I’ve been intrigued with mechanical keyboards lately and I’m starting it with this keyboard, the Anne Pro.
My impressions have been mostly positive.
If anything, this article has been written a month after I purchased the Anne Pro and I’ve already bought another mechanical keyboard to compare against it (a Drevo Calibur) and so far, I’m thinking of the positive experiences I’ve had with the Anne Pro over this one.
The Obvious Good Parts
It’s **wireless, it’s mechanical and it’s affordable. **
Those three adjectives will pretty much spell it out for you as soon as you see the Anne Pro’s product page in any storefront out there. Since it’s wireless and compact, it also happens to be portable enough for some and it’s a perfect fit for my lifestyle – seeing that I’m living on a tight condominium complex on weekdays (I need the space) and I’m occasionally staying at a larger house during the weekends.
How Good is Good?
Decent wireless performance.
As far as wireless goes, I’m impressed on how capable it is. I use plenty of Bluetooth devices all the time – a Bose QC35 or a Trekz Air for audio, an MX Anywhere 2S, a phone that’s connected to said audio peripherals, a crowded wireless airspace (one that necessitates a 5GHz Wi-Fi network) and the occasional bluetooth extras, like up to four Joy-Cons on two Nintendo Switch consoles.
The Anne Pro has little to no issues connecting with my MacBook Pro or my Sager laptop.
It does have the occasional hiccup though, some keystrokes can get repeated (i.e., keystrokes can lock up like thisssssssssssssss but it’s no big deal since I can quickly hit ESC and/or just undo things).
The switches are Gateron Browns which may or may not be a big deal depending on how you prefer genuine Cherries. Frankly, I think the Gateron Browns are a perfect balance of tactile feel and noise (currently using some blues and while I do enjoy blues more, I’m pretty sure everyone around me will be bothered by the noise.) and some even said that they prefer the Gaterons overall, but I don’t know. I’m no expert on that.
To put simply, they feel great to type on, and I’m writing articles like this more and more because of it. That’s what really matters, doesn’t it?
Like any normal mechanical keyboard, you can easily replace each keycap individually using the provided tool.
Good value for its price.
All of the above is for naught if this was expensive. That might be the case if you’re from the west and have to import keyboards like these for long distances, but from where I live, it’s quite affortable to get these, and it’s worth every dollar so far.
It’s compact, which means it’s both portable and it gives you more room to work with. It’s perfect if you’re using a small desk or you need more room for your mouse. I thought I’d hate this kind of layout at first, but I learned to use it over time – it’s not as if I’m using the function row all the time (thank heavens this has the ESC key), and I could easily rebind the Caps Lock key for the grave/tilde symbol.
Unexpected Good Mentions
- The lights aren’t bad - Better than your typical boring laptop backlight, but not much better compared to most gaming keyboard LEDs.
- Customizability and firmware capabilities looks promising for this model – after all, it has its own subreddit and people seem to be actively going for the keyboard. It even has a new version that comes with a USB-C port and some nice improvements that would’ve been nice to have right now.
- The double shot PBT keycaps are fantastic in the long run - It’s a good feel in my opinion, and I’m sure it’ll last long since the lettering isn’t just lasered in and it looks like the keycaps won’t end up with that “shine” effect that most normal ABS keycaps would end up getting after repeated typing with oily fingers.
- So far, it looks durable enough - It doesn’t feel flimsy, that’s for sure.
The Bad Stuff
Well, it’s in Chinese. Not that it immediately means bad English, but it ends up with instructions that are either only in Chinese or you’ll simply end up looking for the English instructions and guides elsewhere. I recommend doing that, really.
Legacy issues – No power switch, MicroUSB
Seeing that there’s an Anne Pro 2 out there now, I’m obviously going to point out the things that makes this inferior: it’s using MicroUSB for its cable and it doesn’t have a power switch to fully turn it off when it isn’t in use.
Mediocre battery life.
For a Bluetooth 4.0 device, it seems… lacking in terms of battery life, seeing that it only took me a day’s worth of work with RGBs on to exhaust the battery. Maybe it’s because of the RGBs, maybe it’s because I’m used to the MX Anywhere 2S ’s stellar battery life, but I dunno, it feels like it should’ve at least lasted the entire day, not just the work day.
I know I listed it as a positive earlier, but 60% also has its drawbacks – you don’t have your arrow keys (you need to use Fn+WASD or Fn+IJKL) and you don’t have Home, End, PgUp and PgDn (also a Fn+Key combo).
At least you have alternatives with the function button, but that’s ultimately annoying if every other keyboard you own has at least the reliable arrow keys.