User Experience / Conclusion and Rating
We know from past experience that there is an ever growing set of gamers who have tried mechanical keyboards such as the 7G, there is nothing in this board that will make them move back… though that was never its intention. This is a board designed for those who cannot afford, or do not need that type of product. With that in mind the APEX RAW offers a decent experience for a standard gaming board. It is lightweight without feeling flimsy and has no significant build quality issues (even if our early review sample did have a few scuffs etc). We would have liked a little extra power across the backlighting and feel it wouldn’t have been too much to ask for a braided cable on the RAW edition but otherwise we have no complaints on the quality/pricing balance.
In terms of design SteelSeries have managed to create a keyboard which looks reasonably unique, despite being predominantly black, thanks to its angled design. We would always choose to have flip out feet rather than the interchangeable rubber found here but the extra arrow keys are an interesting addition and the expanded space bar can be hit with extreme ease.
For the typing experience the APEX RAW is responsive and the low profile keys do ensure typing is fast. It is also nice to see some thought going into the angle of the extra keys at the top of the board which ensures we know where our hand is without looking.
For the software SteelSeries Engine will be immediately familiar to those who have used any of this manufacturers products in the last few years. It is intuitive and reasonably responsive however the install is a little clunky, requiring multiple reboots on a Windows 8 install and forcing the use of older .NET. We also noted that a bug still exists which causes the ROCCAT Kone mice to stop responding when the Engine software is installed or launched. (Either company could be blamed for that). We also feel a little extra time could have been added to tweak the "tips" shown as the Statistics panel, for one example, shows profiles tips.
So that brings us to value and at $69.99 the APEX RAW is reasonably priced. There are no must have features however it offers a solid gaming experience and comfortable, fast typing.
|SteelSeries APEX [RAW] Gaming Keyboard|
|Where to buy…|
|Shop.SteelSeries.com – $69.99|