Hexcore

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The Obins Anne Pro has created a lot of positive hype in the keyboard community. I know it’s been on my radar for reviews the past 5 months or so. A 60% mechanical keyboard with wireless tư vấn (Bluetooth 4.0), true RGB backlighting, Gateron switches, programmability and PBT keycaps for only $80. Sign me up!

A lack of time and backlog of other boards delayed this reviews longer than expected, but I finally got around to ordering one. I’ve spent the last couple weeks using the Anne Pro as my daily driver. Is the buzz around it merited? Spoiler: Yes.

What’s In The Box?

The Anne Pro arrived at my doorstep in a very plain đen box. It contains no graphical logos, just white text on the đứng top that reads “60% ANNE Mechanical Keyboard” & “obins” (the manufacturer) on the left & right sides.

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The packaging provided moderate protection and the Anne Pro arrived in perfect condition. Cardboard sections cushion the top, left & right sides. The keyboard was placed inside a thin foam bag. The bag provides minimal padding, but the everything fits tightly in the box. No room for the keyboard to lớn slide & bounce around like I experienced with the previously reviewed Redragon TKL. The packaging is basic and pretty boring, though functionally adequate. What’s important is it made a two week journey from trung quốc to the US and everything held up just fine.

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Unboxing the Anne Pro reveals the keyboard, a Micro USB cable, plastic ring keycap puller (black), cable tie & a bluetooth không dây 4.0 USB dongle.

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I was happy Obins included the công nghệ bluetooth không dây adapter as one of my main PCs doesn’t have onboard Bluetooth. Not so pleased when I noticed the complete lack of any manuals or documentation. I later realized the underside of the box describes some basic function keys along with a printed QR code.

One would assume this code is meant to direct users to either online documentation or software. However, when I scanned the code with my phone it opened up a completely unrelated messaging phầm mềm in the Google Play Store. Not all that helpful.

Thankfully the Anne Pro subreddit has a downloads page that link to all the important software, digital manuals & firmware updates available for the Anne Pro. They also have many guides from various users. This is where I recommend you start after first receiving your keyboard.

Anne Pro Layout, Features và Aesthetics

The Anne Pro is a 60% mechanical keyboard in ANSI layout with all keys being of standard size. 60% keyboards are designed lớn be a compact khung factor with only 61 total keys. This layout drops the numpad, navigation cluster & F row khổng lồ achieve a much smaller footprint while still remaining fully functional through the use of modifier keys. This enhances ergonomics while allowing more space for the mouse.

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In physical proportions the Anne Pro measures 11.5 inches in length (left to right) and 4 inches deep (front khổng lồ back). The keyboard has a natural incline, meaning it is taller in the back than the front. At its tallest section it stands approximately 1.65 inches off the desk và the shortest is a little over half an inch high. The keyboard itself (without detachable cable) weighed in at 1 pound 4.8 ounces.

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As with the majority of smaller mechanical keyboards, the Anne Pro makes use of a Fn key. The F row is accessed through the function layer of the number row. Either WASD or IJKL can be used as arrow keys. The RTYU function layer operates the various backlight settings và the nav cluster (Page Up/Down, Insert, Delete etc.) takes up the right side of the board. Thiết đặt and pairing of the keyboard over công nghệ bluetooth không dây is accomplished with Fn + B.

I’m sure gamers will be relieved lớn know the Anne Pro is a true RGB backlit mechanical keyboard with SMD-LEDs installed on the PCB. What this means is every key can cycle through a vast array of màu sắc options. Not just different colored static LEDs for each row, which is sometimes incorrectly advertised as RGB on cheaper mechs. It also has full NKRO, another popular bullet point for the gaming focused crowd.

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One of the main selling points of this board is wireless tư vấn over Bluetooth. However, it also includes a detachable Micro USB cable. The cable is used for charging và wired connectivity when công nghệ bluetooth is disabled or unavailable.

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The cable connects at the top left side of the keyboard. There are no cable gutters or other methods of cable management. The Micro USB cable itself has a flat profile with a black rubber coating. Resembles a SATA cable in design and seems to lớn be of high quality. It measures roughly 6 feet in length, plenty long enough for most desk setups.

Four triangular shaped rubber feet are installed on the bottom of the Anne Pro. They’re large enough to lớn hold the keyboard firmly in place on my desk. I encountered no issues with sliding or the gradual inching forward you get with keyboards that don’t use rubber traction feet.

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The Anne Pro has a fixed height và typing angle. There are no flip-out feet khổng lồ raise the height và adjust the incline. This shouldn’t be a concern for most. Those types of flip-out feet are not commonly found on 60% or smaller boards anyway.

A small hole can also be seen on the bottom of the case. This allows access khổng lồ the reset switch just in case you get a little too wild with customization và need lớn reset back khổng lồ the factory mặc định settings.

Customization options for the Anne Pro are mostly handled through software with either the mobile ứng dụng or a desktop application. The tiện ích has controls for the backlighting modes, programmable layouts & macro cài đặt (macro keys are initiated with the “ANNE” key). Every key can be changed, but the Anne Pro technically isn’t fully programmable because all layouts must include the Fn & ANNE key.

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There are a few premade default backlight modes that can be accessed và adjusted without the app. Fn + the RTYU keys allows basic backlight modification in the following ways:

Fn + R turns the RGB backlighting on or off.Fn + T adjust the tốc độ of dynamic backlight profiles.Fn + Y controls the LED brightness levels.Fn + U switches between the various mặc định backlighting modes. (static colors, country flags, dynamic patterns, etc.)

When using over Bluetooth và not plugged into a USB port the backlighting will automatically turn off after 1 minute of inactivity. The LEDs are the biggest nguồn draw, so this feature really conserves battery life. It can be disabled by pressing the “A” key while in bluetooth mode. Green LED = Enabled. Red = Disabled.

As for aesthetics the Anne Pro has a very simple, familiar look. Compare it lớn the older Poker II và you’ll see what I mean. Both have the same basic case shape & angular thiết kế that tapers downward. The only major difference being the Poker II has rounded corners. The corners & edges of the Anne Pro case are beveled, which I personally think looks better.

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The sides of the case extend high enough lớn reach the bottoms of the keycaps, so no floating key design. I’m fine either way, but a floating key thiết kế does have the practical benefit of easier cleaning and routine maintenance. The surface of the plastic case has a matte/satin finish that prevents fingerprints from accumulating, so the Anne Pro always looks clean & blemish free.

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The Anne Pro has a pure, uniform design. It’s not plastered with logos or marketing slogans. There’s no visible branding at all on the đứng đầu of the Anne Pro (unless you count the small secondary legend on the “ANNE” key), though the underside has a circular “obins” biệu tượng công ty embossed into the plastic. “Designed by obins Made in china” is printed directly under the logo.

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Obins produces the Anne Pro in five color combinations: A blue, pink, white or yellow case with trắng keycaps & a blacked out version with black keycaps/case.

Performance Over công nghệ bluetooth không dây 4.0

With regard to its wireless typing performance, this latest model Anne Pro with công nghệ bluetooth không dây version 4.0 works flawlessly. I admit my typing speed isn’t that fast, but the Anne Pro effortlessly registered every keystroke without fail while I maintained a steady pace of 70-75 WPM.

As for latency over Blueooth I wasn’t able to perceive any delay for keystrokes. I tested multiple wired keyboards along side the Anne Pro over wireless. Going back và forth between them the Anne Pro felt just as responsive as the wired boards. Not to lớn say công nghệ bluetooth doesn’t introduce some latency. It probably does technically add a few extra ms of delay, but that’s so minimal the average person wouldn’t notice. Hardcore gamers will probably want lớn disable Bluetooth & use it wired, just to lớn be safe.

The battery life over bluetooth không dây is fantastic. I’m going on 2 weeks of wireless use without needing a charge. That’s mostly with the RGB backlighting turned off. The LEDs tend to lớn draw much more power. It will probably last a couple more weeks based on reports I’ve read from other Anne Pro owners.

How lớn Pair The Anne Pro Over Bluetooth

To pair the Anne Pro with a device you must first enter bluetooth không dây mode on the keyboard and make sure công nghệ bluetooth is enabled. Công nghệ bluetooth mode is accessed by pressing Fn + B. In this mode the Esc, 1, 2, 3, 4, 0, -, +, A và B keys light up. Bluetooth không dây is enabled by pressing the + key and disabled with the key.

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Next, if your device doesn’t have Bluetooth support you must insert the included USB bluetooth không dây dongle into a không tính tiền USB port. For my example I’m using a PC with Windows 10. Once the dongle is plugged in Windows recognized the adapter, installed the appropriate drivers & a công nghệ bluetooth icon appeared in my taskbar where I’m now able khổng lồ manage any found bluetooth không dây devices.

It searched for và found the Anne Pro keyboard, which reads “Ready lớn pair”. Click on the Anne Pro keyboard in the công nghệ bluetooth device manager. Now click the “Pair” button that appears. A dialog box should pop up that displays a pass code. Type the code into the Anne Pro keyboard. It should now be paired and labeled as “Connected”.

Press Fn + B to exit bluetooth không dây mode. Your device is now ready lớn be used with the Anne Pro. You can pair up khổng lồ four devices on the included profiles and seamlessly switch between them using keys 1-4 while in công nghệ bluetooth mode.

Switches

The Anne Pro makes use of SMD-LED compatible Gateron switches. Gateron produces what is widely considered the best MX compatible clone switch. Many enthusiasts even consider them better than authentic Cherry MX switches. Gateron linear switches are generally smoother with less friction và scratchiness compared khổng lồ Cherry MX switches.

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The Anne Pro is available with Gateron xanh (clicky), Red (linear) và Brown (tactile) switches. I chose Gateron Reds for this đánh giá so I could compare them against Cherry’s own linear switches.

Here’s a summary for anyone unfamiliar with the properties of a linear switch. In short, they have no tactile or audible feedback. A popular switch type among gamers who require fast response along with the ability lớn quickly & repeatedly press a key (double tap) or half-pressing khổng lồ ride the actuation point.

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Gateron Reds are fairly light switches with a rated actuation force of 45g. This can lessen hand fatigue during long gaming sessions that require you lớn constantly hold the WASD keys for movement.

The switch housings are clear/semi-transparent. This is a good property khổng lồ have on a mechanical keyboard with backlit keys. It creates brighter, more uniform backlighting as it allows more light to disperse from the LED.

The Gateron Reds in this Anne Pro are definitely smoother than my most used Cherry MX Red board, but not by as big of a margin as I expected going in. Probably because those particular Cherry switches have been broken in from use. Still, the fact that a brand new linear switch is evenly slightly smoother than a well used one is impressive. Especially for clones, which are usually not thought of in a positive light.

In my experience with Gateron switches I’ve found them to lớn be as good or better than authentic Cherry MX switches. & you’ll save a few bucks to boot.

Keycaps

PBT, doubleshot & nicely textured. Three important properties I like about the Anne Pro’s OEM profile keycaps. Often mechanical keyboards priced under $100 will limit you khổng lồ ABS keycaps. Some even use tia laze removed or pad printed legends, both of which will deteriorate và eventually fade away with use. The Anne Pro has pretty decent stock keycaps considering its price bracket.

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PBT is my preferred material for keycap production. It doesn’t shine with wear và won’t yellow with age like ABS is prone to do. The doubleshot injection molding process produces a durable legend that won’t fade or wear off. Though keep in mind PBT doubleshot keycaps use mixed media. Pure PBT is very difficult lớn mold và can’t be made transparent for the “shine through” legend effect. The main keycap will be PBT, but the legend character is usually created from either ABS or POM material.

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The keycaps are between thin & medium thickness. They’re comparable khổng lồ most inexpensive keycaps in this price range, though generally feel & look of higher quality. Use the picture below for reference, which shows the Ann Pro keycaps in comparison with the Vortex CORE’s thick keycaps. Keep in mind the translucent layer of doubleshot keycaps doesn’t show up well in photos. The Anne Pro caps appear slightly thicker in person.

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The legends are translucent, meaning the LED backlighting shines through và lights up the key characters. Speaking of which, the font used for the legends is actually tolerable. Much more appealing than a bạn focused typography to lớn say the least. Still, the xuất hiện spacing between characters that normally have “enclosed” areas (i.e. D, A, Q, etc.) is borderline excessive. The B key is the biggest offender in this regard. If seen out of context without other keys around it could easily be confused for the number 13.

If you hate smooth keycaps the Anne Pro won’t disappoint. The keys have a reasonably aggressive matte texture, a common trait usually inherent with PBT keycaps. Also, homing bumps are located on the F & J keys to lớn assist cảm biến typist with positioning on the home row, as is standard.

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Cherry style stabilizers are used for the larger sized keys. Some early models of the Anne Pro had loose và very rattly stabilizers. Either Obins has fixed this with newer models or I just got lucky, because the stabs in mine are near perfection. They’re held securely in place and feel very crisp with only minor rattle. & that could probably be improved further with a little lube, or possibly clipping (at your own risk) if you know what you’re doing.

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All in all these are slightly above average stock keycaps. Not on the màn chơi of Vortex PBT keycaps, but noticeably better than typical backlit keycaps found on most low-budget mechs with LED backlighting (which are usually thin, painted ABS keycaps with laze removed legends).

Case, Internals & Build Quality

Now it’s time for the tear down. Disassembling the Anne Pro is a snap. Just remove the keycaps & unscrew 5 small Phillips head screws underneath. The screws hold together 3 layers: the switch mount plate, PCB and case.

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The Anne Pro’s case is plastic. It’s reasonably thick where needed and has ribbing that makes it sturdy enough for daily use. There’s a small amount of bending/flexing when I apply enough pressure to the sides và twist the ends in opposite directions. Completely normal và expected with a plastic case.

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I have no problem with a plastic case in principle, especially since it lets Obins sell the keyboard for well under $100. However, I would love the option of a more expensive “premium” model with a nice aluminum case. Or better yet they could sell the aluminum case as a separate accessory. As popular as the Anne Pro has become I believe demand would be high enough for this khổng lồ be viable upgrade.

As it stands no aftermarket 60% cases are compatible with the Anne Pro. It has non-standard screw boss placements. Further complicating the issue it requires space to lớn store the internal battery. The only option would be to thủ thuật or customize one yourself.

The Anne Pro has a steel backplate that has been painted white. The white helps amplify the backlight brightness around the keys. Also good for rust prevention. I lượt thích steel backplates over aluminum for the extra rigidity and weight, but steel also produces different typing sounds. Aluminum, being a softer metal, has a dampening effect. With tactile và clicky switch types steel might resonate more than aluminum. However, when paired with these linear Gateron switches steel is a good fit.

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The PCB is black & as you can see in the photo it features surface mount RGB LEDs. The solder joints appear relatively clean and well done with good coverage over the leads. A diode is also connected lớn each switch, hence the full N-key rollover support.

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Conclusion và Final Thoughts On the Anne Pro

After using it for 2 weeks I came away mightily impressed with the Obins Anne Pro. It does almost everything right và packs tons of features, including: doubleshot PBT backlit keycaps, well regarded Gateron switches, uses the popular 60% form factor, true RGB backlighting, công nghệ bluetooth 4.0 và it’s even programmable. I could go on & on listing aspects I like about this keyboard (see Pros menu below). And it only cost around $80.

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The Anne Pro is so close to lớn being my favorite compact mechanical keyboard ever. A high unique aluminum case with floating key thiết kế would have pushed it over the edge. At that point it would basically be a wireless version of the Pok3r. As is the Anne Pro is merely one of the best instead of the đứng đầu dog. Still a fantastic keyboard with amazing value for the money, but it could be so much more.

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+ Pros

Wireless functionality over bluetooth 4.0 performed well and works perfectly (once I learned the correct process lớn pair & switch between devices).4 bluetooth không dây profiles allows quick và easy switching between paired devices.Backlit keycaps are of above average quality compared khổng lồ similar keyboards in this price range.PBT keycap material is tougher than ABS, chemical resistant, won’t yellow with age, and doesn’t “shine” from wear.Doubleshot process creates a durable legend that won’t fade or wear away.Fairly normal looking, visually appealing fonts used for the legends.Gateron Red linear switches are even smoother than original Cherry MX linear switches.High-quality detachable cable for wired connectivity when wireless isn’t required.Bluetooth USB dongle included.60% khung factor is my preferred keyboard form size (personal preference).All standard key sizes for high compatibility with aftermarket keysets.True RGB backlighting.Simplicity in thiết kế results in a clean-cut looking little keyboard.Full N-key Rollover.Available in multiple màu sắc combinations.Long battery life over wireless.Programmable layouts, backlight customization and macros supported through the ứng dụng (Android or iOS).Insanely high value for the money considering all the features & design aspects the Anne Pro possesses.

– Cons

No options for owners wanting a higher quality case.No documentation included in the box; QR code (which presumably provides links to documentation or software) doesn’t work.The phầm mềm works fine, but the UI isn’t very user friendly.No media keys for controlling video or audio playback.Doesn’t indicate how much battery charge remains other than the Caps Lock key blinking when it’s nearly dead.Sleep mode that activates over công nghệ bluetooth không dây when idle for a period of time can be annoying (though does help lớn save battery life, it’s a trade-off); I found no option to disable it.
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