SteelSeries is known as an expert in gaming peripherals. The manufacturer is launching new gaming mice and keyboards on the market with reliable regularity, sometimes more and sometimes less different from their predecessors. In general, the quality delivered by SteelSeries is considered to be very high. Because of this and the popularity of the products, we have been convinced to thoroughly test the new gaming keyboard “Apex 7” in practice. What we think of the mechanical keyboard, you can read in our report.
Design and Workmanship
Despite the RGB lighting and the OLED display, the Apex 7 is visually rather restrained. The keyboard housing is compact and larks in plain black, as are the keys. However, each of the keys is equipped with an RGB LED, which allows the colour of the keyboard to be completely adapted to your own wishes. In case of doubt, the keyboard melts into a colorful sea of lights, which is certainly very interesting. In addition, it is characterised by the protruding keys and the large palm rest, which can be removed and fixed without tools and effort thanks to its magnetic fastening. All in all, SteelSeries moves in well developed design paths with the Apex 7. The new keyboard is already marked as a gaming keyboard by its striking design.
The quality of the material used is excellent. SteelSeries uses a 5000 aluminium alloy metal frame for the Apex 7, making it an extremely robust and presumably durable product. The already mentioned palm rest is also very robust and durable. However, we find the magnetic solution very clever – it is simple and, unlike other fastening solutions, hardly susceptible to damage. In all this, SteelSeries manages the balancing act between attractive design and robust product design. Those who choose Apex 7 do not have to choose between these two ideals.
Keys and Other Features
The Apex 7 uses switches whose manufacturer SteelSeries does not reveal. In the press, it was speculated on the occasion of the publication that the switches were made by Gateron. However, they are in-house QX2 switches. In any case, the Apex 7 is offered in three different versions, each of which differs in its switch type. In addition to linear red switches, tactile brown and tactile blue switches are also available. These are mechanical switches whose life expectancy is specified by SteelSeries as 50 million clicks. The tripping point of all three switches is 2 millimeters.
In addition to these keys, the keyboard offers the option of saving five user-defined profiles. In the upper right area there are two multimedia keys. The volume wheel can also be pressed to mute the sound directly. The other multimedia button – there is only one more – can be assigned several functions. For example, one click pauses music playback, two clicks jump to the next track. A small OLED display is also located in the upper right corner of the keyboard, where information on activated profiles, changed settings or current updates can be displayed. In addition, game- or application-related factors can be shown on the display – such as information from CS:GO or Spotify. We have simply integrated our logo as an example.
The Apex 7 also has a USB pass-through port, which can be used to connect a wide variety of USB devices. For example, a wireless mouse can be connected to the keyboard via a USB stick. The same applies to wired mice and other wired devices that would normally be connected directly to the PC. This is a clever way to avoid unnecessary cable clutter.
The cable management system found on the underside of the keyboard should also be understood in this sense. This has three channels through which the keyboard cable can be routed. So it can be brought easily and on the fastest way to the computer, without causing chaos on the desk.