SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard Review

Game Information

Price: 

$75-$100

Manufacturer: 

SteelSeries

Reviewed On: 

27” iMac

There isn’t anything wrong with my current keyboard, I actually rather like it. My Logitech K750 fulfills all my typing and gaming needs, although I wish it had backlighting on the keys. But I have never owned a proper gaming keyboard before so I was interested to test one out, and after some research I settled on the Steelseries Apex Gaming keyboard.

After pulling this one out of its packaging and plugging it in with the convenient tangle-free braided USB cord, I was ready to go. The keyboard lit up instantly and I grinned and rubbed my hands together like a delighted child before settling my fingers down upon the brand new keys. This accessory not only looks impressive but feels good on your fingers too.

As far as comfort goes, I enjoyed the sturdy design of the keyboard as well as the built-in wrist-rest. This keyboard is huge which is definitely one of the downsides; it barely fits on my keyboard tray for my desk. Small spaces need not apply here. However one thing I did love that is big is the spacebar, which is double the vertical width of your average spacebar key and was very comfortable to rest my thumbs on.

Let’s talk about the backlighting on this keyboard, because it is phenomenal.

This isn’t a mechanical keyboard, but although  it has some noise to it, but not too loud as to be bothersome. The other downside here is that I found the keys were a bit too tightly placed together for my liking. If only because I have been typing on a widely spaced Logitech K750 keyboard for the last few years. I suspect if I had been using a laptop keyboard, or even an Apple wireless keyboard, I wouldn’t have noticed the spacing as much. Keyboards become very personal things given how much we use them, so it is mostly a matter of comfort or muscle memory.

The Apex also has two high-powered USB ports, meaning you can charge an iPhone or power an external hard drive from the keyboard directly. I happen to charge my phone and use a small external USB drive often, so I found this very convenient. I also loved the placement of the media keys, which were to the right of the numeric keypad. Personally I have always hated the placement of the keys on Apple devices; I find them awkward to use and frequently have to glance down to hit the right one. With these I could merely shift my thumb off my trackball and tap a button to play, pause or skip tracks in my music. You will need to change the use of the alt and command keys since they are reversed from Mac standards, but this is easily done in the Keyboards section of system preferences in OSX. Additionally, the Apex even includes two sets of rubber feet so you can adjust the angle as you see fit.

SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard Stylish Design

Stylish Design

Let’s talk about the backlighting on this keyboard, because it is phenomenal. The only backlit keyboards I have used before are the ones built into Apple’s laptops, and while those are perfectly functional, I was blown away by the Apex’s colorful display. I prefer dark colors, and the mix of darkly hued red, blues, greens and purples was great. With a press of a button you can switch between four different preset color layouts, all of which I was pretty happy with. Furthermore there is even illumination on the sides of the keyboard, which at night lights up your desk. This may or may not be convenient for you, but I liked it.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find the Apex keyboard had a fully functional Mac driver which lets you craft the macro keys as you see fit and adjust the backlighting to one of any 16.8 million colors (so it says). You can even adjust the backlighting on a per app/game basis which is interesting, though I didn’t make use of it.

SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard Lighting Everywhere

Lighting Everywhere

For $100 this might be a tad pricey, but if you can pick it up on sale for $75 it becomes easy to recommend. If you can actually think of a use for dozens of macro keys, or you are an avid MMO gamer, this is the keyboard for you. Personally I couldn’t make use of all the macros, so while I loved the keyboard in many ways, it ultimately wasn’t for me as I couldn’t justify the size. I wish they sold the same keyboard without all the macro keys adding to its width, as that is something I would buy right away.

Highlights

+:

  • 100% Mac functionality
  • Multi-colored backlighting is amazing
  • Wide spacebar is great
  • Media controls conveniently placed
  • Two USB Ports
  • Tangle-free cord

-:

  • Very large
  • Keys tightly placed together

Image Gallery: 

  • SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard
  • SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard

SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard was reviewed using a unit bought by the writer. Read more on MacGameCast's review and ethics policy here.

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