Steelseries, one of the industry leading gaming peripheral companies have create a brand new Keyboard the Apex Gaming Keyboard, Claimed to be the ‘fastest keyboard in the world’.
Apex Gaming keyboard is a non-mechanical keyboard a Juggernaut to say the least compared to the smaller version the Apex Raw, which comes with less features and costs a little less.
Now the Boring Tech Specs
|Low profile keys||✓||✓|
|Backlight color||16.8 mill. at 8 levels||Bright white at 8 levels|
|SteelSeries ActiveZone||5 zones||–|
|Anti-ghosting||6 simultaneous keypresses of 20 antighosting capable gaming keys||6 simultaneous keypresses of 20 antighosting capable gaming keys|
|W-key with tactile bump||✓||✓|
|Media keys||Dedicated||Through modifier key|
|Adjustable keyboard tilt||Two angles (7° & 10°)||Two angles (7° & 10°)|
|SteelSeries Engine support*||✓||✓|
|Braided, anti-tangle cord||✓||–|
|Rubber dome keys||5 mill. keystrokes||5 mill. keystrokes|
|USB hub||2 ports||–|
|OS compatability||Windows, OS X, & Linux**||Windows, OS X, & Linux**|
The huge keyboard as packaged very well in a rather large box, what else was you expecting? with a glossy picture of the keyboard itself that makes the Apex Design stand out a mile. Also on the front includes information about the Raised Macro keys, the ‘Activezone illumination’ and the engine that powers Steelseries peripherals the ‘Steelseries Engine’.
On the back you get a more in-depth overview of the key features of the Apex Keyboard via a graphic illustration and a bunch of different languages giving a brief overview of what you can expect..If you have an mobile you can scan the QR code, this will take you to the Steelseries website address dedicated to the keyboard itself.
Now the contents includes the keyboard of coarse, a Mini guide, the Iconic Steelseries sticker Logo and two rubber feet to raise the keyboard if required, along with a load of packaging to keep everything nice a safe.
The keyboard itself is huge like we said at the start compared to a standard keyboard this is simply due to all the extra keys. The feel of the keyboard is a mix of a Matt finish with the gloss finish only on the sides of the keys and around the inner keyboard layout, which is great since we all hate having to clean our keyboard due to finger prints.
The extra keys are what make this keyboard so great so what do we have, on the left hand side you have L1 – L4 and MX1 through to Mx10. The L1 to L4 keys are what Steelseries call ‘Layer’ keys you might know them as profile assignment keys, the MX1 to MX10 keys are the macro Keys. Alo ng the top just above the F keys are 12 more macro keys M1 – M12, finally on the right hand side with have a set of media keys which control volume and windows media functions.You can create a total of 88 Macros but that’s not all it can do, most of the keyboard is programmable giving you a chance to program over 504 keys.
The arrow keys have been improved as well Steelseries have added to more additional arrow keys for more convenience
If you flip the keyboard on its side you will see two USB ports, which is very handy since we are using more USB devices nowadays from Mice, headsets, external drives and even our Mobile phones devices etc. There is a oversize Space bar, why its over-sized? well it was easier to use and that maybe the reason. Underneath the keyboard is plain and simple, 4 rubber feet and a Steelseries sticker. Now the keyboard comes with 2 rubber feet which tilt the keyboard a little higher for you if required, to attach these you need to remove the top 2 rubber feet underneath the keyboard and attach these instead.
Steelseries have added two small bumps on the W key, this is intended to give the user faster way to get back to the WSAD Keys.
So far this keyboard standout in a lot of ways to any avid gamer that plays games that requires a crap load of keys, such games as MMO’s MOBA’s and many more. What gives this keyboard an advantage over others is the Illumination of every key allow you to play in the dark and find every key with ease. The Activezone Illumination consists of 16.8 million colors within 5 zones giving you a possibility to create over 1 trillion different co lour variations
The steelseries key allows you to disable the windows key, for us not that useful, maybe for others it is a great addition, the key also allows you access to all the special functions.
How many of us have spammed a key and got that damn key locking warning .. most of you I am guessing, well no more the Apex keyboard Anti Ghosts 20 keys which can allow you to click upto 6 times without locking up the keyboard “Hurray” to Steelseries. These keys include 1,2,3,4,5 / Q,W,E,R,A,S,D,F / LCTRL / LSHIFT / Arrow Keys & the Space Bar
That basically covers the basics of this baby.. oh yeh almost forgot … everything is controlled by the awesome Steelseries Engine UI system. You can assign Macros to every key across different profiles, give it a delay and even map the key. You get to customise the color of each zones and alter the zone layout by pressing on the L1 to L4 keys, what we found to be an added extra was the ability to alter the brightness of each zone.You increase the polling rate of the keyboard and if you a have completely botched up your keyboard mapping you can reset everything back to its default setting with a simple push of a button. Now this is something new, keyboard statistics, yes you heard that first here, the program records what keys are used more and less and gives you feedback based on a color chart, blue less usage, red more usage.
Keyboard in use
Keyboard is a simple plug and play, just put both of the USB plugs into your system and away you go, if you wish to take full advantage of what this keyboard can do then you should 100% download the Steelseries Engine.
First game we played was Bioshock Infinite a little Tomb Raider and finally Guild Wars 2, the keyboard maybe huge but we have to admit it, it feels god damn awesome to use, adding the bumps to the W key made it a little more easier to find, but the additional arrow keys, well I never use the arrow keys in the first place so these where just a waste of space. When it came to Macros the Engine was great, Guild Wars 2 was Macroed up within Minutes and away i went into the game with a clear advantage over our friends and enemies.
Now for general use ‘non gaming’ was it just as good, well… it was, running Microsoft office, Surfing the web and much more, it felt bloody perfect, the size made everything seem more easier and faster with less typos in most cases (and I can honestly say I suck at typing fast)
Overall this keyboard is great, huge yes but still very nice to use, you might need a slightly bigger desk to fit it on, if you are using an over-sized mouse mat. For the price you pay £79.99, damn its well worth it for what it offers compared to other gaming keyboards from its competitors.
You can buy this beast directly from Steelseries HERE
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.