We’ve previously taken a look at the Ducky Mini 60% Keyboard & the Ducky One, now we’re taking a look at the big bad boy, The Shine 5. This time, we went and got the Cherry MX Red switch version just to switch it up a little bit. There are apparently ones with the new Cherry MX Nature White which sit in between the Red and Brown switches. We’re all accustomed with Ducky their and use of German made Cherry MX switches, their on-board menu system and their individually backlit keys. But this time, they’re fully RGB.
Overall, they’re really solid as expected. The design DNA has been carried over from the Shine 4 which is a break from the minimalistic designs of the Ducky 1, 2, and 3. Plus, they added a brushed finish to the plastic housing to give off that premium feeling as well as help keep fingerprints to a minimum. Yes, the housing is plastic as opposed to other manufacturers opting for aluminium. But, don’t let that dissuade you. The plastic used have always been a survivor and are clearly built to last many years of abuse. Plus aluminium has always given a cold to the touch feel and they don’t always look pretty after many years of contact with our hands as their finishing tends to wear out. In this case, plastics here would not do that. My only gripe is that they did not go with a thinner bezel design like the rest boast to have and the Shine 5’s bezel is needlessly thicker than I’d liked it to be. But, for keyboards that are meant to live on your desk.
They feature a double-layer PCB design mounted on a steel backplate to give it strength. This gives it a weight of 1.2kg. I tried flexing it as hard as possible with my bear hands and the results we’re pleasing. Apart from minor flexing this keyboard is strong thanks to that solid steel backplate. For the key caps, they went with ABS double-shot key caps which I really fancied like on the Ducky One. And they give off that slight PBT feel with that slight grainy and grippy feeling. But it would be freaking awesome if they went and step up and gave their users actual PBT + POM infill as PBT key caps feel much more satisfying. But, I’d still settle for their current offering as I’m not very particular about my key caps.
Do check out our review of the Ducky One here : http://calvinpixels.com/ducky-one-mechanical-keyboard-review/
Moving on to the bottom, like the Shine 4. It features a Ducky logo embossed into the back plastic and 2 removable rubber feet. So, you can opt to have them on or not, depending on what you’re comfortable with. The cable is detachable and it isn’t braided but it’s okay as they don’t break that easily and you can change them out with something of your personal liking. The port is placed at a right angle to prevent it from being dislodged by accident. Like the Ducky One, there’s a DIP switch at the bottom which you can use to chance the placement of the Fn key as well as toggle NKRO and 6KRO. For gamers, it features NKRO so you can kiss those worries of ghosting good bye as they feature 100% anti-ghosting. For the Caps Lock and the Num Lock key, they went away with conventionally placed LED’s and decided to have it toggle the LED behind the key caps itself turn on/off.
The Shine 5 features support for 5 unique lighting effects as they’re all RGB as well as some custom modes. To start, we’re going to go with Multi-Colour mode. Which is toggled using FN+F10. There are a total of 8 modes, which are;
1. Colour Cycling Mode
2. Wave Mode
3. Snake Marquee Mode
4. Raindrop Mode
5. Reactive Mode
6. Ripple Mode
7. Aurora Mode
8. Backlight OFF
Like the Ducky One, the speed of effect can be controlled using FN + Left/Right arrow keys to speed up or slow down the effect.
Now moving on to the Single-Colour Mode. Which is toggled using FN+F9. Here there are also 8 modes, which are;
1. Full Backlight Mode
2. Breathing Mode
3. Wave Mode
4. Snake Marquee Mode
5. Reactive Mode
6. Ripple Mode
7. Aurora Mode
8. Backlighting Off
You can change the brightness of any given colour. There are 7 levels of brightness you can choose from.
1. FN+F5 controls the brightness for the colour Red
2. FN+F6 controls the colour Green
3. FN+F7 controls the colour Blue
4. FN+F8 erases the colour you’ve chosen
With this, you can mix and get the colour you want. For example the colour Purple. Simply max out the colour Red and Blue by pressing FN+F5 7 times and FN+F7 7 times. Voila! You now have glorious purple!
There is also a much faster way to get at it as we’ve discovered there is an undocumented way of doing this. First, hold down FN+(F5/F6/F7 in any order). And you’ll be able to scroll through 64 levels of colour brightness versus just 7 from before.
1.Hold down FN+F5 to scroll through the brightness levels of the colour Red
2.Hold down FN+F6 for the colour Green
3.Hold down FN+F7 for the colour Blue
4.Hold down FN+(F5+F6) to scroll through the brightness levels of a combo of Red and Green
5.Hold down FN+(F6+F7) for a combo of Green and Blue
6.Hold down FN+(F5+F7) for a combo of Red and Blue
For an even faster method you can press FN+Spacebar. All keys will light up in a different colour spectrum. Just select which one you prefer and press the key associated with the colour and voila. All the keys will change to match. You can even do this in Wave Mode by pressing FN+F5 7 times, and you will get a band of Red start to scroll from left to right. Press FN+F6 7 times add Green to the mix and brings you Green and Red with a wonderful gradient of Yellow and Orange in between the Red and Green. To add Blue to the mix press FN+F7 7 times and you’ll get a beautiful rainbow effect. As per usual, the speed of the effect can be controlled using FN+Left/Right arrow key to increase or decrease the speed.
Now moving on to the Custom Modes and Profiles. They’re pretty similar to similar to the Ducky One apart from having RGB lighting options. For macros, there are 6 profiles. Profile 1 is default while 2-6 is user customizable. To select any one of them, simply press FN+(1-6)
Moving on to Custom Modes. There are 2 of them which are CM1 and CM2 Just like the Ducky One. FN+PrtSc starts the recording for CM1 while FN+Pause starts the recording for CM2. They both end when you press the Caps Lock + Scroll Lock.
Here’s the part where it differs from the Ducky One. You can change the ‘paintbrush’ colour that will be applied to the key by holding Caps Lock + F5/F6/F7 which corresponds to Red/Green/Blue. The colour of the Caps Lock will display the current colour and once you’re satisfied, let go of the Caps Lock button and go ahead and go ham with the customizations. It’s a very repetitive process so it will take a little bit of time to get what you want. But, the results are so worth it.
Then there’s other functions like Macro Record Options that appeal to gamers since this keyboard doesn’t have physical macro buttons. Yet they have managed to successfully implement it into the design via their on-board menu system. Next there is the USB Repeat Acceleration that appeals to RTS gamers like Starcraft players and Multimedia Keys which they offer 24. They are disabled by default so if you’re interested you have to follow setup guide which is in the manual. Apart from those macro enabled ones, there are 4 physical ones on the keyboard. Which is the Cal button which launches the calculator and the 3 standard volume controls. The mute, volume down and volume up.
The Ducky Shine 5 is a very amazing and versatile keyboard. Everything is really well thought of and put together that it would please from the most simplest of people to the computer enthusiasts. It chews up whatever you can throw at it whether be it daily day to day tasks, productivity or gaming. It’s offers great build quality and jam packed to the brim with features. Plus, it requires no additional software to customize, save, and bring your personal setting with you. Plus, its compatible with multiple OS’s, BIOS and KVM’s. Though, I would very much liked to try the Shine 5’s with the Cherry MX Nature White switches, I was still very much satisfied with Cherry MX Reds. It’s really comfortable to type on and it offers a very pleasing and satisfying typing experience while being ready and there for you without fail. All under a very competitive price tag.
Ducky One: http://calvinpixels.com/ducky-one-mechanical-keyboard-review/
Ducky Secret: http://calvinpixels.com/ducky-secret-rgb-review/
Ducky Flipper: http://calvinpixels.com/ducky-flipper-extra-review/