midpoint of travel. This is how computer
keyboards were constructed up until the mid-1980s, before rubber domes
Mechanical keyswitches offer a degree of precision that rubber dome
keyswitches are simply incapable of. The former present a precise
amount of resistance, a tight tolerance as to when the contacts close,
and a hard click when the bottom of travel is reached.
The second distinguishing feature of the Ducky DK2108 is N-key
rollover - the ability to record more simultaneous key presses than
one has fingers. Implementing N-key rollover requires a diode in series
with each keyswitch, so this feature too was long ago cost-reduced out
of most keyboards in favor of 2-key rollover.
Does keyboard technology matter?
You bet it does.
If you have ever wondered why it is so hard to type on most computer
keyboards, the reason is the mushy and vague rubber domes beneath the
keys. The feel becomes progressively worse as the rubber domes wear
In contrast, the Ducky DK2108 is pleasant to type on. It reminds me of
the computer keyboards that I once used in the pre-PC era, even before
the clicky IBM keyboards.
A Fast Keyboard
My sample of the Ducky DK2108 has Cherry MX red switches, which offer a
light amount of resistance and no tactile bump. This model is marketed
for gamers who need to hit keys very rapidly and are willing to shell
out $80 for a keyboard that facilitates speed.
I find that I can type considerably faster on this keyboard due to its
repeatability (one learns exactly how far each key must be pressed in
order for it to register), and absence of a tactile bump (the keys feel
like they have very little inertia).
I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet the Ducky's red switches are.
They become loud only when pressed too hard, providing instant feedback
not to mash the keys.
Despite the gamer focus, the Ducky DK2108 does not look out-of-place on
a workstation. There are only two silly duck logos: one on the
spacebar, and another on the key that normally has the equally-silly
Windows logo. At least the LEDs don't blink.
Kudos to Ducky for creating a computer product for gamers that doesn't
look like an alien invasion.
I'm very happy with this old-school keyboard.
The next time you're thinking about what part of the computer to upgrade
to get things done faster, you may want to consider the keyboard.
November 2013 Update
Half a year after purchase, the enter key on the numeric keypad failed.
Not wanting to ship the keyboard back to Ducky, I replaced the keyswitch
myself. This was an easy soldering job using instructions on Youtube.
Another strength of the mechanical keyboard is that it is repairable.
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