SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless: One Minute Review
We understand it. The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is a trifecta of things that make a gaming keyboard expensive. It has that 60% form factor with a small footprint. It’s a wireless keyboard. And it comes with special features that you won’t find in other options, full size and otherwise.
Honestly, we can’t blame SteelSeries for charging a lot here. This one gaming keyboardthe ability to only have dual controls feels priceless, especially since it actually works and is something you’d find hard to find in other wireless gaming keyboardseven direct rivals.
Still, for most people, $239 / £239 / AU$499 is a lot to spend on a mini gaming keyboard. Scratch that. It’s a lot to spend on most things, especially with the current cost of living crisis.
So while we’re blown away by what SteelSeries has done – the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is an impressive piece of kit, despite the only downside being that it wakes up bizarrely slowly – it’s hard to recommend to anyone. It’s an excellent gaming keyboard, arguably one of the best releases this 2022. But at that price, it might be best for gamers who can take full advantage of its special features.
Although, for the record, it’s a really tempting option, and one we’d get ourselves if we had some extra cash lying around.
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless: Price and Availability
- How much is it? $239 (£239, AU$499)
- Where is it available? now available
- Where can you get it? Available in US, UK and Australia
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless: SPECIFICATIONS
Switch: OmniPoint 2.0 adjustable
Programmable keys: Yes, with adjustable controls and dual controls
Dimensions: 11.53 x 4.02 x 1.59 in (293 x 103 x 40.3 mm)
RGB or backlight: Yes
Asking $239 (£239, AU$499) for a mini keyboard seems a bit excessive, even if we weren’t in the midst of a cost of living crisis. That’s mainly because some of the best 60% and 75% wireless keyboards on the market don’t even cost that much.
The popular and well received Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeedFor example, gamers are charging just $179 (£179, AU$299) of their hard-earned cash (and we’re using the word “only” very loosely here). Same with the newer ones Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wirelesswhich will also set you back $179 (£169, AU$299).
Again, that high price makes sense when you compare the features, as none of them can even compete with the level of customization the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless offers. However, there is still no denying that the price to pay for those tweaks is quite high for most gamers. It feels even steeper if you don’t take full advantage of its superpowers.
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless: Design
- Compact form factor
- Bright RGB lighting
- Lots of customization options
One of the many things we like about the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is its design. Not that there’s anything special here – it really looks like the other mini keyboards.
However, it’s also more compact than most of the best 60% and 65% keyboards we’ve tested, as well as thinner than many of them. That’s quite an achievement, considering this mini form factor feels like it already defies the laws of physics and because of the many features this keyboard offers.
The customizable RGB lighting is very bright on the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless, which is great for RGB fans, and the front legs have two angles of inclination to help you type. As is typical with many mini gaming keyboards, it’s still on the thicker side, so we’re slightly disappointed that no palm rest is included. Not that any of its rivals have.
Accessing certain keys by pressing the SteelSeries function key can feel a bit tedious if you’re used to a full or TKL keyboard. But alas, that’s the nature of compact keyboards: you sacrifice some conveniences for a smaller, space-saving footprint. The good news is that this keyboard is incredibly customizable, so you can program those hotkeys in a way that feels most natural and intuitive to you.
To do this, you need to install the SteelSeries GG software, which sometimes works like any other peripheral support software, especially when a new update is available. When it works, though, it’s easy to use, even when you program the keys’ double activation actions and create profiles, of which the keyboard can store five.
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless: Performance
- Slow to wake up
- Satisfactory Keys
- Very responsive, even with dual controls
Let’s get the “bad” out of the way first: the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless’ only shortcoming is that it wakes up weirdly slowly. It doesn’t matter which platform or operating system you use; it takes about a second to wake up, which can be annoying if you’re trying to log in quickly or even if you’ve just taken a short break from typing. We can’t tell you how many times we had to retype things because of this error.
That’s not necessarily a deal breaker, though. When the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is awake, the performance is really impressive, just overshadowing that one flaw. The keys feel nice, despite the fact that they bounce less than mechanical switches. The keycaps are smaller, but each has a nice inward curve that keeps your fingers in place.
The adjustable control (3.8 to 0.2) really works and works well. During testing, we changed the WSP keys from 1.8 to 1.1 and kept the A key at 1.8, and we could tell the difference – it took a bit more pressure to move Razputin back or left on Psychonauts than it did to move forward or right. The opposite happened when we changed the activation of A to 0.2 and kept P at 1.1.
The dual operation – the ability to perform two actions per key at different operating points – is just as effective. It is certainly useful, very responsive and quite useful when playing games like Cyberpunk 2077. For example, we used the same key to walk and run, the only difference is that we press lightly while walking and more deeply when we want our character to start running.
We found that you don’t need the key to get all the way out of the bottom for the second activation action to work. As long as the second control point is deeper, it should work beautifully.
Should I buy the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless: Report Card
|Where the||The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is expensive, but the premium feature set makes it worth the money.||3 / 5|
|Design||The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is more compact, thinner and more customizable than many of the best 60% and 65% keyboards.||4 / 5|
|Performance||Although it wakes up slowly, the rest of its performance is impeccable, especially the dual activation feature. The adjustable controls also work well.||4.5 / 5|
|Total||While expensive, the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is worth the money if you can take full advantage of its features.||4.5 / 5|
- Rated first Sep 2022
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