You most likely have not heard of the Shenzhen-based keyboard makers, Akko, however in case 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 one in all these guys, a type 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 sizzling 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 through a USB Sort-C cable.
That is not a nasty worth for a wi-fi mechanical gaming keyboard, but it surely’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 much 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)
Sizzling swappable: Sure
Format: 98-key compact
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 | 2.4GHz wi-fi | USB Sort-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 in any case, in order that’s solely one thing you want fear about afterward in case you select to switch the lot. My overview unit has include the marginally CS tactile Lavender Purple switches, however in case you’re shopping for now you’ve the choice of both Akko CS Jelly Pink or White linear switches with dust-proof Cherry MX appropriate stems.
And I’ve acquired to say, I am severely impressed with the standard of those price range mech switches. They’re strong, strong, 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 capabilities you’ll repeatedly need to lookup within the guide—and you do not get luxuries like a wrist relaxation. However then we’re speaking a few genuinely compact, reasonably priced board, although one which is nearly 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 area to your low-DPI mouse enter.
The 98-key structure solely eschews a handful of keys PC avid gamers hardly ever care about. I wager you could not even title the six keys which can 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? By way of 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 acquired the manufacturing completely nailed down, and is now transferring on to aesthetics.
And Akko is definitely eager to push that aspect, 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 affords that, too. There is a vary of barebones boards to choose from, which you should utilize to kind the bottom of your personal customized keeb with your personal decide of keycaps and switches.
Akko additionally has an enormous number of reasonably priced sizzling swappable mech switches on provide on their very own; high quality choices which can be lower than half the worth I paid for a set of Halo True switches simply final yr. It is a firm that is providing excessive ranges of customisation for such an accessible worth. It is completely unbelievable, and with the standard on provide I am actually impressed with the top outcome.
The one actual situation 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 through the Akko Cloud Driver, which was admittedly a very simple course of. The software program itself is fairly primary, however does let you add in your personal macros and alter the per-key RGB illumination. Did take a little bit of digging across the Akko assist pages to seek out it, nevertheless. However these are minor issues, rapidly forgotten as soon as the board is ready 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 without doubt one of the finest small model compact wi-fi keyboards I’ve ever used.