Ducky DK9008 G2 Pro Mechanical Keyboard

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Intro

Don’t know who/what is Ducky? They’re one of the top mechanical keyboard manufacturer in the world.

Don’t know the term – Mechanical Keyboard? A mechanical keyboard, as the name suggests, the keys are mechanical, unlike the regular keyboards that uses rubber domes. Maybe you can read up more about mechanical keyboards here.

Ducky is retiring their DK9008 G2 line by replacing it with DK9008 G2 Pro. In case you don’t know, DK9008 series is Ducky’s flagship keyboards, featuring the G2 and S models targeting different consumers. After the release of the Shining model, they are updating the G2 to G2 Pro with added features. Let’s get into the quick review.

Tech Specs

  • 104 keys full size keyboard
  • 4 extra system shortcut key
  • Detachable USB cable
  • Dipswitch for altering key functions (eg toggle Windows key, caps-ctrl swap, alt-win swap, USB 6KRO / NKRO)
  • Cherry MX Blue (other MX switches available as well)
  • NKRO (PS/2 and USB) (enable from dipswitch)
  • Multimedia shortcut key
  • Partial LED backlit (WASD keys)
  • Special processed dual coated keys
  • Lower profile

Packaging

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I am really happy that Ducky decided to keep DK9008 G2’s packaging because it is the best looking packaging I’ve ever seen for a keyboard.

Look at that classy gold on red combo.

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The front lid can be flipped open for a glance of the keyboard.

Product feature description in different languages can be found on the opened lid.

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Sliding out the inner box.

The padding is done in the same was as DK9008S’ box, albeit a bit thicker in this case.

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What’s in the package:

  • Keyboard
  • USB cable
  • USB – PS/2 adapter (not shown in photo)
  • User Manual
  • Translucent WASD key caps
  • Ring key cap puller
  • Microfibre cloth keyboard sleeve
  • Clear plastic keyboard cover

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The included translucent WASD key caps is exactly the same as those included in DK-9008S Shining.

The ring key cap puller is one hell of disappointment, because it has high chance of scratching the key’s surface. For a keyboard with premium price tag, adding in a wire key cap puller won’t hurt your sales, please Ducky.

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Gold plated USB connector – just a marketing gimmick, still works like any average USB cable.

Looks, Feel and Usability

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Front view – the keyboard has regular-modern design. Nothing flashy or whatsoever except the four extra keys at the top right corner for system shortcuts.

Keyboard layout is US ANSI.

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The windowed Caps Lock, same goes for Scroll Lock and Num Lock.

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Bottom view.

The bottom case is brand new construction which has lower profile than 9008S and 9008G2. But, the design and layout looks almost the same as 9008S’s bottom case. I assume they redesign the 9008S’s  by lowering the height.

Height comparison photo between DK9008 G2 and DK9008 G2 Pro at the end of this review.

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Despite the redesign, the elevation feet, still as short as ever… without rubber feet on it.

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They replaced the 9008 G2’s FN + F9 – F11 feature with dip switches.

Dip switch: Pros – Hidden from view | Cons – Troublesome to toggle

FN + F9 – F11: Pros – Easily accessible | Cons – perfectionist will have hard time finding windowed replacement key caps

The functions of the dip switch:

  • Switch 1 ON: Lock WIN key
  • Switch 2 ON: Swap between CapsLock & left CTRL
  • Switch 3 ON: Swap between ALT & WIN key
  • Switch 4 ON: USB NKRO (Windows ONLY)
  • Switch 4 OFF: USB 6KRO (Mac OS X support)

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The pseudo-steel sticker label at the bottom has 9008 G2 lasered marking. Why no “Pro”?

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I cannot understand why Ducky refuse to make changes to this problematic design.

Uber fail, you need to bend the cable 90′ to have it fit in the rail.

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The all glorious Cherry MX Blue with LEDs (WASD section).

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Switched to the translucent key caps.

You have ONLY two options for the backlit settings – turn on & off.

No brightness settings, uh my eyes….

(The lights might seem a bit blown off because my camera’s reaction to the blue LEDs.)

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Caps Lock joins the fun.

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If you decide to use the non-translucent key caps with LEDs on, here’s the effect.

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Macro shot for the key cap surface and letter printing.

I’m not sure the about printing method. but I assume it is laser-etched from the look and feel.

Someone please enlighten me.

9008G2 and 9008G2pro Compared

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Comparison between DK9008 G2 MX Red (top) & DK9008 G2 Pro MX Blue (bottom).

Ignoring the key cap material, basically the only visual difference is the F9-F11 keys.

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My DK9008 G2 has PBT key caps on it, while DK9008 G2 Pro have ABS key caps with Ducky’s unique UV coating.

It definitely feels different from any other ABS key caps. The coating feels OK, but raised letter printing is kinda not my kind of taste.

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DK9008 G2 (left) & DK9008 G2 Pro (right), height comparison.

9008G2pro’s new bottom case has lower profile, about 3mm – 4mm lower.

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Why I’m sure that the top case is still came from the same mold?

Look at the ESC key frame, do you notice the key is slightly aligned to left? Where the space at the right side is slightly wider than the left side.

THe ESC switch is properly aligned with other keys, just that the mistake comes from the misaligned top case. If you use a wire key cap puller to remove the key cap, you might not notice the problem, but if you use a ring key cap puller and tries to remove the ESC key cap – the ring key cap puller will get stuck at the left side, risking damaging the key cap and switch.

My DK9008 G2 has exactly the same issue as well. Ducky, you don’t know this problem?

Conclusion

Pros:

  • Above average build quality – Compared among mechanical keyboards
  • Aluminium plate mounted – Good, but not the best as certain brand that uses metal plate which is much sturdier
  • Genuine Cherry MX switches
  • Mac OS X support
  • NKRO over USB (Windows Only, configured via dip switch)
  • 6KRO over USB (Mac OS X & Windows, configured via dip switch)
  • Detachable USB cable – easy replacement & portability
  • Multimedia shortcut keys
  • Four extra shortcut function keys
  • Classy and secure packaging – dat RED box
  • Included keyboard cover, sleeve, 4 extra translucent key caps and ring key cap puller
  • Slight high customizability

Subjective:

  • Modern-regular design
  • Plate mounted
  • Gold plated USB cable – neither good or bad as it serves no improvement (just a marketing gimmick)
  • Cherry MX Blue – Tactile, Clicky
  • Cherry Stabilizers – Easy for changing key caps, but changes the feel of the key
  • ABS key cap – less durable than PBT, but affordable
  • Windowed keys – slightly harder to find replacement key caps, unless you’re OK using non-windowed key caps on it.
  • Partial backlit – Somehow, I think it’s a bit pointless…
  • Bad positioning of FN key – You can take away that right ALT key, I need that menu key.
  • Heavy weight – stability VS portability

Cons:

  • QC issues on consistency – frame alignment
  • Short elevation feet
  • Short USB cable
  • useless cable management rail – same problem as DK9008 S / DK9008 G2 (force bending the USB cable to fit)
  • Coated key caps – wearing the coating will ruin the looks
  • Slightly raised key cap printing – more prone to wear and tear
  • no LED brightness control – The LEDs are blinding me (using translucent key caps)
  • Short elevation feet
  • Ring key puller

Note:

  • New base case – slightly lower profile (about 3mm)
  • UV coated key caps
  • Raised letter printing
  • MSRP – RM350+-

DK9008S Shine is undeniably popular in the market because of its bling bling (LED) feature. This makes the flagship model DK9008 G2 even less known because for around the same price, general consumers want something that can blind their enemy. Then Ducky said, “Okay, since our customer loves blingbling, we’ll have Shine to cover for the Full Bling market, and we’ll make another version of DK9008 G2 with added Bling for those who wants bling bling at cheaper price.”

(for entertainment purpose, I have nothing to do with Ducky’s internal management or whatsoever)

The reason I came up with above assumption is because there aren’t much changes occurred on the G2 Pro compared with G2. The obvious bump are added Mac OS X support (6KRO), LEDs for WASD cluster and special UV coated key caps. Although I did voice out the problems regarding the keyboard such as the stupid cable rail and case cutting misalignment. But those are pretty much due to designer’s stupidity and slight machine miscalculation. They do not degrade the overall typing experience. Unlike coughrazercough

Retail for RM350+- is quite reasonable, compared to previously G2 PBT edition priced at RM420+-, I guess the price difference due to the key caps material, ABS vs PBT (more expensive). However, G2 PBT edition is currently on sale (RM350+-)… If you know what I mean.

Lastly, thanks to storm88 willing to borrow this board for review =D, and all photos taken with Lumix LX3.

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