SteelSeries is taking another stab at the gaming keyboard market with the new APEX. While the growing trend in gaming keyboards appears to be expensive units with fancy LCD
and modular design
, the SteelSeries puts its faith in macro and analytical software as well as backlighting features.
The SteelSeries APEX
makes quite an impression when it comes to key illuminations, boasting 5 independent zones, each capable of 16.8 million colors and 8 levels of brightness. The keyboard has a full complement of 22 macro keys, 10 of which are on the left hand side and the rest sitting above the function row. The APEX offers up to 4 layers (switchable via dedicated keys on the upper left corner) so you get up to 88 macro keys in total. Each macro layer can also have its own color scheme tailored for your gaming needs. APEX's anti-ghosting supports up to 20 concurrent key presses.
The crowd jewel of the APEX is perhaps the unified software that manages the latest SteelSeries gaming gear. The latest version keeps track of your keyboard and mouse activities, and later provides a heat map, which details how you can improve efficiency in games or productivity apps (e.g. reduce travel distance between keystrokes).
There are other nice touches including 2 extra arrow keys; small bumps on W-key (helping you to find your way back to WASD faster); extra wide space bar; and two set of swappable feet to adjust the tilt angle of the keyboard. Also worth mentioning is that the APEX employs rubber dome-switch membrane to keep the cost down. The APEX will retail for $99 for those who dig shiny lights and don't have a preference for mechanical keyboards.