Ducky Shine 5 RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review. We’re going to check out the Ducky Shine 5 mechanical keyboard with brown cherry MX switches! Inside the box we have a ducky themed keycap remover, instruction manual, warranty information, the keyboard itself and a USB cable. Let’s take a quick physical tour of the keyboard. The Ducky Shine 5 keyboard weighs 1.3kg and is 460x154x34mm in size.
It’s a standard full size keyboard with numpad included. An additional space key was provided so that you can replace the first one if you want a different design. Otherwise the keyboard is fairly simple, there’s nothing on the left, right or front at all, while the top obviously has the keys. The only difference here from other standard layout keyboards that I’ve found was the four keys along the top right which include a shortcut to open calculator in Windows, as well as a volume mute, volume down and volume up buttons. The back only has the Mini USB port for plugging the included cable into.
While plugging the cable in I noticed that there’s a little path for it to feed out to the back as the cable plugs in sideways, which was a nice touch, though it doesn’t really clip in at all and easily falls out if you move it around. The USB cable is just a standard 1.5M black rubber cable, no fancy braiding or anything here, though Mini USB is fairly common and you should be able to easily replace this if you wanted.
The body of the keyboard is made out of plastic with a brushed metallic look to it, which does a good job at hiding fingerprint marks for something that you’ll be touching all the time. The bottom has some DIP switches which you probably won’t ever need to change unless you need to swap to 6-key rollover mode which is used for compatibility with KVM or operating systems that don’t support n-key rollover. Also on the bottom are the rubber feet.
The keyboard doesn’t have usual multi height adjustments available, instead the two back feet can be completely removed meaning that there are only two different height options. While this is not as good in terms of adjustment compared to say the Ducky One keyboard which has 3 different settings, these feet do make the keyboard more secure as they don’t move or fold back in if you move the keyboard around.
I found that the rubber feet did a good job at holding the keyboard in place, even during intense typing sessions it stayed put and did not slide around at all. When comparing it to my previous keyboard, the Filco Majestouch 2, the back of it didn’t feel as high as I’d normally have it even with the feet in, though I quickly got used to this. The keyboard features N-key rollover while using USB, meaning that it can handle any number of simultaneous key presses.
N-key rollover is important as some lower quality keyboards will be limited to a certain number of keys pressed down concurrently, resulting in some key presses to not register properly. The key caps are ABS double-shot and laser engraved. They’re made from two different colours of plastic combined together, which results in the keycap surface being flat with no possibility of the character on the key from being worn out over time – a problem you’d have with keys that only have the letters printed on. This allows the LED light to shine through the actual key.
I found the keycaps were mostly smooth to the touch with a subtle light grippy matte texture to them. The keyboard feels very comfortable to type with and the keys are just nice to press. Here’s what typing with the Cherry MX brown switches sounds like, while this is obviously not perfect, hopefully it gives you at least some idea of how the keys sound to type with. If you want to take any of the keys out to change or replace them, you can simply use the included keycap puller which is very easy to use.
The keyboard is of course available with different types of Cherry MX switches depending on what you prefer to use, personally I’m a fan of browns which is what we’re dealing with here. The keyboard also allows you to set custom macro key combinations, which is a great way of being able to perform extra functionality without the need to have a bunch of extra keys physically present on the keyboard, though I found that setting these up was a little difficult to do to begin with, the information in the manual isn’t very clear on the process.
Finally let’s take a look at the available lighting effects. I want to start off here by saying that there is no requirement to install any software on your computer in order to modify the lighting of the keyboard. Personally I see this as a huge advantage, as most keyboard software that I’ve seen is pretty clunky and never really seems to work perfectly. In this case, all of the lighting effects and colours are changed directly on the keyboard itself which I definitely prefer.
Firstly we’ll reset the keyboard to factory defaults before we start playing with it, this is done by simply holding both of the windows keys for 3 seconds. The keys will flash 3 times to confirm that this has completed. As you can see this is very easy to do, so don’t worry about breaking anything and get in there and start customizing! We can cycle through the available effects by pressing the Fn and F9 keys.
The first effect will simply light up all of the keys with a solid colour, nothing fancy. The second is a breathing effect where the lights all fade in and out. The third is wave mode where the keys light up side to side in a wave movement. The fourth is snake marquee mode, where the keys individually light up back and forth in a snake like pattern. The fifth is reactive mode where only the keys that you press light up.
The sixth mode is a ripple, where a wave of light will rush out from each keypress, kind of like a water drop into a pond. The seventh is aurora mode, it’s similar to ripple mode but only keys in the same row that you press light up. Finally the eighth time you press the Fn and F9 key all lighting effects will be turned off. While we can keep pressing the Fn and F9 keys to cycle through the lighting effects until we have turned them off, we can instead hold down the Fn and F9 keys for 3 seconds which will turn off the backlighting effects.
We can change the speed of any of these effects by holding the Fn key and pressing the left arrow key to decrease the speed of the effect, or the right arrow key to increase the speed. As we can see here this allows us to further customise the effects to get them how we want. So far by default the colour of the keys is blue, however we can adjust the RGB colours how we like.
We can increase the level of red by pressing the Fn and F5 keys, the level of green is changed with the Fn and F6 keys, while the blue is adjusted with the Fn and F7 keys. Each colour can be adjusted 7 times, for example if we increase red, green and blue to the maximum number of 7 then all keys will be lit brightly white. If you’re unhappy with the colours you’ve set, simply press the Fn and F8 keys to erase the RGB colour settings.
While being able to manually select the exact colour combination that you want this way is very powerful, we can instead press the Fn and space keys to active the colour palette which will display 108 different colours for you to choose from. Simply press the key that has the colour that you want to select and that colour will then be in use. Personally I much prefer this way of picking a colour when compared to using the F5 6 and 7 keys.
We can also cycle through the RGB LED blending modes which are basically preset colouring options with effects, by pressing the Fn and F10 keys. These modes are similar to the ones that we cycled through with the Fn and F9 keys previously, however using F10 instead uses the RGB blending modes which automatically adds in a mix of colours for us. Again we can decrease or increase the speeds with the Fn and left or right arrow keys.
We can also easily disable the RGB blending modes by holding the Fn and F10 keys for 3 seconds. I’m definitely more of a fan of using these modes as the colours are already set and look pretty cool, there’s no need for me to customly change anything, although the options are there to do this if you prefer.
In addition to these preset modes, there are two custom lighting zones we can set into the keyboards memory. These are known as CM1 for the first, and CM2 for the second and allow us to specifically set the colours of individual keys. CM1 is enabled by pressing the Fn and F11 keys and by default is set to light up the WASD keys. If we press these keys again it will go into breathing mode, and if we press them a third time CM1 will turn off. CM2 is enabled by pressing the Fn and F12 keys and by default is set to light up the arrow keys, and again if we press these keys again it will go into breathing mode, while the third time will turn off CM2.
Both CM1 and CM2 can be enabled at the same time, however if any of the effects conflict with each other CM1 will take priority. To customise CM1, press the Fn and Print screen keys to start recording. If you wish to customise CM2 instead, press the Fn and pause keys to start recording. The brightness is first adjusted, followed by the colour. While in recording mode, the caps lock key is used to display the current brightness level and colour that will be applied to the keys you select.
The brightness and colour can be adjusted by pressing the caps lock key in combination with F5, F6 or F7 as before, while F8 can be used to clear it and start over. Simply press the keys that you want to be set to the selected level of brightness and colour. After applying a colour to one or more keys we can easily change to a new colour and start applying this to different keys.
When you’re done recording, press the caps lock and scroll lock keys to stop recording. This will save your settings. As you can hopefully see these options are quite powerful, as you can essentially customize specific keys to get them to the colour that you want. One small issue that I noticed with the LEDs is that if I’m sitting in front of the keyboard on a certain angle a couple of them under the spacebar seem to shine out right into my eye, I’ll try my best to capture this on camera, it’s a little annoying but not too bad.
So with all of that in mind, how is the keyboard to actually use? I’ve really liked typing with this keyboard, to be honest there’s not that much else for me to say as I’m fairly used to using Cherry MX brown switches which are still my favourite type to use, typing is therefore a fairly similar experience to using other keyboards with brown switches.
However typing on this keyboard does just feel really nice overall, I haven’t had any issues with it at all other than some difficulties with configuring macros. The keyboard is of course available with different coloured Cherry MX switches such as blue, black and red for example, so you can get different switches based on your preference which can provide you with a familiar typing experience.
The keyboard mostly has a plain and clean look to it, which I personally prefer over the more “gamer” branded keyboards that have all sorts of extra keys and take up more space. What you’re getting here is a simple looking keyboard with very powerful inbuilt lighting effects and the ability to easily customize the colours how you want without relying on any software to be installed. So in conclusion I really like this keyboard, the build quality is solid and it feels very durable, it’s great to type on and there are plenty of lighting effects and customizations that you can easily set directly on the keyboard itself.
I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an RGB lit keyboard. I’ve found that I personally prefer this over the Ducky One keyboard that I have previously reviewed, the RGB option really takes the customization to a whole new level as there is so much that you can change to get the keyboard exactly how you want it to look.
So what did you guys think of the Ducky Shine 5 keyboard? Be sure to let me know down in the comments and let me know what keyboards you guys are using and why you like them. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to share for future posts like this one!