Gaming peripheral specialist SteelSeries has launched the Apex 9 series of keyboards packed with fast-response technology designed for competitive gamers.
In a twist from the rise of mechanical gaming keyboards, the new boards – consisting of the tenkeyless Apex 9 TKL and 60%-sized Apex 9 Mini – use optical switches. Using next-gen OptiPoint optical switches, the new keyboards use optical light sensors to detect key presses, providing a faster response time than mechanical switches. According to SteelSeries, these switches feature a rapid response time of 0.2ms, which the company claims is 33% faster than the quickest optical keyboard on the market.
Preference for mechanical or optical keyboards is usually determined by whether you want a tactile typing experience, or fast switches ideal for playing competitive games. With the latest SteelSeries keyboards, however, you can have both. Rich in customisation options, the SteelSeries GG software lets you choose from either a 1mm actuation point or 1.5mm, even on a per-key level. Additionally, they support swappable switches, including Linear, Tactile, and Clicky. Of course, you can also tweak the RGB lighting as you see fit.
In line with trends from international esports competitions, the keyboards are SteelSeries’ response to a growing preference for smaller devices. As the name suggests, the Apex 9 TKL does away with a number pad, leaving room for wider mouse movements. Meanwhile the Apex 9 Mini goes even further, removing the row of function keys to create a compact keyboard you can take with you. Both keyboards are built to last, with aluminium surfaces and switches rated to 100 million presses.
Here in Australia, the Apex 9 TKL is available for $349, and the Apex 9 Mini costs $309, firmly placing both in the premium gaming peripheral category.