A good keyboard can make or break a setup. It's more than just how it looks or feels: it's often all of the above, and that extra little thing that makes it special. The Ducky One 3 is special in many ways, and has solidified its space in my setup immediately.
Ducky is an interesting company. Dealing with higher-end mechanical keyboards, they have managed to solidify themselves with an almost boutique feel, yet that silly logo and name bring them back down to earth. In turn, the colours and styles you can get fit this feel well.
It is rare to pay upwards of £100 for a pure yellow keyboard but its size, feel, and weight justify that price. Though it may take you by surprise, the Ducky One 3's quality is undeniable.
My Ducky One 3 came in a wonderful-looking "Matcha", pairing cream tones with pale moss. It also comes with alternate keys and a set to take off the keycaps. This means that there's a degree of customisation straight out of the box. For the most part, you won't need to, but it is nice to have the option.
It comes in a surprisingly low profile, with sleek sides. The front is rather rigid while the back of the keyboard is curved, making it fit into spaces a little easier. Other than a Ducky One logo on the backhand side, there is little branding, meaning it could fit into a productivity or gaming setup easily.
Outside of just the colour, keys are well placed and firm, making it easy to hit switches whilst giving enough room to place your fingers down. In the looks department, this is great. That said if you're looking for a more traditional gaming keyboard, it doesn't have the RGB you may be expecting.
The Ducky One 3 in use
There's a satisfying "clack" with the press of every key of the Ducky One 3. It's one of those keyboards that you almost feel cool using. Keys are big, but not so big that smaller hands miss keystrokes. This allows it to occupy a space where it is big enough to intrude on a desk, but also comfortable to throw your hands over.
Unfortunately, the heavy and sturdy build does leave a little to be desired in regards to a wrist. It can be a slight bit uncomfortable when you have to hover over it, rather than just under. As well as this, the lack of dedicated software means that most of the customisation you do will be physical.
Though all of the keys are pronounced and work great, more dedicated media keys would really finish off the whole package. What it does get as a result of this is simplicity.
Plug and play
Though I anticipated a little bit of a setup process, the Ducky One 3 needed absolutely no effort to get running. I didn't find myself messing around with settings or trying to maximise how I hit certain keys; I just connected it and started typing. This combined with the lack of intrusive RGB leaves it feeling like a super solid keyboard that doesn't try to wow in gimmicks.
Coming with PBT keycaps, the keyboard is designed to work without fading for thousands of hits. Cherry mechanical switches pair this off well, showing a sustainable base that should last you a long time. Though expected at this point, N-Key rollover output and a detachable USB leave little to complain about in its construction.
This is what came across well in my time with the Ducky One 3. Though I was wowed by how pretty it looked, I never quite felt like I was being sold a gimmick. It doesn't have special keys that do one specific function or built-in fans, but it feels great to use and will be sure to hog space on my desk for a long time.
A review unit of the Ducky One 3 was provided by the manufacturer.