SteelSeries Apex 7 Review
SteelSeries is one of the biggest names in gaming peripherals and for good reason; the diverse range of products and features ensures that no matter the application or budget, SteelSeries offers a product to suit you. Casual gamers will love the features and price of the SteelSeries Apex 3 mechanical keyboard, while hardcore gamers will appreciate everything the Apex Pro has to offer. But what about the SteelSeries Apex 7? Over the past few weeks, I have been testing out the Apex 7 to see how this feature-packed mechanical keyboard compares to the rest of the SteelSeries Apex range of keyboards and who this keyboard appeals to…
The Apex 7 is available in both full-size and TKL variants. Both models offer a sleek, compact design that makes you think it’s smaller than it actually is. The body is made of aircraft-grade aluminium alloy and feels extremely solid and well built, a feature SteelSeries are well known for. Weighing in just under a kilo, I was surprised that it felt this strong, in fact, stronger than Shaun Grimley in an under 12’s footy match.
The full-sized Apex 7 has a height of 403.3 mm, a depth of 139.2 mm, and a width of 17 mm — just incase you need to plan your battle station setup just right. Flowing out of the back of the Apex 7 is a rubber USB cable that can be routed in 3 different options depending on your gaming setup, a nice luxury for all the OCD cable management people out there!
The Apex 7 has gone with a floating keycap design and a dynamic Per-Key RGB Illumination. Whilst I believe the best RGB keyboard I have seen recently belongs to the ROCCAT 120 AIMO, there is something beautiful about how the RGB bounces back off of the aircraft-grade aluminium alloy frame and allows for a relaxing and stylish glow.
An iconic feature of the SteelSeries Apex range is the OLED display located at the top right of the keyboard, and the Apex 7 is no different. This OLED display can be configured to show certain information like profiles, in-game stats or even songs you may be listening to at the time. Whilst the OLED screen does offer useful feedback and looks cool, it is not very useful during gaming — Taking time to look down at the OLED screen during online play was never going to happen and I found myself just sticking a cool little MEF TECH logo on it and admiring it when I could.
A magnetic wrist rest is also included with the Apex 7 (and the entire Apex range), which is a great addition. Not only does it complement the overall design of the keyboard, but it also provides an incredible amount of support and comfort. The wrist rest is made from a soft-touch rubber that provides grip and is easily attached/removed thanks to several hidden magnets.
A feature that is commonly reserved for premium models is USB pass-through. Much like the Apex Pro, the Apex 7 also features this luxury with a USB pass-through port located at the top left side of the keyboard. SteelSeries also went one step further by illuminating the port, making it incredibly easy to see in a dark room whilst gaming and trying to plug in your mobile phone charger. The USB pass-through port is a fantastic addition to this keyboard and helped me become even lazier (if that was even possible) by plugging any USB-A product into it (I currently have my Arctis 7 charging through it as we speak).
The Apex 7 features SteelSeries’ very own custom Red, Blue and Brown mechanical switches. These switches closely resemble the popular Cherry MX range of switches with the SteelSeries Red switches being linear and quiet, Blue being tactile and clicky, Brown being tactile and quiet. The Red switches are the most common switch for gamers thanks to its actuation point of 2mm, a total travel of 4mm and are rated for 50 million clicks. These are the switches I tested and was impressed with its performance in games and whist typing. I had the luxury of testing the SteelSeries Blue mechanical switch in the TKL variant and found it to be a pleasure typing, but the clicky feedback may discourage some gamers.
The Apex 7 also features 100% anti-ghosting with a 104-key N-Key Roll Over (84-key N-key roll over for TKL variant) and 1000 Hz polling rate. These features are quickly becoming the standard for gaming keyboards but always good to have.
I tested the Apex 7 out on a number of games from my usual FPS genre of CS:GO, Call of Duty and Valorant. I found the overall response and performance was excellent for gaming FPS. The only disappointment was my poor skills, which I can’t quite blame the keyboard for, can I?
Apex 7 TKL
Much like its full-sized variant, the Apex 7 TKL features the same aluminium frame, OLED screen, USB-Passthrough and the magnetic wrist rest, just 80% smaller! This smaller form factor features a height of 40.44 mm, the width of 139.26 mm and depth of 355.44 mm, while weighing only 771 grams.
SteelSeries Engine 3
When it comes to customising your SteelSeries products it is a pleasure to know that the SteelSeries Engine 3 software is simple and easy to use. In this software, you can adjust an array of features from the dynamic per-key RGB illumination, meta bindings, key bindings and of course, the OLED display settings. SteelSeries Engine 3 also allows you to sync all of your SteelSeries products to get the maximum effect from your peripherals and of course your RGB glow.
SteelSeries Apex 7 Review
- DESIGN - 94%94%
- PERFORMANCE - 90%90%
- VALUE - 91%91%
- QUALITY - 93%93%
I would love to say that I am surprised by the quality and performance of the Apex 7, but I am not — Every time I use SteelSeries products they consistently remind me of why they are one of the biggest names in gaming today. The quality of the Apex 7 is superb and the performance is up there with the best including that time I kicked 5 goals from the midfield. Throw in some beautiful RGB illumination and a sleek gorgeous design for roughly $250AUD, the Apex 7 is a terrific option for hardcore and casual gamers alike.