SteelSeries Apex Pro – The Keyboard with Adjustable Trigger Point under Test
SteelSeries presented the Apex Pro, the very first keyboard with adjustable mechanical switches. This is innovative and could encourage other manufacturers to bring similar products to market – if the new concept is convincing. Of course, we wanted to find out whether that was the case. What we have to say about Apex Pro after an extensive practical test, you can read in this report.
Scope of Delivery
The scope of delivery is quite manageable. Beside the keyboard we find a magnetic wrist-rest in the packaging, which is equipped with a soft-touch surface for comfort reasons. Besides, only the usual instructions and hints can be found.
Design and Workmanship
For the Apex Pro, SteelSeries relies on a robust metal frame with a 5000 mm aluminium alloy. The frame is extremely durable and stable due to the material used. But SteelSeries is well known for its emphasis on looks and not just functionality. The Apex Pro‘s lighting, with which the keyboard can be bathed in a wide variety of colours, as well as the overall rather restrained, slim design of the keyboard ensure this. Although it is very robust, it still looks very delicate. This impression is reinforced by its dimensions – it’s not particularly large.
The aforementioned palm rest can be easily attached to the keyboard thanks to the magnetic mechanism. Its soft-touch surface is perfectly designed and should contribute to comfort during use.
On the underside, the cable can be routed upwards to the left, centre or right through integrated cable ducts. In addition, there are, of course, folding stands if the keyboard is to be angled.
The core of the Apex Pro are the adjustable mechanical switches, which are such a world first. The self-developed Omnipoint RGB switches can be adapted to your own wishes with regard to their tripping sensitivity – for almost every button individually. Trigger points between 0.4 and 3.6 millimeters can be selected. This means that the keyboard can be optimized for a wide variety of applications, which is certainly a great advantage if you are not just doing a single job on the PC in everyday life. This great flexibility is made possible by magnetic sensors located in the buttons. Those who opt for a trigger point of 0.4 millimeters, however, have the fastest triggering gaming keyboard on the market. The lifetime of the keys is specified by the manufacturer as 100 million clicks and is therefore clearly above average.
Also worth mentioning is the small OLED display located in the upper right corner of the keyboard. On the display you can easily see your own pictures (even GIFs), which offers another possibility to customize the device. Especially in (semi-)professional gaming, where team logos are used, this rather unusual extra can be an advantage. Alternatively, the display can also be used to make basic settings without software. For example, the necessary triggering force for the switches or the lighting can be set on it.
The latter is another central feature of the keyboard. Each key has RGB lighting. This allows various possibilities: Each key can be illuminated individually. This is possible in rudimentary form via the integrated display and fully via the manufacturer’s free software.
Last but not least, the Apex Pro gaming keyboard also offers a USB pass-through connection, for example to connect USB sticks directly to the keyboard.
The Engine, the corresponding driver software from SteelSeries, offers countless possibilities to influence the keyboard. Here the illumination can be adjusted completely individually. From the individual illumination of each key to sensational effects, everything is possible. In addition, it is possible to set the required trigger point for the switches – also for each key individually. But only for the 62 most important keys (see screenshot). The software is clearly arranged and can be operated intuitively.
Of course, we have not only closely examined the Apex Pro, but have also tested it in practice. Here it turned out that the regulation of the necessary key pressure is actually very meaningful. The trigger point at 0.4 millimeters is particularly suitable for fast games in which reaction speed is important. The disadvantage is that keys are often pressed unintentionally, the pressure of which leads to unwanted actions when triggered so quickly. Here, the possibility of defining an individual trigger point for each key provides a remedy: Keys such as “W”, “A”, “S” and “D” are frequently required and can trigger at 0.4 millimetres. The surrounding keys, on the other hand, are used less frequently and may lead to absolutely undesirable actions if accidentally pressed – their trigger point can therefore simply be set higher.
We experimented a little with the different trigger points and were really satisfied. The keyboard can be adjusted to fit perfectly and can therefore meet a wide range of needs. By the way, the purchase is also worthwhile if it is to be used more for office applications – typing tasks are completed faster when the trigger point is low, as the keyboard registers every light touch immediately.
We also noticed that the keys are very quiet. They don’t make any noise when triggered. SteelSeries relies on a linear switching characteristic, the pressure force of which does not change even when the trigger point changes.
Overall, we liked the keyboard very much. It offers enormous and unprecedented possibilities to influence its behavior, which impressed us. The keyboard looks good, is well crafted and thanks to its flexibility is suitable for almost any application. We can therefore recommend it with a clear conscience. The only downer is the rather high price of the device.
SteelSeries Apex Pro
Design and Workmanship
Value for Money
An innovative and outstanding gaming keyboard.
SteelSeries APEX Pro Gaming-Tastatur price comparison
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