SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL 1.2
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Gaming Keyboard Pheripherals

SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Review

SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL – SteelSeries is one of the most popular brands in the world of gaming and its peripherals. Their Gateron switches are brand of the house and this time they have been encouraged to go one step further with the SteelSeries Apex Pro, a keyboard with switches with Omnipoint technology that promise to allow us to adjust the activation point of the switches to our liking. Let’s see it!

SteelSeries logo

SteelSeries is a Danish gaming peripherals and accessories company competing at the top with big names like Logitech, Corsair and Razer in a constant battle to bring the best performing peripherals to market.

FEATURES OF STEELSERIES APEX PRO

Unboxing of SteelSeries Apex Pro

We start with the subject of packaging, and you already know what we like about opening boxes. SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL comes with a box-style sliding cover that contains a cardboard box as a chest.

On the cover of the case we receive the image, brand and model of the product. Immediately highlights the adjustable mechanical switch seal with Omnipoint technology. We can also appreciate that the multiplatform capacity of the keyboard stands out, indicating that it is compatible for PC, Mac, Xbox One and PS4. Finally, the detail of the smart Oled screen could not be missing for warnings during games, Discord messages or music playback among other aspects.

On the sides of the cover we receive some promotion. Not for nothing is SteelSeries the brand with whose products the most awards have been won in eSports championships at a professional level. All this is accompanied by technical details of the keyboard that we have previously broken down in its table of characteristics.

On the back of the box, for its part, we have an overhead view of the keyboard as well as its wrist rest. Additionally, we can read detailed information on the operation of the Omnipoint switches in several languages, among other aspects:

Omnipoint technology is a patented first from SteelSeries that gets on the bandwagon of making the most of our keyboard’s potential. These switches promise five times faster actuation and eight times shorter response time as well as twice the estimated durability. All this is taking as a reference the Cherry MX Red and Speed ​​switches.

The contents of the box can therefore be summarized as:

SteelSeries Apex Pro Design

Starting at the bottom, the SteelSeries Apex Pro chassis is made from an aluminum alloy like that used in aircraft fuselage. This material has been used only on the top cover while the back of the keyboard is made of plastic. The aluminum is not brushed, it has a slightly pearlescent matte black finish that is less intense than the color of the keys.

The edges and corners of the SteelSeries Apex Pro are rounded and smooth. In its upper right area we can see the OLED screen along with a dedicated volume wheel and control switch. These elements are discreetly located in the empty space above the numeric keypad.

The SteelSeries Apex Pro features a pair of single-position but robust and very solid rear temples. Both are covered with non-slip rubber at their base to save us annoyance.

At both ends, exit depressions are observable for the keyboard cable, which is also located in the central area. Discreetly in the back area we also find the SteelSeries image stamped in white, as well as it is visible in black in the lower front area.

Turning to the back of the SteelSeries Apex Pro we can see the three alternative exit streets that are offered to us to lead our cable to the computer or console. Also noteworthy are its three non-slip rubbers located in the front area of ​​the keyboard.

Wrist Rest

When we spend entire days pounding buttons we often don’t realize what a simple lift of our wrists can do to our hands. The model included in the SteelSeries Apex Pro is not very high, but the keyboard does have a certain height with the pins deployed and that is why we would appreciate its use.

Our wrist rest has nothing more and nothing less than a total of eight non-slip rubber bases so when we tell you that unless you do it on purpose this accessory will not move, we are serious.

To increase this perception, the wrist rest of the SteelSeries Apex Pro has two magnetized connectors to magnetically fix them to the keyboard. This coupled with the aluminum cover that slides forward on the front ensures a spectacular keyboard lock that stands up to the most heated outbursts of anger, 10/10.

Switches

Let’s get technical with the switches, because although the keyboard can enter our eyes in terms of design or how spectacular its lights look, you already know how this goes: RGB lighting does not give us more FPS or make us better players. Nor do we want to tell you that Omnipoint switches are the panacea, but the issues they offer are quite interesting to discuss in depth.

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Let’s face it: in the world of switches, everyone compares themselves to the Cherry MX. The brand has become the flagship of mechanical switches and its long history makes it worthy of all the honors. Now, what is special about Omnipoint switches? This linear mechanical switch has the peculiarity that it can be used by software to make its adjustable actuation point less than that of models such as the Cherry MX Red or the Speed.

The most passionate users will be able to appreciate the potential of a keyboard this fast here. Being the one who jumps takes on a new meaning here, although not everything is going to be a bed of roses. Those of you who don’t use your keyboards solely to humiliate staff on CS: GO may find this hypersensitivity to be somewhat annoying when it comes to typing. Even a slight accidental touch can activate the neighboring keys and rile the most seasoned typists, so keep that in mind.

In the case of the SteelSeries Apex Pro, the keys that have adjustable Omnipoint technology are those basic 61 of the QWERT or AZERTY keyboards (characters, punctuation marks and typing controls). All the others do not have software calibration options and are therefore in their default activation.

The Cable

We continue our review going on to talk about the cable, and believe us when we tell you that it is going for a while. If you like thin cables that are discreet… we already tell you that the one on the SteelSeries Apex Pro is not for you. This critter is built to last, resistant to jerks, dog bites, and we’d even bet a power saw. The last survivor could use it as a zip line and would not flinch.

With a rubber coating that reaches a thickness of 7 millimeters, if what you are looking for is resistance you have come to the right place. However, its negative aspect is that given its thickness it is not very flexible and not very comfortable to handle.

This cable has a length of 180 mm and as we explained in the previous category on the frame it is not removable but its output from the keyboard can be placed in three positions: central, right and left. The chassis has guides at its base to hide its initial starting point and at the end we receive a division with two USB type A connections.

Both ports have a rubber coating slightly thinner than the main cable, but no less robust. Each USB is engraved in bas-relief with an icon that explains its usefulness. The model that we identify only with the USB icon is used to activate the port integrated in the rear left area of ​​our SteelSeries Apex Pro, while the one with the screen printing of the keyboard is the one that powers it.

Putting the SteelSeries Apex Pro into Use

As soon as we connect it, we have a show of those little lights that you know we love, but we also receive a notice on the OLED screen to let us know that if we want to make use of its many virtues, a firmware update is necessary. That is, we need to download the SteelSeries Engine software.

Initially and without modifying yet these parameters of the switches feel very agile, with a light and light touch that we immediately associate with the Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver. The linear pulsations feel very short and if we put the activation time to the minimum we no longer speak. However, we tell you that although to play the thing is noticeable and a lot, to write it is not so cool to activate accidental keys because the tips of our fingers have not fallen in the exact center of the key and the odd symbol slips in. unintentionally.

The click produced by the Omnipoint switches on the SteelSeries Apex Pro is dry, slightly low-pitched, and low-noise for a mechanical keyboard. We usually work with the Razer Chroma Tournament Edition V2 with yellow switches and the compared loudness is more pleasant and discreet on the Apex Pro. 

Illumination

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Since we are talking about switches we cannot avoid mentioning the keycaps and their relevance in RGB backlighting. SteelSeries brings us double injection ABS buttons with thick typeface for excellent readability. The LED backlight is right above the switch, not underneath like on traditional Cherry MXs. This gives the characters a much more vivid and vibrant color, which together with the size of the typeface gives a special energy to the keyboard.

Software

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The SteelSeries Engine is a configuration program that is already in its third version and follows the steps marked in depth by software such as Razer Central or Corsair iCUE.

When we install and set it up for the first time our team will recognize the SteelSeries Apex Pro immediately. Already in the first panel we can change between the five configurations for local memory profiles once customized.

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By clicking on our keyboard a menu of options that consists of four main categories is displayed for us:

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Once the software has been updated, the OLED screen is ready for use. Pressing the button located under the volume scroll will show us a list of options through which we can move and then click through the volume button and later calibrate to taste:

conclusion

There is a lot to take in with a keyboard like the SteelSeries Apex Pro. The Omnipoint switches are certainly a welcome surprise that present the potential to add that extra to more experienced players, but it is also true that they may not be such an obvious advantage for players. amateurs who make play and writing compatible. The minimum actuation distance of these switches can be really disconcerting and it certainly shows with linear switches from other brands. However, this overwhelming sensitivity brings as a setback the possibility of unintentionally activating buttons that we have barely touched, which does not make the SteelSeries Apex Pro a poorly indicated keyboard for typing.

Notifying this is probably round since the keyboard itself is offered a 100% gaming model, but we like to point out this kind of thing because we have not yet found a user who uses his keyboard exclusively to play.

If you want to see other Gaming keyboards, check our article with the Best Gaming Keyboards for 2021.

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