Just a few days ago, SteelSeries released their newest gaming keyboards – the SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL & Mini. While these boards do look similar to what we saw with our Apex 7 TKL review, there are some interesting things going on with the switches under the covers.

The big news here is that the SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL & Mini boards are using optical switches. There’s still the mechanical, tactile feel when you type, it’s just relying on light – rather than a metal contact – to register the keypress. This offers a faster response time (0.2ms), and should produce a longer-lasting keyboard as well.

With the SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL & Mini, you’re also able to tune where that actuation point is for registering the keypress. You can have it register at 1mm of travel (great for gaming) or at 1.5mm, to give you a little more travel. Of note, you’re able to set this per-key, so you can really customize it to your preferences. Past that, you’re able to swap the switches and go for linear, tactile, or clicky – so you can really customize things to how you game (or type).

While there are similarities between these two keyboards, they aren’t exactly the same. Here’s how the two keyboards are differentiated:

  • Apex 9 TKL – The esports-ready APEX 9 TKL (tenkeyless) design is preferred by the world’s leading players and provides comfort, familiarity, and more flexibility for large mouse movements while giving better ergonomics, so gamers can play harder and longer. SteelSeries’ groundbreaking OptiPoint optical switches react with a lightning-fast speed, in combination with the 1mm actuation point, to earn players the top spot. Gamers will experience fadeproof durability and enhanced keystroke feel with specially designed Double Shot PBT keycaps, and an aluminum top plate that fuels win streaks with unbreakable durability.
  • Apex 9 Mini – The mini is mighty, providing everything gamers need in a small package. For those who want to completely maximize their gaming space, the Apex 9 Mini’s 60% form factor gives users more desk space for big deliberate mouse sweeps and movements while offering all the capabilities of a full-size keyboard through printed secondary functions. Custom-built OptiPoint switches harness the power and speed of light for a 0.2ms response time and keystrokes with zero debounce. Double Shot PBT Keycaps are renowned for their durability, quality, and sound, so when gamers have key switches that last 100M presses, they have elite keycaps to match.

If you want to pick one up, the SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL is $139.99, while the more-compact SteelSeries Apex 9 Mini comes in at $129.99. steelseries.com/apex

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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