Steelseries Apex Pro TKL Review – Actually Awesome

Steelseries Apex Pro TKL Review - Actually Awesome

I won’t shy from the fact that PC gaming has never been my forte. No, if given the opportunity I’ve been inclined to connect a controller via Bluetooth and play in a way that is comfortable for me. Cue the Steelseries Apex Pro TKL, and the piece of hardware that finally leaves me feeling a little tempted to explore the the PC realm further. 

For years this talk of mechanical keyboards and actuation all seemed like fluff to me, buzz words that would have no bearing on the playing experience whatsoever, and yet the reality is very different. I’m sure for many of you reading this, you’re already aware of the benefits, but please indulge me as I catch up to the headspace you’ve been existing in for a long time. 

I tested the Apex Pro TKL on a range of different games, each requiring dexterity in a range of different ways, from Ghostrunner II, to Shovel Knight, and the combined benefits of the mechanical keys, magnets and the ability to specify your preferred actuation point, were pronounced immediately. For years I’d come to expect that a combination of keys would be required to differentiate walking and running for example, and that was irritating as a console-first gamer, but to be able map both to the same key and differentiate the walk and run by the level with which you depress the key was revelatory to me.

The Apex Pro TKL boasts 11x faster registration, and 10x faster actuation, as well as the actuation points ranging between 0.2 and 3.8mm, and while I didn’t have any comparable points of reference for these advertised magnitudes of improvement, their essential nature for anyone who wants to play on PC was clear.

As a playing experience the Apex Pro TKL is a sensation. However, as anyone who has attempted to use a mechanical keyboard would already know, using it around others can be problematic. The looks that I received from my wife at home, or colleagues at work, as I used the keyboard were intense at times due to just how loud a mechanical keyboard is to operate. You certainly want to be using the Apex Pro TKL in a secluded environment, because the noise that a keyboard like this creates can be a bit obnoxious. 

For anyone who intends to use the keyboard long term, ergonomics are an important factor. As someone who has recently endured a nasty bout of tendonitis in my wrist/hand/forearm (not from gaming but it inhibits gaming nonetheless), having the necessary support to protect my arm from further injury was key, and in this regard the Apex Pro TKL is lacking. The magnetically attached wrist rest affixes to the keyboard well and doesn’t slide around, but it lacks any kind substantial cushioning which was especially noticeable for myself with my current condition, but even for my healthy arm, it didn’t feel overly comfortable during extended sessions. 

The Apex Pro TKL has particular market, and it addresses the needs of that market especially well. It should not be used anywhere, anytime, but with Steelseries’ proprietary Omnipoint 2.0 key customisation, RGB, and a great feature set, it’s a phenomenal keyboard for PC gamers, and a game-changer for those of us who’ve been playing on console, making PC gaming more approachable than ever before. Some further quality of life support when it comes to cushioning, and you’ve got a keyboard that will be near-on perfect for all players. 

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