The SteelSeries APEX Pro Keyboard is probably my favourite keyboard to type on. It’s what I write 98% of these articles on and the customisation, as well as how the keys feel under your fingers is second to none. Understandably though, it’s probably little bit out of most price ranges coming in at $399. That’s where SteelSeries new range comes in. The newly released Apex 3 and Apex 5 keyboards retain a lot of the same quality features that SteelSeries’ high-end offering contain, but at a way more consumer friendly price point. The Apex 3 is just $129 whilst the Apex 5 is $219. The SteelSeries Apex 5 Gaming Keyboard manages to find a really nice middle ground between price, high-end feel and an impressive list of features.
Looking at the $399 Apex Pro and The $219 Apex 5, you’d be hard pressed to seperate them from the outside. The SteelSeries Apex 5 Keyboard’s Chassis is constructed from Aircraft Aluminum, which means that it has a decent amount of weight to it, it looks great on your desk and you don’t get that cheap plastic look and feel.
The SteelSeries Apex 5 is a joy to type on (although nothing is going to feel as good as the more premium APEX Pro). The keyboard has Hybrid Blue Mechanical Switch which is a first for SteelSeries’ keyboard lineup. The keys are matte which feel great to press, and there’s a very satisfying click that comes from each press of the key. This makes for extremely accurate typing, but the clickyness is quite audible, so definitely be mindful of that if you’re in an office, or have housemates that are in close proximity to you. All-in-all, there’s a great sense of responsiveness when using this keyboard, and that will be the most important thing to most.
From a gaming point of view, there’s not a lot else you could ask for. Playing games such as Doom Eternal and soon to be released Resident Evil 3, I was extremely happy with the responsiveness and able to find my way around the keyboard with ease. The only omission is the lack of macro keys on the keyboard, which might be important for some hardcore MMO players.
The keyboard is also incredibly comfortable to use, which is definitely helped by the premium magnetic wrist that magnetically clips onto the bottom of the keyboard. This is obviously great for wrist support and it’s nice and soft. You’re also able to cable manage via three different tracks at the top of the keyboard, which means that you’ll hopefully be able to hide your cable as much as possible on your desk.
The Apex 5 keyboard has a lot to be excited about in the way of extra features. Similarly to that of the Apex Pro, there’s an OLED Smart Display. Yes, the keyboard has an OLED screen in the top right corner. You can use it to view the current song playing, check out the volume and view Discord/game information. This is also how you can quickly change some of the settings, including changing the profile (there’s five on board the keyboard), changing the RGB options, but the most important use of all, is the ability to have a GIF display. It’s definitely a bit of a silly feature, but nothing will impress a friend or colleague like a GIF running on your keyboard OLED screen.
The keyboard has a clickable metal roller and a media key, so you’re able quickly pause a song, mute your sound or adjust your volume with ease. The roller in particular is hugely useful, and it’s huge meaning that you don’t have to second guess where it is on your keyboard. It’s great for that moment when you’re in-game and quickly need to lower your volume headset to quickly chat to someone without getting out of the game.
The Apex 5 has per-key RGB illumination and it’s definitely vibrant, but not the brightest keyboard I’ve seen. The SteelSeries Engine software is incredibly easy to use and is a huge selling point of any SteelSeries product. Using the SteelSeries Engine, you’re able to reprogram any key on the entire keyboard, which is obviously a huge advantage. You can also manage your onboard profiles, macros and almost anything else that you can think of customising. The software can make or break any piece of tech, and thankfully there are no qualms with the SteelSeries Engine software.
The SteelSeries Apex 5 is an incredibly solid keyboard that will look great on any desk. It has an array of premium features that will delight anybody who comes close to it and comes in at a price that won't break the bank.