REVIEW: SteelSeries Apex 5
This hybrid mechanical keyboard will pump you up and make you game for anything
It's pretty nice to slam and jam your way in action-packed games. And the virtual world calls for some really sturdy real-world gear to make you feel the intensity. The SteelSeries Apex 5 hybrid mechanical keyboard wants to being that experience to you.
Before we proceed though, let's get this out of the way. The Apex 5 is a hybrid mechanical keyboard. Now, there are two types of keyboards: Membrane - which is cheaper makes up about 90 per cent of keyboards in use today, according to SteelSeries - and mechanical. In simplest terms, mechanical keyboards are more durable, higher-quality and, most importantly for gamers, have a consistent tactile feel that makes the typing or gaming experience snappier and more responsive.
SteelSeries, then, created its own hybrid mechanical system, which brings down the cost of mechanical keyboards.
Anyway, as with SteelSeries' other keyboards, this one's really imposing. And - I'd thought I'd never say this - but those large, elevated chunks of keys are quite gorgeous. With every press, however, prepare for that really clunky sound, which is double-edged: It's either you'll love it for the sound it creates to show how intense your gaming is, or you'll loathe it because it isn't exactly the type of hardware roommates who like peace and quiet would like.
On the top-right corner are arguably the most useful parts of this keyboard. There's a roller that controls volume and a media button that, when pressed, gives you access to customisation, including for lighting changes, profiles and others. Information on music tracks played are also displayed here. As an example, by default on a MacBook, the menu button launches Music.
And aside from Windows and Mac, you can also use this on an Xbox or PlayStation.
Using the Apex 5 feels pretty intense - especially when you're going at it on, well, intense games. Its anti-ghosting - the ability of all keys to still function even if you press them simultaneously - is top-grade, so you don't have to worry about failing to do a command especially if you've got lightning-quick fingers.
As for typing, here's where we diverge, because of user preferences when it comes to key depth. I personally like laptop-grade keyboards that are really low, because I can move around quicker. The Apex 5's keys are deep, so unless you're used to this style, you may need some time to adjust; I saw my typing speed stutter when I tried it for typing, as if I was using some sort of typewriter (my mom still has one from the 1980s, which is actually cool and which I used to hone my own typing skills).
But to be fair, the Apex 5 was built for gaming in the first place. Think of it this way: Typists will glide their way through their standard keyboards; gamers, of course, will breeze through theirs.
It's a cool thing for any gamer to have. The SteelSeries Apex 5 is a nice complement to your gaming fix. The press and feel of it is nice and can pretty much withstand those constant poundings that are quite default in the world of gaming (especially when some boss kills you for three hours straight). And while not the cheapest in its class, it's still a pretty good deal since a good number of features from SteelSeries' higher-ups are in it too.
Aircraft-grade aluminium alloy frame
|Illumination||Dynamic per key RGB|
|OS||Windows, OS X; Xbox, PlayStation|
|Platform||SteelSeries Engine 3.15+|
GOODIES: Great feel for gaming, wrist rest included, customisation features
GOOFIES: Too noisy, key depth may require typists to adjust, only one button for media controls
EDITOR RATING: 4.0/5
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