Apex Best Settings for Visibility

Our Verdict

SteelSeries’ new upkeep-minded keyboard boasts some impressive features, fifty-fifty if they come with a few concessions. However, a lack of mechanical switches tin’t keep us from whole-heartedly recommending the Apex iii.


  • Affordable
  • Groovy RGB lighting


  • No mechanical switches
  • No USB passthrough

TechRadar Verdict

SteelSeries’ new budget-minded keyboard boasts some impressive features, even if they come with a few concessions. However, a lack of mechanical switches tin’t keep the states from whole-heartedly recommending the Noon iii.


  • +


  • +

    Smashing RGB lighting


  • No mechanical switches

  • No USB passthrough

The Steelseries Apex three
gaming keyboard
– boasting an MSRP of $49.99 (£39, around AU$76) – is one of the line’due south flagship products, and we found ourselves pleasantly surprised by the robust characteristic fix and ergonomic comfort of this budget peripheral.

The term “budget” comes with some unfortunate connotations in the world of PC gaming peripherals. Exclamations of “cheaply made,” or “lacking in features and comfort” often characterize consumer perception effectually such branding. SteelSeries is out to change this sentiment with its new suite of budget gaming devices, however, which the Apex 3 is role of.

At its price point, the Steelseries Apex 3 is up confronting some stiff contest in the budget keyboard marketplace, such as

Havit’s RGB Mechanical Keyboard

and pretty much the entire line of

Pictek keyboards
. Nevertheless, the Steelseries Apex 3 has a sizable marketing advantage thanks to bearing the SteelSeries name; the company is responsible for some truly iconic devices, such as its Arctis headsets and the Sensei line of gaming mice.

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That’south a lot for the Steelseries Noon iii to live upwards to, simply it’southward certainly upward to the job, and fifty-fifty manages to minimize the concessions it makes along the way.


(Paradigm credit: Time to come)

The Steelseries Apex 3 is a full-size keyboard, sporting a tenkey number pad, a dedicated media push button and knob, and information technology’due south even fairly lightweight, especially when compared to some of the more high-end mechanical boards. Information technology does sit upward a fleck higher than nosotros’d like, but the bottom of the board comes equipped with some surprisingly sturdy hinged feet. Deploying these lends a dainty gradient to the unit of measurement, but even then the keys tin can feel merely a chip too tall.

(Prototype credit: Future)

Luckily, SteelSeries has included an absolutely fantastic palmrest in the box. It magnetically snaps to the front end of the board and has eight rubber-padded feet, which prevents information technology from sliding around during gaming sessions. Information technology sounds similar a minor thing, merely this palmrest is legitimately one of our favorite parts of this keyboard.

RGB lighting has become well-nigh synonymous with luxury gaming peripherals, only SteelSeries has managed to cram a total-featured lighting suite into a budget board. The Apex three boasts 10-zone RGB illumination that’s fully customizable via the SteelSeries Engine 3 software. A handful of fun furnishings make your board feel dynamic and far more luxurious than the cost might suggest. In addition, you tin program the lighting to react to in-game action, such taking damage or losing durability in Minecraft. Elsewhere in the software, you can edit macros and the unit’due south polling charge per unit–standard features, but worth mentioning.

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(Image credit: Future)

The bottom of the board includes a 3-way cable routing channel, which is nice for keeping your workspace tidy. Unfortunately, the string itself is fairly low quality. It would have been nice to see a braided cable or something similar, but this is something SteelSeries doesn’t seem too concerned with: even the company’s high-end peripherals–like the Apex Pro and Rival 600–utilise this very basic cable. This is frustrating because we found that it’s prone to knotting.

Another notable omission is the lack of USB passthrough. This isn’t something you expect to run into on budget units like the Steelseries Noon 3, only the absence is a bit of a bummer considering how full-featured the board is otherwise.


(Image credit: Hereafter)

A lot of the marketing surrounding the Steelseries Noon 3 touts the unit’s durability features, and nosotros’re glad to report that the board by and large lives upwards to the claims. The water resistance in particular was a priority for SteelSeries here, and while it’s hard to judge long-term endurance, light sprays of water had no observable adverse effects.

(Image credit: Future)

Gaming-focused consumers are probable to decry SteelSeries’ choice to opt for membrane switches on the Apex three rather than mechanical ones, particularly considering the fact that there exists a market for budget-minded mechanical boards. Admittedly, this was a primary business concern of ours as we unboxed the unit, and it persisted even equally we began typing and gaming. After using mechanical boards for so long, the Steelseries Apex 3’south softer switches felt slow and mesomorphic.

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Yet, quiet operation is ane of the Apex 3’southward checkmark features, and it’s hard to achieve that with the clickiness of mechanical switches. SteelSeries’ Whisper-Quiet membrane switches most definitely live up to their name, making the Apex 3 a good choice if you play or type a lot at night while others are sleeping nearby. After a bit, our fingers acclimated to the Whisper-Tranquility switches. Once nosotros took the time to consider that SteelSeries sacrificed the high-speed performance of mechanical switches in the proper noun of relative silence, whatsoever mental block that was preventing us from truly appreciating the Whisper-Quiet design dissolved immediately. Truly, the Steelseries Apex 3 is a joy to game and work on.

Final verdict

(Image credit: Hereafter)

SteelSeries has managed to fit a full suite of features into the budget-friendly Noon 3 keyboard, and the upshot is an impressively robust peripheral. There are a few drawbacks along the way (no passthrough, cheap cable, membrane switches), but there’s enough here to easily satisfy all but the almost discerning gamers. The luxury peripheral market is awash in exorbitantly-priced devices, merely the Apex 3 proves that yous don’t need to break the bank for a keyboard that looks and performs fantastically.

Sam Desatoff is the Editor-in-Chief at, a games news site focused on B2B and industry-side writing. He was a freelancer for several years, and his portfolio includes work for IGN, Kotaku, Variety, PC Gamer, PCGamesN, and more. Sam too have experience covering events, such as GDC in San Francisco, and the Borderlands 3 reveal outcome in Hollywood. His particular expertise lies with business writing and guide writing.