SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard Review

The SteelSeries Apex is an investment every gamer should make.

SteelSeries has always been a brand that I enjoy. From the first Siberia that I owned to my newly acquired Apex, I've always felt pretty confident about buying from SteelSeries.

Aside from a derailed railroad car, my Apex arrived in decent time (for the holiday season, anyway) and in fine form.

I first encountered the Apex at PAX Prime during the press meeting with SteelSeries. I was impressed from the get-go; I don't much enjoy the noise a mechanical keyboard makes, but I love the feel. That being said, the Apex is a rubber-dome keyboard that feels much like a mechanical, sans the annoying clacking that can be heard from the hallway of my apartment complex thanks to my boyfriend's Razer BlackWidow.

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Aesthetics

Visually, the keyboard is a pleasure to look at. It comes with five lighted (Action) zones, each of which is set to a customizable color and brightness. This is great for pressing macros out of the corner of your eye without having to fumble around. 

That being said, it's huge. My Razer Anansi was a decent size, but the Apex dwarfs it--keys included. Though with larger keys, there's even less reason (or excuse, take your pick) for missing abilities or cooldowns because of a missed key press. 

The Apex comes complete with 22 macro keys spread evenly among the zones. All are fairly easy to reach, though the M9 - M12 macros could prove a challenge for those of us with smaller fingers.

Response and Feel

The Apex uses silicon pads under each key, making for a shallower keywell and a quieter keyboard--mechanical people probably won't enjoy this as much as someone who enjoys peace and quiet. 

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There are four Action Zone layers, which control the macro keys--these layer keys can be found on the top left of the keyboard (L1 - L4), so switching between layers is a breeze.  

Your typical movement keys, WASD, are the main focus of your gaming experience. On this keyboard, the W key has two raised dots on the bottom left and right corners. This feature kept my eyes on the screen and away from my keyboard.

The SteelSeries Apex is a precise, accurate keyboard that I can really get behind. 

Silicone domes, combined with anti-ghosting (a problem that occurs when keyboards are unable to comprehend the pressing of certain buttons simultaneously, such as three key combinations), give gamers a quality feel that is precise. I have yet to encounter any problems with keystrokes.

Technicals

The Apex connects to your PC via a braided Y USB connection (2 ports will be required), and the software for driver/firmware updates can be found on the SteelSeries website. Downloading this software gives you access to the SteelSeries Engine, which allows you to customize your macros and lighting. I found this software easy to install and to user--very straight forward.

Overall

The SteelSeries Apex is a precise, accurate keyboard that I can really get behind. The macro buttons are plentiful, the lighting is entertaining and the presses feel solid. For the $99.99 price tag (though I got mine on sale for $69.99), this is definitely an investment every gamer should make.

The size is about the only downside, and even then, that's purely based on personal preference. This thing takes up a sizeable chunk of my desk, but the bigger keys are proving to be an added bonus.

Our Rating
10
The SteelSeries Apex is an investment every gamer should make.
Published Jan. 8th 2014

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