Review: Anker Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse

I purchased Anker’s Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse from Amazon at the end of December, primarily for use with a Surface Pro 3. The Surface Pro 3, of course, is billed as the tablet that can replace your laptop, but for reasons known only to them, Microsoft sell the Type Cover as an optional extra for an extortionate (in my opinion) £110. Anker’s keyboard and mouse combo cost me £16, which felt a much fairer deal, though Chinese workers may disagree.

It’s described as a mini keyboard. Personally I’d say it’s very close to full size (except for the the absence of navigation keys and numeric pad, obviously). The key block is virtually the same size as my traditional Dell desktop keyboard, and the layout is very similar to that on Dell XPS laptops. The keys themselves are possibly slightly smaller.

It is a US layout, but that ought not be a problem if you’re a touch typist (configure the keyboard layout in your operating system to your preference). The keyboard is perhaps a little more springy / clicky than more expensive keyboards, but honestly there’s not much in it. I’ve had no problems touch typing on it. The layout is well thought out.

The mouse won’t win any prizes for its looks, but it’s perfectly functional. For the bulk of my work I tend to use a Kensington Orbit optical trackball, which I find reduces repetitive strain in my right hand and arm. However the Anker mouse is fine for light use and is fairly comfortable to use.

The power save mode on both the keyboard and mouse are very helpful, as I often forget to turn off another wireless mouse we have. You simply have to click any button to reactivate them.

The battery/stand bump on the keyboard does make the keyboard a little more bulky, but it will still fit in my slim Evecase neoprene messenger case with the Surface Pro 3. So it is definitely portable, but it’s much closer to desktop proportions than a lot of real mini keyboards on sale on Amazon. Very handy if you plan to do proper work, rather than casual text input.

I’m perfectly happy with this keyboard and mouse combination. As it happens, I’m now using it with both the Surface Pro 3 and a Mac Mini, and it appears to work flawlessly with both. I suppose the only drawback is having to switch the wireless receiver dongle from one USB device to the other, but it’s hardly a major issue. A Bluetooth keyboard would not have presented this issue, but I have read mixed reviews of Bluetooth keyboards on the Surface.

Overall, a very good purchase for the price – and with very speedy delivery. I have no hesitation recommending this keyboard and mouse set if you’re on a tight budget.