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  1. I am also interested in a mechanical keyboard and did some research. I never had one so all the following info is just from research and not experience. Pro Max: Max allows you to custimze LED colors for $2 per LED. Say if you want a Red light under your Esc key or whatever. Ducky does not. Max has excellent customer support. Ducky customer support is unreachable (China?) you would have to deal with problems through who ever sold you the keyboard. Max offers O-Rings for $14 and another $6 if you want them to install the O-Rings for you. Ducky does not. (O-Rings make the keyboard quieter by dampening the noise of bottoming out the keys) Max has 2 USB ports and 2 Audio jacks. I am not sure but I think Ducky has neither. Max has fixed sturdy cable. Ducky has standard removable mini USB to USB cable. If you're going to yank it out and plug it back often, that mini USB plug on the keyboard is most likely the first thing to break. Minor detail but Max key caps have the text printed on them side by side for double function keys (Example 4 $), better illumination and looks cooler in my opinion. Ducky has the standard where the secondary function is printed below the main function and the illumination looks uneven. Pro Ducky: Max has simple backlighting, on/off, few intensity levels. Ducky has all that plus a few cool illumination modes, like reactive, night rider style, breathing, and 2 custom modes where you can pick which keys light up. Neutral: I personally like the 3 squared indicator LEDs for Caps, Num and Scroll (Game mode?) (which you can also customize the color of) on the Max better than the 4 keys Ducky offers in the same place. One more thing, when doing the numbers on your budget, if you are not in the US and ordering with international shipping, take into account that you will probably have to pay additional customs taxes. This is all the theory I have on these keyboards. I have my mind set on the Max X9 Cherry Reds with Blue LED base and a few customized ones + O-Rings and can't wait for the 16th group buy.