In Review: Steelseries Apex Pro TKL Wireless Keyboard

Steelseries makes a great keyboard. While I’m no gamer, I need a clicky, responsive keyboard that isn’t too small and the Apex Pro TKL Wireless is just that: it’s a tenkey-less gaming keyboard with macro support as well as wireless, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity. Spoiler alert: It’s really nice.

The Good

The keyboard uses OmniPoint 2.0 adjustable switches that use magnetic actuators to speed things up 11x. The keys are also completely adjustable to reduce actuation time and you can actually raise or lower the actuation level on the fly.

The keyboard also supports macros, allowing you to even set two actions per key, meaning you can set one button to walk and run at the same time, depending on how hard you press. The keyboard requires the SteelSeries Engine app to fine tune things but once you’re up and running you can control the keyboard from your PC and even adjust single keys using the OLED screen at the top corner of the screen.

As a fan of clicky keyboards the Apex Pro TKL Wireless scratches a lot of itches. The whole package is nicely built and the cute LEDs under each key make it visually exciting an very fun. I’m not a huge fan of these colorful keyboards but I won’t begrudge you your fun.

The keyboard can run wired or wireless. It supports Steelseries own 2.4GHz connection using a dongle or Bluetooth 5.0 if you switch it on the back. Bluetooth and wireless work very well and as long as you don’t mind occassionally charging your keyboard you can get a few weeks out of one charge. Steelseries also makes a wired version of this keyboard for $189, which is less than $249 for the wireless model. I’d honestly recommend the wired over the wireless if you plan on keeping this in one place but I definitely appreciated the wireless option.

The Bad

The Apex Pro TKL Wireless is small. At first glance it almost looks like a 75% keyboard but because it features arrow keys on the left, you get a little bit more room to play. The whole package is compact and I could see folks with bigger hands having a bit of trouble with the keyboard, especially as a typing tool vs. a gaming tool.

That said, once I got things running I got used to the size and the configuration. This means you get a compact and really nice keyboard that fits your desk more snugly than a longer tenkey model.

Setup was simple but there were some hiccups with the wireless connectivity. The key combinations to activate Bluetooth profiles, for example, required a trip to the documentation and the wireless dongle wasn’t super intuitive. Again, this was a minor quibble and if you’re careful you won’t run into any problems.

The Bottom Line

To be honest I couldn’t find anything wrong with this keyboard. It’s usable, performant, and well built. It loved the keys and the key travel and I’m a fan of the various macro and personalization features Steelseries offers. As a daily driver for keyboard warriors you could do a lot worse and at $249 for a great wireless keyboard I’m going to say this is hard not to recommend. Check it out if you’re a gamer and you don’t use the tenkey portion of your keyboard and if you want a clicky, heavy keyboard that will take a beating, this is one to watch.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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One thought on “In Review: Steelseries Apex Pro TKL Wireless Keyboard

  1. IMHO, it’s absurd that so called gaming keyboards don’t have numeric keypads. It does save a firm a few bucks, but most PC’s are not used just for gaming. Just ran into this an an expensive laptop where there was plenty of room for it.

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