Earlier this month, SteelSeries introduced a brand new keyboard that is definitely worth taking a notice of. Sure, you might be happy with your laptop keyboard, or whatever barebones keyboard work gave you, but there’s a whole world of great keyboards out there. Many can get quite spendy (especially if you build up your own), but the SteelSeries Apex3 TKL comes in at a surprisingly-affordable price point.
Now, as you might guess, the SteelSeries Apex3 TKL is a tenkeyless keyboard. All that means is that the number pad on the far right has been eliminated, which gives you a bit more real estate back on your desk. This means it can fit smaller spaces, but it also means you can make bigger movements with your mouse – key for intense games. Past that, you’ve got 10-zone RGB lighting (in my book, backlit keys are great for working – or playing – in dimmer spaces) that can be customized via their SteelSeries Engine software to have certain effects when events happen in a game, or even record macros that you can fire off.
The SteelSeries Apex3 TKL also has one thing you don’t see often in keyboards – and IP32 dust- and water-resistant rating. What that means is, if you get carried away in your game – or celebrate a bit too much when you finally crack that piece of code that had you stumped – you won’t fry your keyboard when you spill your drink on it. Sure, you’ll still want to dry and clean it, but it should still keep going away.
This is no doubt helped along by the fact that the SteelSeries Apex3 TKL is a membrane keyboard, and not a mechanical keyboard as so many are fond of. I’ve come to enjoy the tactile feedback a mechanical switch gives you, so I’ll be curious to see how this one feels to use (that’s right, we’ve got a sample on the way, so watch out for our full review) on a day-to-day basis. The material they use for the membrane is pretty robust, as they’re rating it for 20 million keystrokes.
There are some other helpful things built into the SteelSeries Apex3 TKL. For one, you’ve got dedicated media keys, and a clickable volume roller, which is handy for quick adjustments without needing to get into the media controls in your OS. They’ve also got three different channels built into the underside of the keyboard, which means you can route the USB cable out from under the board in the path that makes the most sense for your setup.
Now, we may have lost a few keyboard enthusiasts when we said that the SteelSeries Apex3 TKL wasn’t a mechanical keyboard. If you’re still with us though, that change in switch type brings some great benefits. For one, it’s a nearly-silent keyboard, which means you can game (or type) without annoying folks near you. Secondly, if gives you a much lower price point. The SteelSeries Apex3 TKL comes in at a very affordable $44.99 which is a solid price for an RGB keyboard you can spill your coffee on without worry. Oh, and if you really need the ten-key for your Excel work? You can pick up the Apex 3 with it (with all the other same features) for just five bucks more. Again, be on the lookout for our full review; you can checkout the details and get your own directly from SteelSeries, or of course over at Amazon. steelseries.com
Tech Specs from SteelSeries
- Top Material: High Quality Polymer Frame
- N-Key Roll Over: 24 Keys
- Anti-ghosting: Gaming Grade
- Illumination: 10-Zone RGB Illumination
- Weight: 639 g / 1.41 lbs
- Height: 40 mm / 1.57 in
- Width: 364 mm / 14.3 in
- Depth: 150 mm / 5.9 in
- Type & Name: SteelSeries Whisper-Quiet Switches
- Lifetime: 20 Million Keypresses
- Windows, Mac OS X, Xbox, and PS4. USB port required