When comparing CODE Keyboard vs Ducky Shine 3, the Slant community recommends CODE Keyboard for most people. In the question“What are the best keyboards for programming?” CODE Keyboard is ranked 2nd while Ducky Shine 3 is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose CODE Keyboard is:
The CODE keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, regarded as top-quality switches. They have impressive levels of durability and consistently pass, with high marks, all the performance tests they are subjected to. There are 4 kinds to choose from: Blue, Brown, Green or Clear. The MX Blues are the most common kind. They are responsive, but soft, and quite noisy. The MX Browns feel similar to the Blues, but slightly less noisy. The MX Greens are often described as heavy Blue switches. They still make the click sound and offer tactile feedback, however the activation force is 80g (for the Blue switches, it's 50g). The MX Clear switches have medium stiffness and a tactile response but are non-clicky (similar to Brown switches but heavier and with a greater tactile feedback). It's characteristics make it fantastic for general typing in office environments.
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Pro Available with 4 different kinds of Cherry MX switches
The CODE keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, regarded as top-quality switches. They have impressive levels of durability and consistently pass, with high marks, all the performance tests they are subjected to.
There are 4 kinds to choose from: Blue, Brown, Green or Clear. The MX Blues are the most common kind. They are responsive, but soft, and quite noisy. The MX Browns feel similar to the Blues, but slightly less noisy. The MX Greens are often described as heavy Blue switches. They still make the click sound and offer tactile feedback, however the activation force is 80g (for the Blue switches, it's 50g). The MX Clear switches have medium stiffness and a tactile response but are non-clicky (similar to Brown switches but heavier and with a greater tactile feedback). It's characteristics make it fantastic for general typing in office environments.
Pro Solid construction
This keyboard is built solidly, using sturdy parts made of robust materials. It's mounted on a solid steel backplate, weighs over 2 pounds and has a dual layer PCB board. In this aspect, it’s comparable to other keyboards renowned for their build quality, such as those from the Ducky series.
Pro Full white backlighting
The CODE keyboard comes with backlighting that feels similar to the one found on Apple products. You can pick from seven brightness levels and the onboard memory saves your lighting preferences. They also have gone to a lot of trouble getting the backlighting even by painting the backplate white and positioning the key symbols just right.
Pro Minimalistic design
The CODE keyboard has a textured finish that resists fingerprints and scratches. It has no stickers or logos and the back-lighting is very clean and elegant.
Pro Removable/replaceable USB cable
Many keyboards come with a permanently attached cable, meaning that if it gets damaged, you need to get it fixed or replace the whole board. CODE keyboards come with removable cables, which means they're easy to replace if broken. This also has the added benefit of allowing for more customization options: braided cables, different coloured cables, or longer/shorter cables for different setups without having excess cables hanging around.
Pro Highly configurable
DIP-switches on the back of the keyboard can be used to disable the Windows key, switch Caps Lock with Ctrl, swap Alt with Command (if you're on macOS), and change to QWERTY, Dvorak, or Colemak layouts.
Pro Available with or without a numeric keypad
Users can choose between versions that have and don't have a numeric keypad.
Pro Media control
Even though there aren't any dedicated media keys, the navigation cluster has secondary media control functions. To access these functions, the keys should be pressed in combination with the Fn key.
Pro Consistent design
FN labels are on the front of the keycaps (i.e. media labels). This improves the user experience.
A consistent design is an outstanding aspect in this keyboard.
Pro Saves time with complex key combos
Key combos can be configured, supporting combinations of up to six keys. However, Ctrl, Alt and Shift don't count to this total. As a result, using these keys actually increases the combo key limit to nine.
Pro Very portable
This keyboard’s detachable cable, dimensions, and weight make it extremely easy to carry around.
Pro Great build quality
The Shine 3 has a dual layer PCB, plate mounted switches, as well as laser printed & UV Coated keycaps. Ducky also has the reputation of having some of the highest quality boards on the market.
Pro Highly customisable backlighting
The Shine 3 comes with fully programmable LED lights under each and every keycap. There are 6 backlight patterns to choose from: Full (100%), Breathing, Wave Marquee, Snake Marquee, Reactive mode, and Ripple mode. When you buy the Shine 3 you have the option of picking the color of the backlighting LEDS from Red, Green, Blue, White, Magenta & Orange.
Pro USB cable is detachable and replaceable
The USB cable is detachable and comes with cable routing guides to let you control where the cable comes out of the keyboard.
Pro Cherry MX switches
The mechanical Cherry switches have been known for 5 decades for their tactile quality and robustness. With the Shine 3, users can choose between Brown, Blue, Black or Red.
Pro Compact tenkeyless design
Without the numpad it takes up less space and allows you to place the keyboard and mouse closer together in a more natural position for your body which can help avoid injuries for people using it all the time.
Pro On board memory for profile/setting storage
The Ducky will remember all your customization settings for the lighting and other profile settings even if you turn it off or use it on another computer.
Pro Uses Cherry Stabilizers
Some people prefer the design of the Cherry Stabilizers over the Costars as they are arguably quieter (no rattle and less sound when you bottom out). They are also better for frequent keycap swapping as it's easier to remove/add keys. On the other hand, they can be described as "mushy".
Pro Unique "logo" on spacebar to celebrate Chinese zodiac signs
The spacebar features a unique logo from the year when the keyboard was manufactured to celebrate various animals on the Chinese zodiac. Pictured is the YOTS variant or known as Year Of The Snake. The Ducky comes with a replacement spacebar with no design if you don't like the snake version.
Compared to alternatives which offer RGB lighting, USB passthrough or other features, this keyboard is pretty expensive.
Con Sculpted keys make switching to Dvorak difficult
Dvorak is a keyboard layout that's an alternative to the commonly used QWERTY layout. While QWERTY was designed in the early days of typing, Dvorak is a more comfortable, modern layout which is technically superior. It is designed to have more flow than QWERTY, where the left hand does most of the work. Here, keys are strategically placed to spread the typing out more evenly. This creates better flow (left hand types a letter, then the right hand, then back to left and so on). In this keyboad, the keycaps are sculpted for the QWERTY layout, which means that, when you switch the keys around, each of the keys is at a slightly different angle than the one next to it.
Con No wireless connection
CODE keyboards connect via USB. No Bluetooth or any other form of wireless connection is available.
Con Spare parts and keycap sets can only be obtained from third parties
The manufacturer doesn’t sell spare parts or keycap sets, so if users want to change the layout, they have to get these components from a third party.
Con Too small for some, particularly those with big hands
This keyboard's small size may prove difficult for some people to get accustomed to.
Con Lacks numpad
This is a tenkeyless keyboard which means that it doesn't have the numpad.
Con It's hard to source the MX Clear version
The version of the CODE keyboard that comes with the MX Clear switches is constantly out of stock.
Con Keycaps error (in AZERTY at least) and no contextual menu key
Two little quirks in the layout:
1) The < and > keys are inverted (not a huge deal, but a bit annoying for a high end keyboard);
2) Even though most of the "interesting" special functions are on the right hand, they put the Fn key on the right, removing the contextual menu. Fortunately there is a duck key (for the right Windows key), which can be reprogrammed by creating a new driver.
Con No numpad
This keyboard lacks numpad.
Con 1 year only warranty
The warranty is limited to 1 year.
Con Text on the ABS Keycaps can fade
The keycaps in the Ducky Shine are made from ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) so that backlighting is possible, however this material is known to quickly fade out after prolonged usage. To keep your keyboard looking like it's in top notch condition, you may need to replace the keycaps periodically.
Con No calculator button
There's no calculator shortcut button.