While I love my Keychron K2 and recent iPadOS updates made the Akko 3068 a great keyboard to use with my iPad, my search for the perfect keyboard didn’t end with either of those two options. The biggest shortcoming for both keyboards is that they are not programmable in any fashion. This is particularly annoying on the Akko 3068 because it simply doesn’t have a bunch of the media keys I’ve come to expect on my keyboards.
Enter the Anne Pro 2, which is wireless Bluetooth and fully programmable across a few layers. Today we’re going to look at this keyboard and what I think of it after a few months of use.
The Anne Pro 2 is a 60% keyboard which means no function row and no traditional arrow keys on the right side of the keyboard. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have arrow keys though because the cluster of four keys on the right side act as arrow keys if you tap them. In practice, this gets me 99% of what I use arrow keys for with very few drawbacks. Occasionally if I’m typing fast I get an arrow instead of shift, but not enough that the keyboard is annoying. The only annoying part is that if I hold the keys they don’t repeat, the do the function that the key is marked for.
In addition to this cool feature, the keyboard is fully programmable across a few layers if you download the software to program it. When you download this software, make sure you update the firmware first because better macOS support was provided with a firmware update for my keyboard.
Note for DVORAK users, if you download the DVORAK profile and you've set your system to DVORAK then you're going to get funny keys because the keyboard is sending the proper profile but the system is switching the input into DVORAK on you. I was excited to have my keyboard set properly as DVORAK, but I ended up switching it back to a tweaked QWERTY/macOS profile and let the system software on my devices deal with changing things over to DVORAK.
I also took the time to give myself most of the expected media keys on my first function layer. I can skip tracks, change volume, and use play/pause with the number keys in the same spot that I’d expect them to be on a keyboard with media keys. These work perfectly both on my iPad and on macOS. The only keys I wanted to have and couldn’t get working were the screen brightness keys, but I can live without them on my iPad1
If you prefer a wired keyboard, then this comes with USB C to plug into your devices. The highlight for me though was the three Bluetooth profiles that the Anne Pro 2 has built-in. I had expected it to work similar to what I had on the Keychron, but this is way better in one specific area...It changes profiles so fast it’s crazy. Seriously, I didn’t think I needed that feature, but the Keychron feels positively decrepit with how slow it switches after using the Anne Pro 2.
I had a small issue getting my Bluetooth profiles set up at first, in that I cleared one and then couldn’t get it to re-pair properly. Luckily the provided software to program the keyboard allows you to clear profiles. Once I did that and set it up again I’ve had no issues with the Bluetooth in any fashion.
No connection issues.
Just super clicky typing that feels excellent.
Out of the box, the Anne Pro 2 comes with a keycap puller and a few colour options. I added a few pink and purple highlights, but also ended up ordering this exquisite key set that will go on my Anne Pro 2 when they come in a few months.
For this keyboard, I went with Kailh Box White switches which are the clickiest switches I have on any of my keyboards. These have also become my favourite switches. I’d say they’re delightfully clicky and simply feel excellent under my fingers.
I use this keyboard wireless unless I need to charge it while working. I’ve found the keyboard to last me around two full weeks of work, but I don’t use the backlights ever. If you end up using the backlights in one of their many configurations then you’re going to get less battery life. I did take a quick look at changing the battery, but it’s glued to the bottom of the case so I didn’t risk harming the battery by prying it off. It’s possible, but I don’t even have a different battery to use on the keyboard and haven’t found the smaller battery an issue.
One surprising thing I’ve found with my usage of this keyboard is that it’s small enough that I take it with me around the house when I want to do some typing on my iPad in another area. I even took my iPad out of the Inateck case I’ve used for a year and use it in a smaller folio case which provides better all-around protection or living in the house all the time.
Now I haven’t been working out of the house at all so I don’t know how that experience will hold up to life when I can remote work again, but at his point, my plan would be to take the keyboard with me to the coffee shop to work.
One note I saw a few times with the Anne Pro 2 is that some users were getting keyboards with a battery that was deformed or punctured. While I did open mine to check, I didn’t have this problem. You can find great instructions for how to take the keyboard apart on Reddit
If you’re a heavy number pad user, then the answer is no. My friend does building drawings and while he loves tech stuff too he laughed at my keyboard with no number pad. Outside of that caveat, I’ve found that the Anne Pro 2 has every feature I need built-in, or programmable. I don’t miss arrow keys and I was able to access media keys via the programmable layers.
If you’re looking for a great keyboard then this one should be one you take a look at.