HyperX and Ducky have joined forces to bring the world a limited-edition, super-teeny, and adorable mechanical gaming keyboard, aiming to bring us "the best-combined gaming keyboard experience." The HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini gaming keyboard uses HyperX's red linear switches while taking advantage of Ducky's One 2 Mini keyboard design and PBT double-shot seamless keycaps. It's the existing One 2 Mini (opens in new tab) with some HyperX pizzazz. With only 3,700 units being produced, it's weird to see gaming keyboards get treated like Jordan 1 Retros considering how scarce these are going to become.
Switch: HyperX Red
Connection Type: Detachable USB Type-C to USN Type A
Weight: 599g (1.3lbs)
Like most 60 percent keyboards, the HyperX x Ducky One 2 mini isn't for everyone. Data entry becomes a bigger chore with the arrow and Numpad getting lopped off, and most of these kinds of itty bitty keyboards can feel flimsy at times. I could live with a tenkeyless keyboard; it doesn't affect my day to day too much. But take away my dedicated arrow keys, and it's like I've lost part of my soul.
I get the design choice, basically trimming the fat down to the bare essentials for more desktop real estate. You still have arrow keys, they are just on the J, K, L, and I keys as functions, but that takes some getting used to.
For someone like me, who edits text and video all day, arrow keys are super useful, and not having them genuinely punches my productivity in the gut. An easy fix would have been adding a second Fn modifier on the left side of the keyboard—that would have made things at least more comfortable in my case. That being said, the extra desk space may be more important for playing games, as it gives you lots of room to move your mouse around.
If you have a small workspace, the ergonomics of the One 2 Mini alone is worth consideration. The detachable USB-C cable makes this Mini the ideal candidate for a traveling keyboard, too. The Fn layer has keys for everything, from faux-mouse buttons to media controls. In theory, you could work without a mouse if necessary with the Mini, making it not a bad second keyboard for streaming or those movie scenes where someone super 1337 is hacking into the evil corporation server from inside the building.
The extra space you save with this tiny keyboard means you have more room for your mouse to move. I, for one, welcome that since I typically use big, sweeping movements when playing games, and I almost always bang my mouse to the side of my normal-sized keyboard. While this didn't make me perform noticeably better in Apex Legends or Halo 2 Aniversary Edition, I was at least more comfortable.
As a gaming keyboard then, the One 2 Mini shines, and not just because of the wildly aggressive RGB lighting; the white base underneath makes the color in each key pop. The RGB backlit modes can be controlled and customized by pressing numerous keyboard combinations. I would have preferred using software to handle the lighting, but the One 2 Mini doesn't offer that. Everything from setting macros to playing minesweeper on the keyboard (no joke) is set up using a specific key combo. Be sure to keep your manual around, or you'll be lost when you accidentally put it in demo mode and can't figure out how to turn it off.
The switches offer shorter travel than Cherry MX Reds, and that means faster input speed, which is excellent for gaming. They also provide the same linear action; I like a more tactile feel, but the high-end keycaps offset that slight irritation. The larger keys, such as backspace, enter and shift keys felt a little off, though. Those keys seem to require an unusual amount of extra force that threw off my usual rhythm when typing.
To compare how well the One 2 Mini stacks up against my Steelseries Apex 7 (also with similar linear switches), I went through my usual workday of writing, editing and talking smack on Twitter without seeing much difference in typing performance, despite the space bar requiring more force than usual. The lack of an arrow cluster did get to me whenever I had to work in a Google Sheet, but I'm a trooper and managed.
The HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini is an impressive 60 percent keyboard, one that's great for gaming because of the HyperX's fast input Red switches, and well-built enough for everyday abuse. Though other versions provide a variety of switches, the HyperX and Ducky collab only offers linear Reds, which may be a turn off for some. This limited-run keyboard is well designed, feels good, and provides a decent light show... even if the lack of software makes customizing the keyboard a pain.