First, let me say hi to all the readers and I hope you are all doing well. We at TLR have been swamped trying to work from home. Long story short we’re back at it and have a ton of products that we need to review. The first of the bunch is the new Ducky Mech Mini Frozen Llama edition.
The Ducky Frozen Lama Mech Mini is a really cool colorway on a very well built keyboard.Jules Beshears
Fortnite Fans Rejoice
I’ve had the Ducky Frozen Llama edition for almost a month now. We were lucky enough to get it really early. Before I get into the full review I’ll save you all some time. If you have any of the Ducky Mini keyboards, the One 2 mini, or any of the other Mech Mini this keyboard is nothing new. It is literally a different colorway.
Now that I’ve said that, the reason you’d likely buy this keyboard is either you have been wanting a Ducky or you like the colors. What a lot of people might not know is this is actually the second Frozen Llama edition keyboard. The first was based on the One 2 Mini which has the plastic chassis which was purple. ( I like the look of this one better). This one is based on the Mech Mini so it has an aluminum chassis which is a teal blue color.
Money, Money, Money
Here is something cool to know, the first Frozen Llama was a limited edition like the current version. The result is a keyboard that is in high demand and low volume. The first Ducky Frozen Llama with the plastic chassis is selling on eBay for $250-300. Basically 200-300% over the initial cost. So while it is a gamble the Ducky Frozen Llama Mech Mini is likely a good investment with high resale value.
Let’s get into the review. You already know the packaging is first. Saying its colorful that would be an understatement. It’s a fantastic looking box in the Fortnight Frozen Lama color scheme. You will also find a sticker from Cherry indicating the key switches equipped. IMPORTANT: Frozen Llama comes with the newest Cherry MX switches that are rated for 1 million actuation vs the previous version 500 thousand actuation rating. So basically Cherry says you get twice the life span with the new key switches.
What’s In The Box
Inside the box, you will find the Keyboard itself along with some accessories. The first thing you will notice is a hard plastic keyboard dust cover. This will keep dust out as well as offer some bit of protection when the keyboard isn’t being used. This is something that I wish all keyboards came with. It’s a great way to protect the keyboard when it’s being stored.
Next is the USB cable which is white and USB C to USB A… I’m in love. I’m so tired of getting the typical black USB cables. The only thing that I can think of that would have made the cable better would have been if it was paracord but that would likely get really dirty and be harder to clean vs the plastic.
But Wait There’s More
The other accessories are all related to the key caps. First is the BAD A$$ Ducky Frozen Llama key cap puller. This is hands down the best looking key cap puller that I’ve ever seen. A plus is its the wire style key cap puller which I feel is the best way to remove key caps.
The last accessory is the extra keycaps that ducky provides. Important: The only keycap that Ducky includes that is Shine through is a Lama key. ( Has the Frozen Lama Logo) .All other keycaps including the ones installed on the keyboard are non shine through. Basically, the extra keycaps allow you to swap all the darker blue caps to purple, and the purple enter key to blue. This gives you basically 2 different color schemes. Allow me to back up for a second, I used the shine through lama keycap for escape, and Ducky gives you 4 choice of keys that can be used as an escape key. The blue (installed), the shine through lama, a purple that says escape, and lastly a purple that has the Ducky logo.
Why A Ducky Might Be For You
Let’s get onto the keyboard itself. Again, if you are familiar with Ducky keyboards especially any of the mini keyboards this one is the same. There is nothing new here other and the color and revised key switches. Before you ask the new key switches feel exactly the same as the older Cherry key switches. If you’ve used Cherry key switches before you’ll know the typing feel.
For everyone else that hasn’t used a Ducky keyboard, I’ll get into the details. First, the Ducky is a fantastically built keyboard. I won’t say its better built when compared to the Hades 68, Anna Pro, or GMMK Compact. Its easily on par as far a build quality. Ducky is known to have some of the best (non-rattly) stabilizer and I agree but we’re really splitting hairs here for the average person. Once you have a few keyboards you’ll probably notice the minor or major difference between keyboard brands. All you need to know is you won’t be disappointed with a Ducky.
When it comes to the Ducky Mini models, you have the One 2 Mini that has a plastic chassis and the Mech mini that has an aluminum chassis. That is more or less the only difference. The Mech is nice and heavy and doesn’t tend to move due to its weight and rubber pads. While I’m on the subject the Ducky Frozen Lama does have one set of flip-up feet that will provide a steeper angle for a total of 2 possible angles.
Same, Same, Not Different
Typing on the Frozen Llama is literally the same as most other 60% keyboards. The difference comes as most 60% models have different locations for the function key as well as the extra keys such as delete, page down, etc. The normal versions of the Ducky have a side legend that displays the secondary functions. However, the Frozen Lama edition does not. This can be a headache at first if you don’t have another Ducky mini and know where these keys are. You can easily learn/get used to the location of the secondary keys if they are something that you use regularly. The kicker is you will need to find a picture or a cheat sheet to help you until you remember them.
Built-In Mouse Controls For The Win
Other things to note about the duck is that it has mouse controls built-in as well. It is a feature that I tend to use more than I thought. I know many people won’t ever use them but they are there if you need them. Holding the function key you can move the mouse using the WASD keys and left click with function Q and right-click with function E.
We have a Raspberry Pi Zero connected to a TV that displays the weather, calendar, news, and quote of the day. We use Dakboard which is basically a personal web page that displays the elements. I use the Ducky mouse controls to navigate the Pi to launch the Dakboard. Then I unplug it from the Pi which is on the back of a TV mounted on the wall. The mouse controls make it so much easier to navigate and use the Pi for the basic task without the need to connect a mouse.
So how is the software? Well… There is none. Ducky are programmed using the keyboard. Changing colors, creating Macro, swapping animations are all controlled from the keyboard. There is also 4 toggle switch under the keyboard that can be flipped on or off to move the location of the Function key, or change the N-key rollover.
I know you all want my thoughts vs the other keyboards we have in the fleet and my thoughts so let me wrap this review up.
The Ducky Frozen Lama Mech Mini is a really cool colorway on a very well built keyboard. The bonus is if the keyboard is kept in good condition I could make more than I paid in a few months more than likely. All that said if you are in the market for a 60% the Ducky is a solid choice. Keep in mind everything I’m saying applies to the regular Mech and One 2 Mini keyboards as well.
I really like some of the features such as the mouse controls. I’ve only seen and used this functionality on my Ergodox. Key switch are limited to Cherry, if you want to try something like a Gateron or Kailh Box switch you can’t get them in a Ducky. The main annoyance (because I’m used to software) is the lack of software.
The instruction manual is easy to find online and you will need to because Ducky doesn’t include it for some reason. Even with the manual I still had a time trying to swap colors, animations, the function key location, etc. The software would have made it so much easier to set custom per-key color profiles which I have set up one on all the keyboards for League of Legends as a test. I will say if this was your main or only keyboard once you become familiar with how everything works from the keyboard you’ll probably be capable of flying through creating a macro, profiles, etc.
I understand the value of having all the controls on the hardware itself. It’s nice if you move from PC to PC or don’t want to install software or can’t install the software on say a work PC. I personally would have like to have the software and the option to do it from the hardware as well.
So this is what I think about the Ducky Mech Mini compared to some of the other 60% that we have.
How Does The Frozen Llama Compare
The GMMK has a nicer looking and feeling aluminum chassis and it’s hot-swappable so you have a world of possibilities when it comes to key switches. The Ducky has many more useful features such as full media controls, mouse control, and it retains the custom color profiles when switched. The GMMK doesn’t have full media controls.. ugh Overall out of these 2 its a hard call. I like that you can swap the key switches on the GMMK which allows you to buy or hack switches to get a good feel for the hobby. On the other hand, the Ducky has more usability and even has nonusable features like built-in games like minesweeper.
Comparing to the GK61 to the Ducky Frozen Llama or One 2 Mini. The GK61 has software that is half Chinese and takes a little time to get used to. When you do I think its faster than the keyboard only programming of the Ducky. GK61 is also hot-swappable but only with Gateron optical switches which can be kind of hard to find but are cheap and very durable. The GK61 is also half the price of the Ducky and allows you to program in many of the features such as full media controls like the Ducky. Ducky’s build quality however when it comes to the feel of the chassis and stabilizers is easily twice as good. So if you are on a tight budget I can still recommend the GK61 if not the Ducky is a good pickup.
Vs Anne Pro
Compared to the Anne Pro. Its the same story, the Anne Pro is fantastic, fast, and easy to use. The tap arrow function of the Anna Pro is super useful. It’s probably more useful than the mouse controls of the Ducky. The Anne Pro has more key switch options compared to the Ducky including Kailh box switches. I think the nail in the coffin in this matchup is the Anne Pro is also Bluetooth, something the ducky isn’t. If you want a metal chassis you can buy it for the Anne Pro aftermarket. That will increase the price a lot though. If you looking at the normal Ducky One 2 Mini I’d probably lean more to the Anne Pro.
Vs Hades 68
Now the heavy hitter, the HK gaming Hades 68. It is technically more than a 60%, more like a 65% maybe but it is less than a key cap wider than the other 60%. So size-wise they are basically the same. The Hades like the Anne pro has more choices when it comes to key switches. You can choose Cherry, Gateron, or Kailh switches. The Hades 68 software is as good as the Anne Pro
Again I prefer the software over Ducky’s hardware programming. The Hera Compiler is the software used with the Hades and it literally compiles the software on the keyboard. Once it’s initially set up the Hades keeps the programming and setup and can be moved and retain its setup similar to the Anna Pro and Ducky. Build quality wise I’d say the Ducky Mech Mini and Hades 68 are even. When it comes to features I’d say the Ducky wins by the smallest margins because of the mouse controls. However, if I had to choose between the Hades68 or Ducky I think that I’d choose the Hades because of the software; and the ability to choose either the Gateron brown or the Kailh box brown switches which I prefer over the Cherry browns.
I hope I’ve helped someone if you’re trying to pick a 60% keyboard. If you want a fortnight color schemed keyboard that built like a tank the Ducky Frozen Llama is your only choice. Want a keyboard you can invest in and likely get more than what you paid in a few months? The Ducky Frozen Llama is a safe bet. If you want a keyboard that is not boring black, again the Frozen Llama is for you. If you don’t like or want software to set up your keyboard again the Ducky is for you. There is a lot of reasons owning a Ducky Frozen Llama is a no brainier. I’m glad that we have one in the stable of 60% but if I’m honest the Ducky falls in the middle of the pack for me.
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