Our previous Ducky keyboard review was over a year ago, and the human malware that has been affecting us for most of the time since has resulted in interruptions to planned coverage of the brand’s Shine 7 and Year of the Rat keyboards. With the latter now sold out and the former in the twilight of its lifetime, it just so happened that another keyboard was making its way into the market. The Mecha SF is based on the One 2 SF we last saw from Ducky, but kicks it up a few notches in construction and build quality with the limited edition Mecha SF Radiant series. There are two members of said series, and we take a look at one today courtesy Ducky having sent a review sample to TechPowerUp!
Both members of the Ducky Mecha SF Radiant series offer a thick aluminium case that has been given an iridescent finish you need to see to appreciate best. As it turns out, it was this very finish which resulted in an unplanned delay to the keyboard. Originally planned for release late last year, Ducky was not satisfied with the finish on the first production runs and everything went back to the factory. As I write this, limited stock is made available on a basis of quality assurance, and this might as well be a brand new release for all practical purposes. As with the One 2 SF, the Mecha SF is a small 65% form factor keyboard with the SF in the name standing for “Sixty Five.” We will go over all the features of the keyboard in detail with the Emerald variant we have here, and our review begins with a look at the specifications below.
|Ducky Mecha SF Radiant Keyboard|
|Layout:||65% key form factor in a US ANSI layout, other languages supported based on your region|
|Material:||Aluminium plastic case, PBT plastic keycaps, and steel plate|
|Weight:||0.87 kg/1.93 lbs.|
|Anti-ghosting:||Full N-key rollover USB|
|Media Keys:||Available as layered functions|
|Dimensions:||105 (L) x 325 (W) x 40 (H) mm|
|Cable Length:||5 ft/1.5 m|
|Switch Type:||Choice of Cherry MX Red, Silent Red, Speed (Silver), Brown, Black, or Blue RGB mechanical switch|
|Backlighting:||Yes, per-key 16.8 M colors|
Packaging and Accessories
The package was sent directly from Ducky, and we begin with the product box. There are definitely similarities to their popular One 2 series of keyboards, including the One 2 SF, with the pattern on the back in particular nearly identical. The best way to describe the changes made is Ducky having turned the flash dial to 11. We see the use of bold colors, and on the front, the company logo, product name, and a badge indicating the use of the newer 100 M actuation lifetime Cherry MX switches. The Mecha SF name is also on the sides and back, so much so that it appears more than the Ducky name itself. Another sticker on the side tells us which switch the keyboard inside uses, and two side flaps in addition to two double flaps keep the contents inside in place during transit.
Opening the box, we see the keyboard inside two layers. The top layer is a molded plastic cover that can be used as a dust cover as well, and then there is a thin wax wrap all around the keyboard for further protection on the way to you. This is complemented by cardboard on all sides, also as a barrier to keep the accessories neatly tucked away. A quick start guide is seen underneath the keyboard, in multiple languages and going over some features of the keyboard. But I recommend, as does Ducky, that people use the more detailed online manual to go over all the pre-programmed functions and user-assignable controls. The other accessories are seen underneath the cardboard layers to the top, and we see a black 5′ cable. It is terminated in a gold-plated USB Type-C connector on one end and a USB Type-A connector on the other, which points at the use of Type-C connectivity on the keyboard itself.
The other accessories include a nice wire keycap puller, which is preferred over a plastic ring puller because it does not scratch the sides of keycaps and can be used to remove multiple keycaps without removing them one at a time. The base of the puller has the Ducky logo and name on either side and provides a grippy surface to hold on to when used. So far, it’s been the same unboxing experience as for the One 2 SF, but then we get into the included replacement keycaps, which is where things change, and in an improved manner, too.
The color scheme of the replacement keycaps matches the Mecha SF Emerald keyboard well, with doubleshot injected orange legends on thick blue PBT (average wall thickness 1.42 mm). Also, unlike the One 2 SF, we only get applicable keycaps, unlike having a numpad Enter for some strange reason. Ducky includes three R1 1u keycaps, an Esc key and two other novelty keycaps as replacements for the same. We also get Backspace and Enter, as well as replacement arrow keycaps. Backlighting support is marginal at best, so I expect keycaps of similar make for the rest of the keyboard.