Review: Anne Pro
TLDR: The best solution for a mobile mechanical keyboard.
Laptop keyboards are really good now. They’re more responsive, have great key travel, and are a great replacement over a normal keyboard. As great as they’ve become...
IT STILL DOESN’T FEEL LIKE A DESKTOP KEYBOARD.
Personally, I love the feeling of a desktop mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches. I wondered if I could find one that was portable, one that could connect both wirelessly for mobile productivity and wired for lag-free gaming. After some searching, I found the perfect candidate:
The Anne Pro by ObinsLab.
USB Connection (1ms response)
Bluetooth 3.0 with multiple profiles
The build of the Anne Pro is very good. The base of the keyboard is plastic but weighted. Securing the keyboard to the desk are 4 rubber feet at each corner. The keys are made of PBT material instead of ABS which makes it more resistant to the keys developing a shine over time.
The Anne Pro is a 60% keyboard. This means that all keys and space above the number row and to the right of the “Enter” key are gone making uch smaller than a full-size keyboard and a bit smaller than a Tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard. The missing keys still exist through the use of a function key.
My unit came with Gateron Brown switches which is supposed to feel very close, if not identical, to Cherry MX Browns. The switches provide nice tactile feedback with a nice clicky sound that isn’t as loud as Cherry MX Blue switches. Below the switch is the RGB LED that can be configured in the ObinsLab software.
To configure the Anne Pro, you are required to download Obins software from your mobile device and are also required to be connected via bluetooth. If the connection was successful, then you can begin setting up the keyboard. You can adjust lighting, key layout, Fn key use, and generate some macros.
Overall, the software gets the job done but isn’t very responsive and doesn’t always connect. It wasn’t very convenient either to be forced to use bluetooth to configure the keyboard.
The Anne Pro is a great keyboard for use at home and on the go.
While at home, I use the keyboard via USB to reduce input lag as much as possible. During competitive gaming in Quake Champions, the keyboard was responsive and I didn’t notice any lag. It felt right at home using the keyboard since it feels very close to my old TKL. Another added benefit is that the keyboard takes up less space than a traditional full-size and TKL keyboard. This allows me to bring the mousepad and mouse closer which reduces the amount I have to reach when performing large mouse swipes.
While on the go, the keyboard takes up far less space than a TKL with wires. It also doesn’t add a lot of weight, tipping the scales at slightly over a pound.
The Bluetooth connection is very convenient and is one of the reasons I purchased this keyboard. When doing homework or surfing the web, it was nice to turn on bluetooth and connect wirelessly to my laptop instead of using a USB cable.
Although the keyboard fits all of my needs, there are some things about it that bother me.
Some of the larger keys, such as the spacebar, feel loose and aren’t very stable. These keys also have a fairly loud clicky sound due to the stabilizer bar used
The bluetooth connection can be very slow and does cause some repeat inputs. It got annoying to use in bluetooth mode while typing a long paper.
There is no way to truly turn off bluetooth. You use a key combo to turn it on and off but it can accidentally turn on in your backpack and kill the battery.
The battery is terrible. It’s super small (800mAh) and doesn’t last an entire day, even with the LEDs turned off
To improve the feel of the keyboard, I purchased rubber O-rings and installed them underneath each keycap. The result was a more stable keypress while also dampening the sound a bit. I HIGHLY recommend this easy and cheap mod to anyone that purchases this keyboard.
Who should buy this keyboard?
This keyboard is for the mobile gamer that wants to be productive. We would use the Bluetooth feature with other devices or when we want to connect wirelessly for basic surfing and word processing. We also want to take this keyboard with us wherever we take out laptop or other devices.
Obins has done an amazing job building a dual wired/wireless keyboard for the mobile user. Despite the issues with this keyboard, it’s still the best option for the mobile gamer that wants a wireless connection for productivity and a wired connection when playing fast-paced games.
I hope that Obins creates a new version in the near future that addresses the issues I have with their product. Overall, I do recommend this keyboard for the mobile user!
-The Everyday Enthusiast
Disclaimer - I purchased this keyboard with my own money