Ducky is a Taiwanese brand that started as an OEM manufacturer for other brands within PC accessories, but in 2008 they launched their own keyboard brand with the aim of providing mechanical keyboards of the highest standard to consumers.
Since then, Ducky has established itself as one of the top brands in mechanical keyboards with a reputation for producing innovative, high quality keyboards. Today we are going to look at their One 3 series, more specifically their One 3 SF Pure White, which is a 65% keyboard with hotswap Cherry MX Red switches.
We set out with the specifications:
All about Ducky One 3 SF Pure White
Ducky One 3 SF is delivered in a relatively simple cardboard box with a nice design. The keyboard itself is nicely presented and in addition to being protected by a dust cover, which can be used just fine for everyday use, the keyboard is also packed securely in a plastic bag.
Ducky One 3 SF Pure White comes with completely white keycaps, except for the Enter key, which is light purple. On the other hand, a number of extra keycaps are included, so you can adjust the appearance quite a lot to your own taste. There is even a round keycap with the Ducky logo, which does not really match the rest of the keyboard in my opinion. All keycaps are Double-Shot PBT, so the two colors are "cast into each other", so they keep the color and time and the letters don't wear off. My only complaint is that the purple arrow keys don't have the same icons as the white ones, so they could match better.
In addition to extra keycaps, separate keycap pullers and switch pullers are included, which is nice, as it works better than the combined switch and keycap pullers that you often see supplied with hotswap keyboards. A good quality USB-C cable is naturally included. The Ducky One 3 SF Pure White also comes with a slightly different keycap for the space bar, which has a tiger pattern. It's a matter of taste if you're up for it, but fortunately a completely white keycap is included for the space bar. My kids love the tiger, I think it's nice too, unfortunately you can feel the cutout when you use the key, so in the long run I prefer the all-white keycap.
The only thing I could miss about the accessories would be a few extra switches, now that it's a hotswap keyboard.
Ducky One 3 SF is built completely solid, even though it is not built in, for example, an aluminum box. It has a relatively low profile compared to other mechanical keyboards, but Ducky has designed the feet so that it is possible to set the keyboard in three different angles. Whether you like the silver sides of the keyboard is a matter of taste, but I think it suits Ducky One 3 SF Pure White and it also helps to distinguish the keyboard from the many other white 65% keyboards on the market.
Ducky One 3 SF Pure White is part of Ducky's Quack Mechanics concept, where they focus on a balance between quality, acoustics and the playing experience. Therefore, Ducky One 3 SF is built with a good weight balance in the construction, to increase the stability of the keyboard. In addition, use has been made of sound and vibration damping in several layers and a layer of EVA foam under the circuit board. Combined with well-tuned stabilizers, it makes the Ducky One 3 SF Pure White one of the most comfortable and quiet Cherry MX Red keyboards I've used to date. Despite the switches not being pre-lubed on Ducky's part. I am genuinely impressed with how successful the construction is. The only finger I have to put on the construction is that Ducky has chosen a material for the rubber feet, which is not particularly non-slip, so it is a little too easy to push the keyboard during use.
I have been using the keyboard for both work and gaming for a few weeks and it has been an extremely positive experience. For work, the 65% keyboard is a really good size, when you don't need a numpad and it was easy to remember where the keys on the function layers are, and if you can't remember, they are clearly marked on the keycaps. The only thing that surprises me is that Ducky has chosen to put arrow keys on the first function layer, when 65% of the layout has dedicated arrow keys. For gaming, the keyboard is responsive and unless you constantly use the F keys, 65% is in my opinion one of the best sizes for FPS games in particular, as you still have dedicated arrow keys and e.g. Home and End, but the keyboard is so small, that it becomes easier to maintain a healthy shoulder position, even if you use both keyboard and mouse at the same time.
Ducky does not provide software for the keyboard, but it is still possible to set RGB and record macros as you like, if you have the patience to follow the manual at your leisure. Besides that, there are four DIP switches on the bottom of the keyboard, one of which allows you to toggle the number row to be dedicated F1-F12. It's not something I personally need, but the option is there.
I have found Ducky One 3 SF Pure White for approx. 220$ online, which is on the expensive end for a 65% hotswap mechanical keyboard, but on the other hand it also delivers something close to the best typing experience in a standard keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches. Normally you have to lube switches and custom keyboards to get the same experience.
With the One 3 SF Pure White, Ducky has made a good offer for a mechanical keyboard at the higher end, before you reach the custom segment. Hotswap functionality will seem unimportant to many, but for others it will be cool to be able to change switches if you feel like trying something else. Ducky One 3 SF Pure White is well soundproofed, so that despite the plastic case, it does not sound cheap or hollow. At the same time, the keyboard has some of the best stabilizers I have experienced in a mainstream keyboard and the typing experience touches the custom segment. All in all, the Ducky One 3 SF is a very good keyboard for work if you don't need a numpad and at the same time it's really responsive, so it also works well for gaming. We end up with a final score of 9 and a Great Product Award.