SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL Review

👤by Matthew Hodgson Comments 📅14-11-21
The TKL keyboard certainly is popular amongst gamers these days, and there are some big trade-offs but these are outweighed by the advantages of the smaller form-factor. The Apex 3 TKL, however, probably doesn’t do enough to maintain that balance.

Starting with the positives, the build quality is great, a proper sturdy keyboard for its price point, despite the all-plastic construction. The keycaps feel nice under the fingers, are as stable as a mountain goat and provide genuinely lovely feedback considering they aren’t mechanical switches.

Gaming performance is spot on, and if you’re a big swiper in your favourite FPS games, with one of those enormous desk pads, a TKL will certainly save you the bother of smashing your mouse into your keyboard as often as you do right now. Full N-key rollover means all your inputs will be fully registered and a 1000Hz polling rate are pretty standard for gaming keyboards, but it’s still nice to know they’re there.

RGB lighting, like we saw on the big brother, is plenty bright enough with lovely vivid colours, but the 8 lighting zones do limit things slightly. SteelSeries could invest a little more time into some default effects within the software, but as a whole the RGB is a very decent offering.

Onto daily usage, this is where the Apex 3 TKL takes a big dive; the lack of a wrist rest caused noticeable discomfort after only a short amount of time. This may well be due to being very used to most keyboards coming with included wrist rests, or that the Apex 3 TKL is relatively tall, but whatever the reason, I just didn’t get on with it. This is made all the stranger by the fact that they include an excellent wrist rest with the non-TKL version. We also want our print screen button back!

SteelSeries have a lengthy history of producing excellent quality peripherals for serious gamers, with the Apex 3 TKL being no exception. However, it’s not without its flaws.

+ Great build quality
+ Bright, vibrant RGB lighting
+ Lovely keyswitch actuation
+ Reasonably priced

- Very uncomfortable without a wrist rest
- No print screen button

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