I have covered a significant amount of 60% form factor keyboards recently, including the Kinesis Gaming TKO, CORSAIR K65 RGB MINI, and Ajazz K620T 2.0, with a few more still on the way. It does seem like the entire world is gung-ho on the 60% keyboard craze off late, so I sought to provide some context for these newer keyboards by covering one of the originals. Sadly, my time with the Anne Pro was limited to a few hours from a loaner courtesy a friend a few years ago, and between this and the Vortex Poker, I had learned to appreciate smaller form factor keyboards for their increased ergonomics and the potential to be used as dedicated game pads. Well, the Anne Pro may have come and gone, but we have the Anne Pro 2 now, and here we are taking a look at it!
The original Anne Pro and the newer Anne Pro 2 are the brainchildren of a group of engineers in the keyboard industry who wanted a minimalist keyboard for typing with layered functionality for reduced finger travel. The Anne Pro 2 is by itself not a new product either, having been released over two years ago, but one that is not the easiest to obtain for the sake of reviews unless you buy it yourself. So when Banggood, a B2C entity that provides access to Chinese goods globally, contacted us about doing reviews of keyboards they sell around the world, the Anne Pro 2 was the first that came to my mind. Thanks again to the retailer for sending a review sample to TechPowerUp!
|Anne Pro 2 Keyboard|
|Layout:||61-key, 60% form factor in a US ANSI layout|
|Material:||ABS plastic case, PBT plastic keycaps, and steel plate|
|Weight:||0.64 kg / 1.4 lbs.|
|Anti-ghosting:||Full N-Key rollover USB, 6KRO in Bluetooth mode|
|Media Keys:||Available via layers|
|Dimensions:||97 (L) x 284 (W) x 40 (H) mm|
|Cable Length:||6 ft / 1.8 m|
|Switch Type:||Choice of various Cherry, Kailh, or Gateron RGB mechanical switches|
|Backlighting:||Yes, 16.8 M per-key RGB lighting|
|Interface:||USB or Bluetooth 5.0|
Packaging and Accessories
Given the Anne Pro 2 keyboard shipped from a retailer, we go directly to the product packaging. It is on the cleaner side of things, matching the keyboard ID with a white-colored cardboard box that is also small to reflect the keyboard inside. On the front are the product name and a render of the keyboard in white, and two marketing tag lines. We see more marketing features and technical specifications on the back, as well as a render, but of the black version of the keyboard. Underneath is the company contact information, which is where we find out the real company name—Taicang Zhigengniao Information Technology Co., Ltd (ZGN). A double flap in the middle keeps the contents inside in place during transit.
Opening the box, we see the keyboard tucked between cardboard on all sides for added protection on top of the foam wrap it is placed inside. Underneath, we have the paperwork consisting of a quick start guide in English and Mandarin that goes over the setup of the keyboard in USB wired or Bluetooth wireless modes, as well as a general guide on the main functions aboard the keyboard, including the tapping and Magic Fn options we will get into in detail soon. The other accessories are in a separate compartment for neater packaging and to prevent any scratches to the keyboard, and include a nice metal wire-style keycap puller, which is handy for removing the keycaps. There is also a detachable red USB Type-A to Type-C cable, which points towards the adoption of Type-C connectivity on the keyboard. The cable gets the standard rubber sleeving, which happens to be red to match the plastic inserts in the connectors themselves.
For use with the included keycap puller, we also see a set of CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key) color scheme replacement keycaps in a sealed plastic pouch. These are all thick PBT keycaps without any legends and meant to be used on modifier keys for some flair to the otherwise single-color keyboard in black or white. The keycaps are thick, at an average wall thickness of 1.51 mm, and the larger keycaps include the row number and size for your convenience even if it is very obvious that these are meant to replace the two Shift keycaps on the keyboard.