Posted On 12/14/2015 By In Keyboard Reviews

REVIEW: MechanicalKeyboards.com MK2016

Page Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Typing Test
  3. Packaging, Unboxing, and Contents
  4. External Build
  5. Internal Build
  6. Switches
  7. Layout and Function Keys
  8. Summary & Conclusion
  9. Full Gallery
  10. Where to Buy

Introduction

The MK2016 is the first full size keyboard under the MechanicalKeyboards.com brand. The MK2016 is essentially a rebranded Ducky Premier, with a few changes. The keyboard retails for $129 and upon first look appears to be a fantastic deal for the money. It has nice thick PBT keycaps, removable cable, and Ducky internals. With all of the obvious benefits of this keyboard, are there any cons that should be considered before buying? Read on to find out!

Typing Test

Packaging, Unboxing, and Contents

The MK2016 packaging is very minimal and elegant. Upon first glance it really reminded me of the KUL’s packaging. A simple “MK2016” logo is front and center on the matte black box, with only a “Cherry MX Switches Inside” logo off to the side. The other sides are much the same, leaving absolutely no clutter on the box. Overall the packaging is both elegant and does the job of keeping the keyboard safe during travels well.

Inside the box

The box contained the keyboard, very safely locked in place by cardboard, a manual (in English!), a plastic keyboard cover, a wire keycap puller, a USB Mini B cable, and 3 extra white keys (F, J, ESC). I was very pleased with all of the included accessories. The plastic cover was a great little extra, and helped keep the car hair that is all over my house off of the keyboard during testing. The wire puller is good, and better than the small plastic alternatives. The white keys, while not my look, are a very cool addition to include.

External Build

Case

The case is made out of a nice rigid plastic that is very resistant to torsional flexing. There is no branding on the top or sides of the keyboard at all, giving it an extremely clean and professional look. The case is in two parts (top, bottom) and is held together by 3 screws, one being under a sticker that will void the warranty if broken.

Reverse side (rubber pads, feet, etc.)

The underside of the keyboard has a USB Mini B connection in the middle of the keyboard, with 3 routing channels (back left, center, back right) for the cable. The cable is held securely in place by small clips in the channels, which in turn protect the connector in the keyboard from being wiggled around and broken over time. There are 4 rubber feet that keep the keyboard soundly in place, even with heavy typing. The back of the keyboard is not flat like some, but already slightly angled due to a raised section that runs across the back of the keyboard. There are also flip up feet, that are just plastic without any rubber, that can further raise the keyboard. I was slightly worried that I would experience some slippage due to the feet not having rubber, but the keyboard managed to stay in place without any issues thanks to the thickness of the front pads.

Keycaps

The included keycaps are definitely a huge high point of the keyboard. The included caps are very thick dye sub Ducky PBT keycaps. The light blue modifiers with grey alphas also manage to give the keyboard a very unique looks as well. I personally am a huge fan of the color combination. The dye sub legends are noticeably less clean that doubleshot legends would be, with the blue modifiers looking slightly fuzzier than the alphas. The feel of the caps is excellent though. They are also noticeably thicker than the huge majority of other stock keycaps. Below is a picture of the MK2016 keycaps compared to the stock caps on a KBP V60:

 

Internal Build

The internal build quality was another impressive high point. To get the case apart you will have to void the warranty, so keep that in mind. There are 3 screws on the back (none under the rubber pads or center sticker), and clips around the edges. To pop the clips run a very small flathead screwdriver, or similar tool, between the two case layers and gently push out. The clips will pop relatively easily. Finally, if you do open the case, be aware that the wires that run to the USB connector on the bottom case will need to be carefully unclipped, so don’t yank the two halves apart too quickly!

Once inside, I could see the keyboard had a very nice blue PCB. The internals are still Ducky branded even. The soldering is all exceptionally clean, and the overall quality left me with absolutely no concerns.

 

Switches

Currently Cherry MX Red, Brown, and Blue switches are offered on the MK2016. The unit that I reviewed had MX Brown switches installed, which are non-clicky tactile switches. Cherry switches are often considered to be the best simply due to their proven reliability and quality. The keyboard also has Cherry stabilizers, which can feel mushy at times, but they felt absolutely fine on the MK2016. Cherry stabilizers also make changing the keycaps a much easier process than Costar stabilizers.

Layout and Function Keys

The MK2014 has a standard ANSI layout, therefore just about any aftermarket keycap set should fit perfectly on the keyboard. The MK2016 also has 4 DIP switches on the back for further customization of the layout. Here is the chart included in the instruction manual on the DIP switches:

FunctionsDIP 1DIP 2DIP 3DIP 4
QWERTYOFFOFF
DvorakONOFF
ColemakOFFON
Swap Alt and Windows KeysON
Typist ModeON
Default SettingOFFOFFOFFOFF
  • Different layouts are accessed by combination of DIP switch 1 and 2.
  • Typist mode turn off all advanced functions and turns it into a basic typing keyboard.
  • After changing DIP switch settings, the keyboard may need to be reconnected for the setting to take effect.
  • Please do not expose the keyboard to liquids or high temperature.

The MK2016 also features a function (FN) layer that provides quite a few different utilities as well. There are media functions, lighting functions, and multiple key repeat setting for gaming. Here is a chart showing the full FN layer of the MK2016:

FN+F1Repeat Delay 1x (Default)Adjust USB Repeat Delay Time
FN+F2Repeat Delay 2x
FN+F3Repeat Delay 4x
FN+F4Repeat Delay 8x
FN+F5Auto Repeat 1x (Default)Adjust USB Repeat Rate
FN+F6Auto Repeat 2x
FN+F7Auto Repeat 4x
FN+F8Auto Repeat 8x
FN+F9F1~F8 Acceleration Mode DisplayLED show status of Acceleration Mode or off
FN+F101st push-4th pushWASD Illumiated, ESC Illuminated, ESC+WASD Illuminated, ALL LED OFF
FN+DeleteMute
FN+EndVolume Down
FN+PgDnVolume Up
FN+CalculatorPlay / Pause
FN+My ComputerStop
FN+MailPrevious Song
FN+WebNext Song

The lighting modes are a little weak, and don’t show up too well through the stock caps. That being said there is no reason for this keyboard to compete with others like the Ducky shine, as it is going to an entirely different market of people. Personally I love the single ESC key lighting mode, this is perfect if you have one artisan keycap that you like to highlight. The WASD illumination does make the keys easier to find in dark setting as well. My only real gripe is the inability to swap CTRL with CAPS. For me, this is something that I really enjoy my keyboards to have, as the layout just makes so much more sense I think.

Summary & Conclusion

The MK2016 is an exceptional keyboard for the price. The keyboard takes a quality over frills approach, which I always appreciate. Instead of crazy backlighting or a fancy looking case aimed at gamers, the MK2016 is a very classy looking and feeling keyboard that would be at home in an office or at a battlestation gaming rig. It gets a very clean bill of health from me!

Pros

  • Price is very competitive @ $129 normal pricing
  • The PBT Ducky keycaps are fantastic in every way. Feel. Appearance. Thickness
  • The internal build quality is superb, as is expected from a Ducky product.
  • USB Mini B connector
  • Included accessories are good

Cons

  • Could have better lighting
  • Only 3 switch options currently (Cherry MX Red, Blue, Brown)
  • Only 1 color option for the keycaps, while I love them, everyone may not and there isn’t other options
  • Can’t swap CAPS/CTRL

Final score:8.3/10

 

Full Gallery

Where to Buy

MK2016 on MechanicalKeyboards.com

Disclaimer: The same keyboard was provided courtesy of MechanicalKeyboards.com, and is in no way a paid review/advertisement. 

Tags : , , ,

Leave a Reply