Ducky has a reputation for consistently making some of the best mechanical keyboards you can buy, with the quality you’ve come to love and trust with, typically, a higher cost-to-match.
Today, see me look at their new TKL Aura, otherwise known as an 80% mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Silent Red switches.
Ducky One 3 TKL Aura: Specifications
Ducky One 3 TKL Aura: Closer Look
The outer packaging is some of the best I’ve ever seen for a keyboard, with decent artwork and colours to match, and highlighting the Aura lighting, which is the product highlight.
The board itself can be found in a soft feel plastic cover under a clear plastic clamshell. The accessories include additional purple keycaps to replace the escape, shift, and arrow keys, and a spacebar cap.
A braided USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable is also included, along with a switch puller, should you wish to replace the switches at some point in the future.
The keyboard in this TKL configuration comes with translucent double-shot keycaps that allow light to pass through while obscuring what is behind them. The body has a translucent grey all over, allowing an obscured view, much like the keycaps.
The rear of the board has a 3-engle feet system with two-step keyboard feet, along with a USB-C connector in the recessed center section towards the top of the board. Notice a channel from the center to the left and right edges of the board. This is where you can route the braided cable should you wish.
Every Ducky One 3 board has a nice metal plate with parts and serial numbers attached.
Finally, four dip switches can also be found on the rear. These control:
Dip 1: Disable Windows key lock function.
Dip 2: NKRO (N-key rollover) mode.
Dip 3: Ducky Vendor ID (off) or User-defined ID (on).
Dip 4: Right Windows key is the default.
However, by default, all of these are set to off.
A shot of the Ducky One 3 plugged in shows us the diffused LEDs out of the box; the LEDs are set to a rainbow effect flowing from left to right; this picture is a still of that.
Now, with the keyboard powered on, taking the keycap off shows the LED on the top side of the switch above the stem. These switches are Cherry MX Red Silent, but you can pick from Cherry, Gateron, & Kailh.
Ducky One 3 TKL Aura: Quack Mechanics?
Ducky One 3 TKL Aura: The Verdict
The Ducky One 3 TKL Aura feels like a well-built mechanical keyboard, and as there is quite a lot of competition at this price point in the market, it is down to the little extras that can set these things apart.
The design is one of its stand-out features! I mentioned the transparent plastic housing, which allows you to see the internals (the PCB) around the edges, and the translucent keycaps, enabling the LEDs to shine through the borders. However, the top of the keys themselves are a bit darker to let just enough light to light up each letter, though, in my opinion, it’s just a bit too dark compared to the edge of the keycaps.
The Cherry MX red silent switches are some of the best in the lineup, and I was surprised at just how quiet they are to type on. The switches feel solid, and the keycaps have a pleasantly smooth surface g, giving it one of the best typing experiences I’ve ever had. Still, I think this is also due to the “Quack Mechanics” Ducky includes that add to the overall experience. The One 3 TKL Aura really is a brilliant typing experience, even when deliberately bottoming out the key!
If Cherry switches aren’t for you, remember Ducky has you covered with other options from Kailh and Gateron.
I support Ducky’s decision to include a removable cable with a USB Type-C connector on the underside of the board, with easy access to remove the cable when needed for travel, etc. As well as, cable routing options to the left and right on the underside of the board are well thought out and executed.
Another thing I’ve failed to mention until now is the software-less design of the One 3 TKL Aura. Everything is done using a set of key presses, which include configuring the RGB LEDs, recording and using macros, and even mouse presses on the TKL and full-size versions.
A read of the manual is required, but it’s straightforward to understand and configure to your liking in no time at all. Plus, nowadays, a no-software approach is almost unheard of, and I really like it!
- Attractive design
- Keyboard feels solid
- Switches feel solid and have perfect travel on every key!
- Good softwareless configuration options
- Attractive price
- Hot swap switches
- The top of the keycaps is much darker than the sides
At the time of writing, the RRP of the Ducky One 3 TKL Aura is £144.95 with free delivery from our friends at OverclockersUK.
This makes it a desirable high-end option that is most definitely worth your consideration. I have to say I liked it so much that I went ahead and ordered the full-size version to use full-time. I am making it more than worthy of our Gold and Editor’s Choice awards!
Thank you to OverclockersUK for sending the Ducky One 3 TKL Aura for today’s review. See you again soon!