Yeah, I spent my time at Computex stroking a $600 DIY Ducky keyboard, what of it?

The Ducky ProjectD outlaw in blue and pink
(Image credit: Future)

A few keyboards caught my attention at Computex today, but the most shocking of all was Ducky's upcoming ProjectD Outlaw 65, a fully customisable, high-end DIY keyboard kit that's so heavy you could probably kill a man with it—though you'll have to put it together first. And don't even get me started on the potential of a $600 price tag.

Of course, with the ProjectD Outlaw being a pre production model the pricing is still very nebulous. But when one Ducky spokesperson guessed somewhere in the region of $499 to $599, I had to physically hold my jaw closed. Especially since he just told me "everything on that keyboard you have to build from scratch." 

Oh and I assume he was talking about the tenkeyless model I've been tapping away on. I dread to think how expensive a full-size one would be.

When you're potentially going to be forking out that much cash for a keyboard I'd have maybe hoped a little Ducky minion might come home with me and at least hold a screwdriver. Like, I know DIY mechanical keyboard kits can be expensive, but hot damn...

So, what justifies that potentially exorbitant amount of cash? Well, there's the benefit of hot swappable switches, of course, though I don't think that's going to push the price up too much considering every product and its mother is packing hot-swappables these days.

I'm told the design was inspired by the Mercedes Benz. The spokesperson tells me they're "using that concept on the Ducky Project D, so it aims for high-end use." Not sure about you, but I don't know of many Mercs you have to put together yourself at home.

But, while I don't feel like the look of the Outlaw has much in common with a Mercedes, there's a distinct car lovers vibe when it comes to materials.

There's a lot going on there, so let's break it down into layers, just as the exploded version was on the show floor today.

  • There's the stand and branding plate at the bottom
  • the front and rear base
  • a carbon fiber case plate
  • some bottom foam
  • the PCB
  • a PE sheet
  • the stems and housings
  • more foam
  • an FR-4 plate
  • a slide and spacer
  • and the front and rear top parts

Now you're maybe starting to see the pricing logic, huh? All of the above will be mix and match, with "all the materials for that keyboard, you can change." So, customisation is going to be a really big thing here.

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Whatever the final kit price ends up being, the Ducky spokesperson assures me that the ProjectD Outlaw is great for DIY, "and also for a self defence weapon as well." He wasn't kidding; it's honestly the heaviest keyboard I've ever had in my hands.

I must say the tactile Gateron Kangaroo switch in the pre production model felt lush, too, and the doubled up foam inside gives it a soft and satisfying keypress that's not too loud. And yes, all that is interchangeable if you feel the need to "alter the typing texture."

Sounds like a lot of thought went into this one, and I know someone's going to splash out on it, but you can bet I'm not going to be paying that much for something I have to assemble with my own blood, sweat, and tears.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been rambling about games, tech and science—rather sarcastically—for four years since. She can be found admiring technological advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. Right now she's waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.