SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL Gaming Keyboard review

by on January 31, 2022

While a dedicated gaming mouse is pretty much a must-have for playing some modern games, what with the need to transfer as much control as possible to one hand, keyboards are often different. As long as your keyboard has all the buttons, there’s not much reason to swap it out. Which makes products like the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL a harder sell for many. Its high price point in particular might be enough to make most people stick with what they have.

But these days of streaming and video content, the look of the set-up can be as important as the functionality. And often trying a new dedicated gaming keyboard can make you realise what you didn’t know you were missing.

Take the Apex 7 as an example. Until I hooked up the review unit from SteelSeries (the limited edition silver-white “Ghost” version) I’d been content using my HyperX Alloy Elite 2 keyboard. Which is not to say there’s anything wrong with it, and in fact for general use such as working and typing, I still prefer it. But the Apex 7 comes with enough features to make it a solid addition to any PC gamer’s standard set-up.

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL Gaming KeyboardFor a start, it promises 50 million key-presses, which will get you through a few years of gaming (or around 3 weeks of a standard MMO – just kidding). Its linear switches also boast an actuation depth of just 2mm (full press is double that), which means they feel smooth, responsive and comfortable. The omission of a numerical pad (TKL means TenKeyLess) means it’s shorter than most standard keyboards, and will take up less space on a desk.

As a result it’s lightweight, so those gamers or writers who like to sit back with the keyboard on their laps will feel the benefit. This light weight belies the design, as the sturdy aircraft-grade aluminium feels solid and durable. The detachable wrist rest is obviously designed to be used on the desk, but it can be easily attached and removed thanks to its magnetic strip.

Perhaps the Apex 7’s biggest USP is the small OLED display on the top right of the board. This allows you to easily switch and identify a variety of presets, which you can set up using the out-of-the-box software, SteelSeries GG. Not only can you program presets, and alter the behaviour of certain keys to make up for the omissions (there’s no “£” sign, for example, as is so often the frustrating case these days), but you can also create macros for gaming and easily activate them.

The software can also be used to program the RGB lighting system, which in a darkened room looks spectacular on the white Ghost edition. RGB isn’t for everyone, and you can deactivate it if you’d prefer, but the effect is beautiful on the Apex 7.

If you’re in the market for a gaming keyboard, you can#t really go wrong with the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL, although the price (around £150), will be too high for some. There are cheaper, just-as-effective alternatives out there – albeit most won’t have the Apex 7’s versatility in terms of programmable presets and macros. Still, if you can afford the price point and really want to up your game, the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is an absolute belter.