SteelSeries Apex Pro Review
There is a niche market of gamers who want nothing but the latest technology and highest level of performance from their products, no matter the cost. While I am not one of these hardcore gamers (anymore), I do love products that push the limits of innovation and performance and this is exactly why I have had my eye on the SteelSeries Apex Pro for a long time – Not only is it one of the best-looking keyboards on the market, it is packed full of features and technology such as SteelSeries’ OmniPoint switches that really allow the Apex Pro to fulfil its flagship name, or does it?
SteelSeries has ensured Apex Pro remains loyal to its heritage — Its floating key design highlights the RGB illumination of each key, while the aircraft grade aluminium housing provides a premium finish that embodies quality. One of my favourite features of the Apex Pro is SteelSeries‘ iconic OLED display. If you have read any of my other reviews you will know that I love the ability to draw pictures on it interaction it provides between applications, games, and its embedded multimedia controls. This display can provide your KDA in Dota 2, real-time information regarding your PC’s hardware such as CPU clock speed and GPU utilisation, or simply just to know which song you are listening to in TIDAL — There is quite a number of uses for this display, even if it’s just to show off the MEF TECH logo!
The Apex Pro is everything you would expect from a flagship product with an abundance of features such as OmniPoint switches, OLED display, gorgeous RGB illumination, USB passthrough — I am honestly surprised that SteelSeries didn’t throw in a kitchen sink… or did they? A feature that is often neglected in keyboards is USB passthrough, but thankfully not with the Apex Pro. SteelSeries have even included the addition of a nice white LED ring (that oddly enough, you can not change the colour of) to make sure you don’t miss it! This is a great feature for gamers who have wireless products (such as the Rival 650 Wireless) who want to minimise the risk of interference (or just simply lazy) by connecting their wireless dongle directly into the keyboard. Of course, you can plug any USB-A product you want into this port — USB flash drives, mouse, phone charging cables etc. I honestly find that having a USB passthrough on a keyboard is a nice luxury that you don’t quite appreciate until it’s gone.
The Apex Pro features the same detachable wrist rest keyboard that is present across the entire range and I honestly believe it doesn’t get enough credit. Sure, it may not look that comfortable, but its simple yet effective design provides incredible support without compromising the aesthetics of the keyboard. The wrist rest is finished in a durable soft-touch finish that provides a level of grip and comfort that makes the Apex Pro a pleasure to game with for hours. Not a fan of wrist rests? Then simply keep it in the box — The magnetic design of the connecting the wrist rest means that there is no ugly holes or connection points that ruin the aesthetics of the keyboard when it is not in use. This is a clever and simple design that works both functionally and aesthetically across the range.
I had high expectations of the Apex Pro as not only is it SteelSeries‘ flagship keyboard, but as a technology enthusiast, I was genuinely excited to experience what is touted as the next generation of mechanical switches, the SteelSeries OmniPoint mechanical switch. I can honestly say that the Apex Pro exceeded my lofty expectations and is the best keyboard I have ever used, period. What makes the SteelSeries‘ OmniPoint switch unique and a step above its competition? Each key features an adjustable actuation point that can be customised to meet your preferred sensitivity level. This customisation is coupled with an insanely quick response time of 0.7ms that no other switch on the market can match.
The Apex Pro is much more than Omnipoint mechanical switches, it also features 100% anti-ghosting with N-Key Roll Over and of course, the iconic OLED display that I previously talked about. Underneath the keyboard features three different cable routing options to cater for a number of different setups. I tried to have the Apex Pro’s cable routed to either side of the keyboard but it killed my OCD!
The SteelSeries OmniPoint Mechanical Switch nearly justifies its $349 AUD price tag by itself, let alone the wealth of features and performance that SteelSeries have crammed in. It is a pleasure to game and type on with its feedback similar to a traditional red mechanical switch but with softer and more satisfying feedback that requires only 45g of force. The OmniPoint switch uses a magnetic field to measure the exact depth of the switch’s keystroke. This feedback allows users to set your desired actuation point of each individual key, meaning when you are typing up a document (or review of a keyboard), you can set the entire keyboard actuation point to be ultra-responsive with only 0.4mm of actuation required. Then when you want to jump into a game of Valorant you change to your gaming configured profile where your primary keys (W, A, S, D) are programmed to a more comfortable 2mm. I found this a treat as I could then set the remaining keys to a maximum of 3.6mm actuation depth to neglect any accidental triggering.
This technology from SteelSeries means that it is gamers who ultimately reap the benefits of the all that customisation that is all processed with a response time of just 0.7ms, which is a significant improvement of the traditional 6.0ms response of traditional mechanical switches. It is obvious that the performance of the OmniPoint switch is unmatched, but SteelSeries has also ensured that the durability of these switches are also unmatched with an impressive 100 million click rating, meaning you may never need to buy another keyboard ever again!
SteelSeries Engine 3
I spend hours customising my products, usually for minor improvements in performance, but I can certainly appreciate software that is easy to use and provides a number of customisable features such as SteelSeries Engine 3. Adjusting the Apex Pro’s 16.8 million per-key RGB illumination is a simple process and can be easily synced to the rest of your SteelSeries products using Prism link.
SteelSeries Engine 3 allows users to take full advantage of their OmniPoint switches by including all the tools required to adjust the actuation point of nearly every switch on their keyboard. These settings can be saved to one of the onboard profiles for on-the-fly access when wanting to switch actuation distance, RGB illumination, or software integration profiles with a roll of the wheel.
SteelSeries Apex Pro Review
- PERFORMANCE - 99%99%
- DESIGN - 94%94%
- QUALITY - 92%92%
- VALUE - 87%87%
There is no denying that the SteelSeries Apex Pro is the best keyboard on the market. It has all the features, performance, and technology that both pro and amateur gamers want. The OmniPoint switch is an innovative and impressive piece of technology that provides unmatched customisation and performance, and I have no doubt that we are witnessing the evolution of the mechanical switch right before our eyes.
For more information on SteelSeries, please check out our previous coverage here.