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Saturday, October 28, 2023

Ducky One 3 SF Aura Keyboard Assessment


Selecting a brand new keyboard just isn’t simple. The array of accessible choices is overwhelming, with a number of key elements to think about. What is going to its major use be? How a lot are you prepared to spend? Are there any important options you are searching for? These concerns signify that the ‘good’ keyboard is not the identical for everybody. The Ducky One 3 SF Aura won’t be the proper keyboard for me, nevertheless it’s the closest any has ever come.

Whereas I spend plenty of time gaming, my important consideration on the subject of a keyboard is how good it’s for typing. Over time, I’ve experimented with completely different fashions and a wide range of switches. Nevertheless, I had by no means used a Ducky, regardless of their popularity for being nice for typists and the fixed appearances in ‘Finest Keyboard’ lists. Why? Considerably shamefully, I simply did not suppose they appeared that good.

The Ducky One 3 SF Aura would not include as many elaborate extras because the Asus ROG Azoth wi-fi keyboard, however then its $140 worth compares very favorably to Asus’ $250 monster, and it nonetheless presents greater than some rivals: 12 alternate keys, together with a really snazzy spacebar; a change puller, a keycap remover, USB-C to USB-A cable, and the compulsory stickers.

This keyboard is a small-form-factor (65%) model of the One 3 Aura, which implies you continue to get the arrow keys, Del, PgUp, and PgDn – it is also accessible in customary, TKL, and Mini (60%) sizes.

The distinctive design contains a frosted plastic translucent physique and translucent switches, letting you see the yellow foam that dampens the keystrokes, together with among the dual-layer PCB, from the edges.

The highest of the keycaps are opaque, so whereas it is not utterly clear, it does remind me a little bit of the very trendy transparent-backed Nothing Cellphone (1).

As a result of the edges of the double-shot keys are additionally translucent, the RGB lighting comes flooding out in any respect angles quite than simply lighting up the legends like most keyboards.

The top result’s that that is the brightest keyboard you are ever more likely to see; you would warn ships away from rocks at night time with this factor. The brightness also can make taking photographs tough, sadly.

The way in which the Ducky illuminates the keys and all the things else across the board in a dim room is nice, however the legends are onerous to see when the backlighting is activated, particularly in shiny areas. However then this model of keyboards is aimed extra at contact typists, so those that sometimes want to have a look at the keys may have a couple of points. An instance is the ampersand on the 7 key that makes it seem like an 8 from a distance.

It is good to see that Ducky One SF Aura presents three typing angles quite than two, one thing that much more keyboards are doing today, however you will not discover the likes of media controls, quantity knobs, LCD screens, ports, or devoted macro buttons right here.

There are, nevertheless, a set of DIP switches beneath. Toggling them performs completely different features: locking the quantity keys as F1 – F12, enabling 6-Key Rollover mode, and altering the Home windows key to the Menu key.

As anticipated, customers can select from a variety of switches – Cherry MX, Kailh, and Gateron, so you’ll be able to decide your favorites. The evaluation mannequin I acquired options Cherry Silent Reds, for which I am grateful. They’re additionally hot-swappable, so you’ll be able to change them should you’re not joyful along with your alternative.

Because the title suggests, the Cherry Silent Purple linear switches are extraordinarily quiet other than the satisfying thump after they’re depressed. They provide round 1.9mm of pre-travel, actuating at 45g at 2mm with 3.7mm of complete journey. Mixed with the thick, polycarbonate plastic keycaps, I can truthfully say this keyboard presents the most effective typing expertise I’ve ever loved, higher even than the Asus ROG Azoth.

However I need empirical proof, so I flip to the typing check to see the way it fares in opposition to three rivals: the Corsair K70 with optical-mechanical switches, the Asus ROG Azoth with its ROG NX Purple switches, and the Razer Huntsman Elite with Razer Clicky Optical Switches.

The Ducky is up first. Heading to Typing.com, I choose the 1-minute check and handle to achieve 82 phrases per minute, a private greatest, with 100% accuracy.

Subsequent is the Corsair. This can be a great-looking keyboard, and the keys are even quieter than the Ducky, however I do discover that the opto-mechanical switches activate so simply that I usually make errors.

It is also annoying after I unintentionally forged an Final in Diablo 4 due to the tiny little bit of stress my finger exerted whereas resting on the ‘4’ key. I rating 67 phrases per minute with 85% accuracy; I observed when utilizing this keyboard every single day that the important thing I hit most frequently was backspace.

Onto the satisfyingly clicky Razer Huntsman Elite. This was my keyboard of alternative for years, as illustrated by the closely worn wrist relaxation. Not too surprisingly given my expertise with this one, accuracy is 99% whereas velocity is 78 wpm.

Lastly, it is time for the costliest of the bunch: the costly ROG Azoth. Its ROG NX Purple Switches aren’t as clicky because the Huntsman, however they produce extra noise than the opposite two. I praised the typing expertise of the Azoth in my evaluation, so I am anticipating it to carry out effectively. The top scores are 100% accuracy and 78 wpm.

Keyboard/change velocity and accuracy comparability

Keyboard Swap sort Phrases per minute Accuracy
Ducky One 3 SF Aura Cherry Silent Purple 82 100%
Corsair K70 Optical-mechanical 67 85%
Asus ROG Azoth ROG NX Purple 78 100%
Razer Huntsman Elite Razer Clicky Optical Switches 78 99%

The outcomes are fairly near what I anticipated, and make sure that, at the least in my case, the Ducky presents the most effective accuracy and typing velocity. Fingers simply appear to glide over its keys with out hitting the mistaken one or any unintentional activations, and the sensation of urgent every key’s unequalled. Its popularity for being a typist’s keyboard is effectively deserved.

However that does not imply the Ducky is not additionally appropriate for gaming. The keys are responsive sufficient for all style varieties and cozy when resting your fingers on them, with none unintentional presses. There’s additionally the RGB, after all, and the actual fact it is fairly small means you’ll be able to place the keyboard in numerous areas to provide your self additional mouse room. It is also very transportable, which is nice should you intend to journey with it. However some individuals are going to choose keyboards filled with gaming-focused options.

Nearly all of the Ducky’s keys have secondary features printed in inexperienced on their south aspect. There are the standard buttons you’d discover on a full-size keyboard – Insert, Pause, PrtSc, and many others. – in addition to all of the media keys, lighting controls, and extra.

That brings us to considered one of Ducky’s defining options: there isn’t any software program for controlling the lights and macros.

These used to the likes of Corsair iCue and Asus Armoury Crate could be shocked by this, however then plenty of lighting software program is actually terrible, so others would possibly see it as a optimistic. There are a dizzying variety of choices accessed by way of the Fn key, from biking by way of the ten colour modes, altering brightness, altering the colours (by altering the pink, inexperienced, and blue brightness for fine-tuning), and altering speeds. It’s also possible to file macros and remap secondary key features. It can save you all of your adjustments throughout six onboard profiles, and it even has controls for controlling the on-screen cursor with no mouse.

How you are feeling concerning the absence of software program might be a deciding issue with the Ducky. Utilizing the keyboard for the standard features you’d management on a display screen is not all the time easy, nevertheless it is not actually an issue should you’re not into heavy customization – I saved this one on a static white mild more often than not.

Having used the Ducky One 3 SF Aura for a few weeks now, I can safely say it is changed the Asus Azoth as my day by day driver. It would lack cutting-edge options, knobs, buttons, and a wrist wrest, however the unparalleled typing expertise, trendy seems to be, and blinding RGB greater than makes up for these shortcomings and mix to create a tremendous, well-priced product.

Professionals

  • You will battle to discover a higher keyboard for typing
  • RGB lighting seen from house
  • Translucent design is tremendous cool
  • Switches are hot-swappable
  • All options/lighting accessed by way of the keyboard

Cons

  • The dearth of software program may put folks off
  • Legends may be onerous to learn
  • Not gaming-focused
  • Utilizing key features may be tough and sluggish
  • No wrist relaxation
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