You most likely have not heard of the Shenzhen-based keyboard makers, Akko, however in the event you’ve been scared off the fanatic keyboard market by the $200+ boards flooding the globe, then it is value listening to Akko. It is making fanatic keyboards waaaay extra accessible.
I like an fanatic keyboard. Yeah, I am considered one of these guys, a kind of who will get anal about precisely which form of mechanical switches they’re tapping away on. However it’s an costly, altogether pointless luxurious curiosity, sat atop the opposite costly luxurious in my life: PC gaming. The current rise of the fanatic keyboard market is such that each conventional producer has began to embrace the concept of scorching swappable mechanical switches, double shot PBT keycaps, and boards that aren’t simply the standard 100% 104-key structure.
The Akko Prunus Lannesiana 3098B is a $110 compact 98-key board, that manages to squeeze in a full numpad regardless of being solely marginally wider than a TKL board with out one. It is also wi-fi, utilizing both Bluetooth 5.0 or a 2.4GHz micro USB dongle, or wired by way of a USB Kind-C cable.
That is not a nasty worth for a wi-fi mechanical gaming keyboard, nevertheless it’s additionally sporting real fanatic credentials because of its double shot PBT keycaps, sound dampening foam layer, with silicone pad between the PCB and backside of the chassis just like the Razer Huntsman V2.
That PCB permits for decent swappable mechanical switches to be simply dropped in and pulled out on the fly. It is a 5-pin connection so most switches you should purchase will comfortably match.
Swap: Akko CS Jelly Pink | Jelly White (linear)
Scorching swappable: Sure
Format: 98-key compact
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 | 2.4GHz wi-fi | USB Kind-C
Backlighting: Per-key RGB
Software program: Akko Cloud Driver
Keycaps: Double shot PBT
Although you do get your selection of Akko’s personal CS (Customized Sequence) switches included anyhow, in order that’s solely one thing you want fear about afterward in the event you select to exchange the lot. My evaluation unit has include the marginally CS tactile Lavender Purple switches, however in the event you’re shopping for now you’ve gotten the choice of both Akko CS Jelly Pink or White linear switches with dust-proof Cherry MX suitable stems.
And I’ve bought to say, I am significantly impressed with the standard of those finances mech switches. They’re strong, stable, and completely responsive. And, extra importantly to a keyboard nerd like me, they really feel actually, actually good to make use of. The typing expertise is immaculate, aided by the extremely concave keycaps on the letters making me virtually mis-strike free. Usually I am a typo machine…
There aren’t any discrete media keys—simply alternate Fn modifier features you’ll repeatedly need to search for within the guide—and you aren’t getting luxuries like a wrist relaxation. However then we’re speaking a few genuinely compact, inexpensive board, although one which is sort of totally totally featured. It means you get the performance of a full-size 100% board, although with the additional desktop actual property afforded to your mouse by the compact design. And that is tremendous helpful for avid gamers wanting the additional house in your low-DPI mouse enter.
The 98-key structure solely eschews a handful of keys PC avid gamers hardly ever care about. I guess you could not even title the six keys which might be lacking from the design. I imply, who pauses or breaks today?
Whereas we’re speaking about design, I’m a BIG fan of the clear, clear font Akko has used for the Prunus Lannesiana 3098B. And who does not love a white and two-tone pink keyboard? When it comes to construct high quality it is ace, too. I’ve used many a straight out-the-factory model keyboard in my time, and I do not suppose any have felt this strong or this skilled straight out the field. It feels prefer it’s come from an organization who has bought the manufacturing completely nailed down, and is now transferring on to aesthetics.
And Akko is actually eager to push that facet, with so many various customized designs on provide. Gotta say I am very keen on the Spongebob keyboard. However if you would like a straightlaced keyboard with these fanatic leanings Akko presents that, too. There is a vary of barebones boards to select from, which you should use to kind the bottom of your individual customized keeb with your individual decide of keycaps and switches.
Akko additionally has an enormous number of inexpensive scorching swappable mech switches on provide on their very own; high quality choices which might be lower than half the worth I paid for a set of Halo True switches simply final yr. This can be a firm that is providing excessive ranges of customisation for such an accessible worth. It is completely improbable, and with the standard on provide I am actually impressed with the tip outcome.
The one actual problem I had with the board got here throughout setup, the place enabling the two.4GHz wi-fi mode required a bit of extra effort than simply flipping the change on the again of the board. It took a obtain of the guide to find that it wanted an additional Fn+Y to kickstart its wi-fi connection even with the mini dongle plugged in and recognised by Home windows.
I did additionally need to replace the firmware by way of the Akko Cloud Driver, which was admittedly an easy course of. The software program itself is fairly fundamental, however does help you add in your individual macros and alter the per-key RGB illumination. Did take a little bit of digging across the Akko assist pages to search out it, nonetheless. However these are minor issues, rapidly forgotten as soon as the board is about up and also you’re bashing away at it.
The Prunus Lannesiana 3098B is a showcase for what Akko is doing within the fanatic keyboard sphere, and I feel it is nice that somebody is providing so many choices to a far broader viewers than we have seen earlier than. And the 3098B is a superb board by itself deserves, too. The wi-fi is responsive, the construct high quality is superb, the worth proposition is nice, and the precise really feel of utilizing the keyboard is excellent.
Yeah, I might love a wrist relaxation to assist these weary joints of mine, and I like a discrete quantity management, however this is likely one of the finest small model compact wi-fi keyboards I’ve ever used.