Ducky Shine 6 Keyboard Review 5

Ducky Shine 6 Keyboard Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The Ducky Shine 6 comes in many, many forms, be it this updated version in all black, the older special edition with the half-height ABS keycaps, another special edition with a blue-colored case, or even those with so-called golden white and snow white case options. Regardless of what you go with, they cost the same for all the switch options at $159 from their primary distributor Mechanicalkeyboards.com in the USA as of the date this review was written.
  • Lots of different editions and aesthetic options to choose from
  • Well built with seamless doubleshot legends on thick PBT keycaps
  • Multiple, consistent Cherry MX RGB switch options available
  • Extensive on-board functionality control
  • Dedicated software driver for LED control
  • Good set of accessories including replacement keycaps and mouse bungee
  • Expensive
  • Some of the extensive onboard functionality can be complicated and confusing the first few times
  • Assembly of the PCB could have been better on my sample
  • One-year warranty is short
For all intents and purposes, this review covers the broad range of the Ducky Shine 6 keyboards available on the market today—be it the special edition, limited editions, or more. The primary difference, assuming all have the same switch, is aesthetics, albeit some do use ABS plastic instead of PBT plastic, which is a personal con in my books, but you will have to decide whether the trade-off with the half-height and floating keycap design is worth it. All of these cost $159, and this is not great value for money today. Indeed, it is far too close in pricing to some thick metal case keyboards, such as the iKBC MF108 we saw earlier this year. Ducky's Shine series of keyboards used to have a full metal case as well, which would have helped justify the price point and more, but this time, things are different, and it has to rely on other features instead.

The feature set overall is thankfully still on the impressive side, be it the detachable cable on the keyboard or extensive on-board functionality via dip switches or pre-programmed functions and profiles alike. One can re-assign keys and record macros on-the-fly, and the seamless doubleshot injection technique is still great to behold given it is extremely hard to do so on ABS plastic, let alone thick PBT plastic. Bright SMD RGB LEDs add in 16.8 M colors for backlighting across a plethora of lighting modes—static, dynamic, and type responsive—and there is another set for side lighting with its own set of controls. Here too, on-board controls help configure the lighting to your choosing to save it on the device, and there is also a dedicated software driver for lighting control that makes things easier. I did appreciate the option to combine multiple lighting modes, although per-key lighting is not an option here.

There are other things I can mention here, but one that does need special attention is the wide variety of Cherry MX switches available to choose from. Indeed, Ducky had even been the first to use Cherry's new (at the time) Nature White switch, which has admittedly not been very popular, but it does means that if you fancy a keyboard with some of these rarely seen switches, the Shine 6 is a good bet. The small touches here and there when it comes to sharing their culture with the rest of the world are also neat. But that was dampened slightly by my specific unit having a loose solder ball due an instance of hand soldering and the extraneous circumstances with shipping this review sample. Ducky had a good explanation for the hand soldering, as covered before, and assures me that they will be taking this very seriously. A good thing about discussing a keyboard that has been available for a while is that I can in this instance also tell that this does seem to be a one-off, so I would not necessarily consider this a deal breaker.

Overall, the Shine 6 was a feature-rich keyboard when it launched in late 2016, and continues to be one even today. The market has been growing rapidly, however, so it will benefit from a price cut. The incremental updates over the months since its launch do help somewhat, and the product does enough to merit a recommendation as-is.
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