Review: Ducky DK 9008 Mechanical Keyboard (Cherry Red switches)

Reviewed by inoshiro | 15 April 2012
Genre: | Publisher: Ducky | Developer: Ducky
TOG Score
Members (av.)
The Good
  • Study & well constructed
  • Cherry mx red – Great for gaming!
  • Key rollover is 6 (USB) & N (PS/2)
The Bad
  • Does not include macro keys
  • User cannot specify personal light brightness or key illumination settings
  • Price may be expensive for some..

Reviewed by white_bear_84
Cherry (Mx) Red switches for lower actuation forces and smoother/softer keystrokes

1. Unboxing and packaging..

For me, unboxing is like christmas, when you see the present for the first time and think “WOW, THIS IS AWESOME”, it’s the prelude of what is to come!! The Ducky DK 9008 was no exception! As soon as I clawed my way through the immense layers of bubble wrap provided by PC Case Gear I immediately felt I was dealing with a quality product and to be quite honest was considerably excited – it’s my first mechanical keyboard!

On opening, the DK 9008 was covered in a felt sleeve which enclosed the entire keyboard as well as plastic cover for the top of the board. Both great to have while the keyboard is idle to prevent debris or liquids ruining this fantastic looking keyboard! Enclosed with the board were replacement keys for WASD, a key remover and a copper (plated?) USB/PS2 cable.

2. First Impressions..

Well, when I first checked it out I didn’t even think about the backlighting (I’ll discuss this next!), I was immediately amazed at how soft the keystrokes were. I have never owned a mechanical keyboard, yet went for the brave and daring choice of selecting the Cherry Red mechanism. Check out this link for more details on each mechanism: Mechanical Keyboard Guide.

Cherry Red requires the lowest actuation force out of the Cherry selection and is exceptionally smooth and quite quiet (even though it’s mechanical!) The sound of the clicks though is marvellous! Each keystroke was exceptionally soft and light – not something everyone will love, but I found this was fantastic especially as I am focusing on gaming. Each set of keys has its own section so spillage on the F1-F4 keys is not going to dribble down in the rest of the board, this also makes the design look neat and smart.


3. Them ducks love Christmas!!

The coolest feature on the DK 9008 is the backlit text. Each of the 108 keys is individually backlit (in this case blue, but other colours are available) by a small LED under each key. They best part of all though is that you can control what is lit through 4 different settings as well as the 5 settings for brightness of the keyboard.. ..seriously, check out the pics below!!


4. Structure and performance

The DK 9008 is a very sturdy keyboard and weighs 1.2kg. The frame leaves little to the imagination, making this one of the smallest mechanical keyboards around – great if you’re after that bit of extra space! The keyboard is plug and play, the cable detachable and as mentioned previously comes with protective gear so it is easy to set up and move around. Using the function keys the user can control the volume, brightness of the keyboard and the light set up. There are also four shortcut buttons for the calculator, my computer, outlook and your web browser in the top right.

Underneath the keyboard are four slide DIP switches that can turn on certain functions such as locking the two windows keys, swapping the function of the windows key and alt key and swapping the caps and control keys can be quite a benefit during gaming! A channel is also provided for the USB/PS2 cable to allow you to choose where the cable sits. Legs are also present to provide a raise for the board.

The DK9008 is able to recognise multiple key presses at once and supports 6 key rollover + modifier keys e.g. shift/ctrl etc. Full key rollover is achieved using as PS/2 adapter meaning you can press however many keys you want and they will all register! This may be an area of contention as you can potentially do multiple things at once e.g. if you have Z as fire, X as zoom and Q as spot, pressing them together will zoom and fire simultaneously whilst also spotting your enemies. I’ll leave it for you to decide..

Also important for gaming is the ability to remove the keys! A key remover is supplied with the keyboards as well as replacement keys for WASD – unfortunately they don’t supply any other keys. So you can set up your gaming keys as you like.. ..provided you have the keys!


5. The wrap

While I personally have never used a mechanical keyboard before, my opinion may be biased on what I am used to or at least have so far experienced from the DK 9008. The actuation is soft and light, the illumination and basic constructions of the board are aesthetically appeasing and it really feels like I got my monies worth – not only does it look good but you can really feel the quality.

Cherry Red might not be the best for everyone, but I for one am sold. At AU$149 the price might put some off and the basic design might not fit all tastes, but I think this keyboard is cool and well worth the money paid. Some potential downsides - the lack of additional keys other than WASD, shortcut keys are not changeable and you cannot set your own light settings outside of what is provided (something that for the price, ducky could have integrated in the board design). But these are all minor, this baby rocks!

I’d rate it a solid 4.5 out 5

Join the discussion about this review in the TOG forums!  The Laboratory: Review Ducky DK 9008

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Member reviews

- Father |
| 26 April 2012

I will never for the life of me get why WASD became the standard set of keys for FPS and the likes, it makes NO SENSE! Reason 1: For anyone who can touch type you will have your index finger on the F key, making the WASD combo into an EDSF one, it feels natural and you have the little notch on the F key so you can feel where your fingers are on the keyboard. So anyone who touch types has to work against this standard positioning by shifting the left hand another set of keys. Reason 2: Using EDSF rather then WASD allows me to use my pinky for the QAZ keys more easily giving me extra keys in easy reach. So yes first thing I do in any type of game defaulting to WASD is changing the keys.

Corners - advocate8 |
| 28 April 2012

I used this recently and it is very similar to my Leopold 500CR keyboard. It seems less sturdy (pretty sure I could machine wash the Leopold) but trades this off in backlighting. Also, I am not 100% a Cherry Red fan, but I know lots of people who are! As an aside ... I dont see the point to backlighting - particularly as I play in a lit room these days. Bear in mind as well, if you cannot find your WASD keys in the dark, then you're probably not the key marked for a mech keyboard. Go buy something from Logitech. Solid product and maybe a little more pricey than its competitors but you can find it cheaper than listed.

Mechanical = win - Loony |
| 17 May 2012

I have the Happy Hacker and the Filco. Been using them both for about 10 years and won't use a mainstream keyboard ever again (icrosoft, razor, logitech etc). On average they last for 3-5 years before a key or 2 needs to be replaced. By which time I buy a new one. Only issue I have is the key lettering eventually wearing off because the KB lasts for so long... nothing else breaks before they wear down. Filco have released a version with the backlit lettering on the leading edge of the keys so its never touched but still visible. If you sit in front of a PC all day, do yourself a favour and try one out. For those that are really hardcore =) Blank Keys, Gold-Plated Mechanical Switches

great review - Carm |
| 20 May 2012

I haven't tried it but enjoyed reading this review well done, it looks really good too I would kill for a backlit keyboard Father I am with you all the way except I go all the way to the other side of the keyboard as I have always found WASD just didn't feel right I completely see what you are saying with the EDSF wish I'd thought of that many moons ago so I don't have to do full customisations on every game

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