geekhack Community > Reviews

Ducky Shine 78 Review

(1/5) > >>

My Ducky Shine "78" arrived today, and for the first time, I got to try out some other switches besides buckling spring (my Dad's Unicomp) and my two Ducky Shine I's with Cherry MX Blue.

They keyboard is broken down it appears as follows:

Cherry MX Red - main alphanumeric layout backlit in purple
Cherry MX Black - auxiliary keys around the main keys like the Shift, Ctrl, Enter, Tab, and Spacebar backlit in red
Cherry MX Brown - arrow keys and Home, End, PgUp, PgDn, Ins, Del backlit in orange
Cherry MX Blue - number pad area backlit in blue
Cherry MX Dark Gray - F1 thru F4 backlit in yellow
Cherry MX Clear - F5 thru F8 and PrtSc, ScrLk, Pause backlit in white
Cherry MX Green - F9 thru F12 backlit in green
Cherry MX White - specialty keys in top right (Calc, My Computer, Email, and Internet Home) backlit in yellow

This is my first impression of the switches after using it for a few hours.

1.   Red
   a. Feel – light, smooth, and real joy to use
   b. Sound – quiet, almost no “spring noise”, and easy to bottom out with a nice medium plastic striking sound (sounds pretty good to me).
   c. Overall – This was a real surprise, but Red’s are an absolute joy to type on despite my looking for a stiffer switch.  Touch typing is fantastic, and with a little practice, I can very easily increase my speed with these switches.  Great for gaming.  Overall grade (A).
2.   Black
   a. Feel – medium-heavy switch, smooth, but not quite as top notch as the Red’s
   b. Sound – no click of course, but some keys exhibit a “spring noise” sound which doesn’t quite fit unlike buckling springs.  It’s very slightly annoying to me but this is because I’m specifically listening to it.
   c. Overall – Still a practical switch, I found myself liking the Red’s more.  Overall grade (B+)
3.   Brown
   a. Feel – light (on par with the Red’s) with a small tactile bump.
   b. Sound – the tactile bump seems to give the key a higher pitch than the Red’s.
   c. Overall – Not too impressed with these.  When pressed very fast, they don’t seem too bad, but I don’t really care for them when typing slowly. Overall grade (C)
4.   Blue
   a. Feel – light, medium tactile bump, and high-pitch clicky.  Slightly heavier feel than Brown’s or Red’s (but not much)
   b. Sound – Despite being noisy, I like the Blues.
   c. Overall – I’ve typed on them for over a year now, but now that I can actually compare switches, I don’t have any regrets getting the Blue’s.  Overall grade (B+)
5.   Dark Gray
   a. Feel – Very heavy, linear, they seem to really push back up against your finger.
   b. Sound – very dull, with almost no plastic striking sound.  Probably the quietest of all the switches.
   c. Overall – Umm.  WTH would you use these for?  Even the spacebar would probably be too much.  Great for anyone looking for a really heavy feel from the old typewriter days, but you better have some manly hands!  You won’t accidently press these keys.  Overall grade (D), unless this is what you were specifically looking for.
6.   Clear
   a. Feel – medium-heavy switch with a medium tactile bump.  Heavier spring than the Brown really masks the tactile bump though.
   b. Sound – “spring noise” is even louder than Blacks (which I don’t like).  It’s fairly quiet since it doesn’t bottom out as easy.
   c. Overall – I was really pursuing towards Clears, since I wanted something heavier than my Blues, but Clears really didn’t impress me the way I thought it would.  I do like the stiffness, but the tactile bump feels “wrong” to me for some reason.  Very glad I didn’t buy a keyboard with these.  That said, I could probably get used to them, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.   Overall grade (C+)
7.   Green
   a. Feel – heavier blues, with a nice medium tactile bump that seems more pronounced than the Clear’s.  Once past the tactile bump, seems lighter (which I like).
   b. Sound – Not as high pitched as the Blues (which I also like).  Heavier spring makes bottoming out a little less pronounced which gives this switch a very pleasant sound.
   c. Overall – Very much like these switches.  They have a crisp feel, not quite as high pitch as the Blues, and the tactile bump seems to be very pronounced at the beginning of the key press.  Definitely one of Cherry’s best switches.  Overall grade (A).
8.   White
   a. Feel – very similar to Green’s but the tactile bump is slightly lower in the stroke.  Tactile bump feels more pronounced than the Clear’s but not quite as much as the Green’s.  I think this is what I expected the Clears to be.
   b. Sound – Softer, lower pitch click than the Green’s.  Great compromise on someone who can’t have a clicky board, but would like to hear a very soft, slight click.  Click is lower pitch than either the Blue and the Green, and I think some people might appreciate that.
   c. Overall – Nice feel.  A close second place with the Green switch.  This would be great keyboard for work, since it won’t annoy co-workers as easily as Blues or Greens might.  Overall grade (A-).

Overall keyboard review:
Despite seeming impractical, this is a very good keyboard.  Ducky’s decision to keep most of the light, widely used keys for the keyboard for the main portion of the keyboard makes it very easy to use day by day.  I’ll probably keep this one hooked up to my computer for a while.  The backlighting makes it extremely to find your way around the keyboard in a dark room.  I don’t use the function keys very often, so their different feels really won’t affect my using this keyboard.  If anyone is nervous or on the fence about purchasing this keyboard, as long as you like lighter switches for the main part of your keyboard, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  The heavier blacks for the spacebar, shift, crtl, etc don’t detract too much from my using the keyboard.  It’ll definitely be a conversation starter.

I really learned some stuff.  It’s amazing how my two favorite switches are linear Red and tactile, clicky Green even though they are about as opposite as you can get.  I was really leaning on getting a Clear board since Green’s are difficult to come by, but I’m glad I didn’t.  That said I would take White switches if I couldn’t get Green’s.

I’m looking to upgrade my Ducky Shine I keyboards, and my just go with Red’s since Green’s are difficult to come by.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I’ll try and do a video review this weekend if I have the time.

After using the keyboard more and really getting a feel for the switches I definitely have my favorite switches.  Red and Green take it by far.  Red has such a nice light silky smooth feel to it.  The nice bottom out sound is very nice without being annoying or overly loud.  A true joy to type on.  The Green's are just like typing on an older typewriter which is fantastic.  Cherry really needs to push these switches, especially if someone wants a buckling spring or older stiffer type feel from the electric typewriter days.  The sound and feel go hand in hand to give it that feel.  The only way they could make it more so is to add a vibration feedback like the head striking the paper, but that's probably way overkill (if it ever did happen).  My Dad uses a Unicomp buckling spring board, and he absolutely loves it.  But, I'm pretty sure he would like typing on Cherry Green's as a close second.  I know I do.  I guess I'm going to have to track down keyboards with both switches and keep them for whenever I feel like typing on something different.

So, finally I can get a true feel for Green vs. White (typing on my 78 board right now). The best analogy:


Whites have a much duller, softer click than Greens and although they have the same actuation force rating, they feel a bit lighter to operate. I think Greens are much more satisfying just like Clears, but Greens wear my hands out when sustaining keys like during video gaming.

I too am impressed with the usefulness of the board. It's not entirely a gimmick; most activity will be performed on the Red/Black linear switches (Reds being my favorite), and occasionally on the Brown arrow clusters and the Blue numpad. Aesthetically (NB this is my first real backlit board), I do not like the keycaps at all. The smooth ABS feels too slippery and gives me the impression that the keys will wear out fast. The backlit is exceptional: no bleed like on other budget-oriented backlit boards. I am going to give some PBTs and my worn DS ABS keycaps a shot.

I personally love my board.  It finally gave me the chance to try out every Cherry MX switch...and I have to say that this keyboard just oozes quality.  I was concerned with getting a board that had non clicking switches or a dead LED or something, but that didn't happen.

I agree with you Jabar on the ABS keycaps. I can't wait for them to come along with see-through PBT doubleshots... That would really make this board shine (no pun intended)

Even though I'm a total sucker for limited edition items, I'm very happy that I gave this board a shot!

Davin, just wanted to update you: Ducky made 399 of these boards, up from the original 78. Still, they will be quite elusive once they sell out.

You're bringin me down, man!  Do you have a source for that 399 number?

Either way, that doesn't change the fact (too much :P) that I love this board.   


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version