The Wombat Pine Professional comes from a brand that many of us might not know, but the maker has a long history with Apple. Wombat’s parent company, Key Stroke International, used to make keyboards for the Apple IIe four decades ago, so while this may seem like a new entrant, it hardly is. And it shows.
I received a review sample of Wombat’s latest offering, the Pine Professional, to test and see if it could compete for a spot among the best keyboards for Mac (opens in a new tab) (and even the best keyboards (opens in a new tab) overall), and after living and working with it for several weeks, I became very impressed indeed.
Wombat Pine Pro review: Design & construction
The Wombat Pine Pro comes in a choice of five color combinations, each looking attractive but grounded. The option I was sent was the Space Grey, which comes in a two-tone mix of mostly dark and light gray keys, with three keys (ESC, the main Return button and the Enter numpad button) in striking red. Three of the other options, Light Green, Light Blue and Pink, come in a brighter two-tone package paired with white, while the Silver option is a single-color offering. I find all of them very attractive, but my inner Nine Inch Nails-loving goth child was very happy with the Space Gray one.
The Pine Pro is solidly built, with a durable plastic bottom half and an anodized aluminum top around the mechanical keys, which you can get with linear or tactile switches, for a slightly different typing experience based on your preference.
Compared to the dull (mostly membrane) keyboards packaged with most Macs or attached to MacBook laptops, it looks great, but it’s as garish as many people find focused mechanical keyboards on RGB gaming. Therefore, it strikes a good middle ground between worlds and all.
Wombat bills this as ‘the last keyboard you’ll ever need’ (according to the greeting on the inside of the cover when you open the box, at least), and although I obviously won’t be able to verify. with a series of long-term reviews over the years (talk to my editor if you want to see, you curious people), I can confirm that this keyboard is very strong in its build quality and key arrangement. There’s no flex when you hold it, thanks to the aluminum top frame, and it’s also extremely weighted from the bottom, meaning it’ll stay firmly in your desired spot on the desk.
The key symbols are dye-sublimated, which means they are firmly embedded in the keys, so you won’t see them start to fade for a long time, even with heavy use, unlike many other keyboards have them printed on them and will. start to peel or rub off much faster.
Wombat Pine Pro review: Features and typing experience
The Wombat Pine Professional will work with almost any operating system, but it’s clearly built for Mac users first, with Mac symbols appearing alongside Windows ones on critical keys (CMD / ⌘, etc.), on 108-key US layout, with full tenkey layout and numpad. There are also ten programmable keys, and quick-start guides on the back of the keyboard help quickly switch between OS settings, for example.
You can choose to plug it in via USB 2.0 or use built-in Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity. It is equipped with a rechargeable LiPO 1000mAH battery. It lasted for several long days of working in wireless mode without any sign of conking out on me, which is good news if you want to take it around with you without having to take into account the trip easily losaable cable …
There is no backlighting as you find on many mechanical keyboards, but with this design, I don’t really want it to be, as you would feel that it conflicts with the keys nicely subdued but clear-to-read.
A problem with many mechanical keyboards is that the clacking noise will get on your nerves (or more dangerously, those of your colleagues or family…), but thanks to a built-in noise and vibration mat -suppression inside the keyboard, the clacking noise is nicely stuck here, not satisfying the typing experience in question.
Although I prefer the typing experience of mechanical keyboards over flat-no-resistance membrane, some keyboards leave me tired after a few hours (and in my job, I have to type. a lot). However, the Wombat Pine Pro, perhaps thanks to the vibration reduction mat and the keys that give you resistance without the experience of writing an e-mail into a mortal battle of fingers vs switches. The tactile bump keeps you connected to what you’re doing, but not tiring quickly.
I loved using it, and colleagues who borrowed it agreed to try it out, including my Apple-enthusiastic editor. It looks really nice next to any layout, but perhaps it’s no surprise that it feels most at home in a Mac environment, considering the color combinations and the clean-cut, fuss-free design.
Wombat Pine Pro Review: Price
The Wombat Pine Pro isn’t the cheapest keyboard you’ll find, as it’s priced like a premium product, coming in at $159.99 (opens in a new tab) at the time of writing. Of course, this yes a premium product, so you can say that’s fair. It won’t be a budget option for anyone, but with colors matching the various iMac colors you can get right now, this keyboard is by no means aimed at a budget demographic.
Should I buy the Wombat Pine Pro?
If you want a great mechanical keyboard, especially if you’re a Mac user sick and tired of the low-profile offerings flooding the Apple market, the Wombat Pine Pro should be at the top of a very short list. It works for Windows and other operating systems as well, of course, and will be a joy to use for anyone looking for a comfortable, robust and refined-looking mechanical keyboard. There’s no backlighting, which can annoy gamers and those who want to work in the dark, and it’s certainly not the cheapest keyboard out there, but it’s a cracking one, and one that justifies it. like its price tag.