Apex 350

Damn that spacebar is huge...
Damn that spacebar is huge…

Aesthetics:

Have you seen this thing? The aesthetic aspect of the Apex 350 is amazing! One of the problems I often have with keyboards is my wrists hurting after long periods of use. While the palm rest on the keyboard isn’t soft, I wasn’t resting my wrists on an edge, which completely dispelled any worries. To be fair though, the 350 is huge, but it needs to be. With 35 extra keys, an extra 750 mm is added to the length, as well as 10 mm to the width. Most of the extras are macro keys (M1-M12, MX1-MX10), though there are also 4 layer change keys, and media buttons down the right. Only problem is that the gloss around the keys picks up fingerprints very easily.

Of course, that’s not really what you guys want to hear about is it? Each key is divided into 4 different zones, with a 5th for the Steelseries logo and light around the edge. Each zone can be customised for up 16.8 million different colours. So being the nerd I am, I thought I’d try to work out exactly how many combinations this would give me. It’s simple enough to type in 16,800,000 to the power of 5, but it yielded a number so big the calculator couldn’t display it. And that’s not even accounting for the different lighting effect options, whether you want the lights to be steady or shift through 4 different colour palettes.

Bright lights, big spacebaaaar....
Bright lights, big spacebaaaar….you can also see my red Kinzu V2 Pro in the background.

Tech Specs:

  • Design:
    • Low Profile Layout
    • 2 USB 2.0 Hubs
    • 22 Ergonomically Raised Macro Keys
    • 20 Key Anti-Ghosting
    • 5-Zone Prism RGB Illumination
    • Weight: 1330 g (1.33 kg), 2.93 lbs
    • Height: 52 mm, 2.05 in
    • Length: 560 mm, 22.05 in
    • Width: 220 mm, 8.66 in
    • Cable Length: 1.8 m, 6 ft
    • Steelseries Membrane Switch
    • Polling Rate: Customisable From 125 Hz (8 ms) To 1000 Hz (1 ms)
  • What’s In The Box
    • Apex 350
    • Swappable Rubber Feet
    • Quick Start Guide
    • Steelseries Sticker

Functionality:

So what people probably want to hear about is the macros. Using the Steelseries Engine 3, you can set not only the colours, but also up to 88 different macros across four different layers, while also being able to bind commands to multiple keys ala ctrl+alt+del. These can open programs, map multiple key shortcuts to one key, use abilities/items etc in games, and even switch between the layers to give you a whole new keyboard of macros. Imagine using one key to open your favourite game, and it automatically changes to a layer specifically configured for that game (which you can do by the way). As well as different macros, you can also set the different layers to have different colours/effects as well, so you know exactly what you can do when you’re doing it. The keys are low profile, and while they’re on a membrane, they’re satisfying to push and relatively quiet, making for a pretty comfortable experience. Anti-ghosting is needed with any keyboard, with 20 keys designed for just that and being able to press 6 at once negated any problems I might have had otherwise. The USB ports are a welcome addition as well, perfect for those with short cables and hidden ports. It would have been nice to see 3.0 ports though. Media buttons down the right will also stop any need to alt+tab (unless you want to set it to a macro), allowing you to play/pause media, change volume, and brighten/darken your screen.

So many options. So many possibilities.
So many options. So many possibilities.

Overall Opinion:

This keyboard is amazing. I haven’t had much experience with gaming keyboards myself apart from the Steelseries one built into my laptop, but with the overwhelming choice and customisation for macros and lighting, I’ve found myself enjoying every second, especially in game. Any MMO or even strategy/ability extensive game players would definitely see the huge benefits this keyboard brings to the table.

9

Pros

  • Endless Customisation
  • Lights are Bright
  • Fast and Comfortable
  • Easy to Use

Cons

  • Gloss Picking up Fingerprints
  • Only USB 2.0 Ports

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