SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini assessment: An fanatic’s keyboard

SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi

MSRP $ 240.00

“Should you can afford the value, the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi could be the perfect gaming keyboard you should buy.”

Prost

  • Distinctive Omnipoint 2.0 switches

  • Twin actuation inputs

  • Excellent dimension for players

  • Satisfying typing and gaming expertise

  • Bluetooth and a pair of.4GHz connections

Cons

  • Unnecessarily costly

  • SteelSeries GG is a bit complicated

  • 60% type issue limits use circumstances

SteelSeries is coming into a realm it has by no means gone to earlier than – the just lately charted land of 60% gaming keyboards. Utilizing its ever-popular Apex Professional as a template, SteelSeries lower down the dimensions of its flagship to create a keyboard that meets the wants (and desk area) of players in 2022. SteelSeries went additional than pulling out keys, too, which is why the Apex Professional Mini and Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi are among the many greatest gaming keyboards you should buy.

That doesn’t imply it is the greatest keyboard for you, although. The second-generation Omnipoint switches and twin wi-fi connections are massive promoting factors for the Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi, however its prohibitively excessive price ticket means you must store for different choices earlier than selecting SteelSeries’ first small type issue gaming keyboard.

Worth

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini and Pro Mini Wireless together.
Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

Earlier than attending to any side of the Apex Professional Mini and Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi, we have to discuss pricing. The Apex Professional Mini is $ 180 and the wi-fi model clocks in at $ 240. It’s, by far, the costliest 60% gaming keyboard you should buy, at the very least amongst mainstream manufacturers. The Corsair K65an costly keyboard in its personal proper, is simply $ 110 by comparability.

It is not even shut in lots of circumstances. Asus’ ROG Falchion NX is wi-fi and $ 150, practically $ 100 lower than what SteelSeries is asking. And the wired HyperX Alloy Origins Core sells for as little as $ 70, $ 110 lower than the wired Apex Professional Mini. It is costly in comparison with SteelSeries’ personal choices, too. The total-size Apex Professional, which comes with a wrist relaxation and an OLED show, is simply $ 20 costlier than the Apex Professional Mini.

The SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi is a downright horrible worth.

I need to get this out of the way in which as a result of I like this keyboard. It is nice, and I’d simply advocate it even when it was barely costlier than the competitors. However it’s a downright horrible worth. This can be a keyboard for staunch lovers who don’t thoughts throwing some cash away on premium peripherals. In order for you a deal, make sure that to learn our roundup of the greatest price range mechanical keyboards.

Design

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless compared to a full-size keyboard.
Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

It is laborious to grasp how small a 60% keyboard is till you decide one up with one hand. The Apex Professional Mini is 11.5 inches vast, 1.6 inches tall, and 4 inches deep, and it clocks in at simply over one pound. That makes it smaller than the Razer Huntsman Mini however barely heavier than the Asus ROG Falchion. The additional heft is probably going as a result of aluminum body the keyboard makes use of, although it feels removed from heavy when stacked up towards a full-sized keyboard.

The look is primary, however I am a fan. There is a tasteful SteelSeries brand on the entrance of the keyboard, in addition to a brand on the again. The Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi is as primary as gaming keyboards come, however the small branding touches nonetheless make it really feel extra premium than a black plastic rectangle.

Happening to a 60% type issue comes with sacrifices, particularly the arrow keys. I a lot desire a 65% type issue with devoted arrow keys, however SteelSeries doesn’t depart you out within the chilly with the Apex Professional Mini. It has a “Meta” layer that you would be able to activate with the SteelSeries key, which opens up media buttons, arrow keys, capabilities, and far more. Even higher, you’ll be able to set any key for any perform within the Meta layer by means of SteelSeries GG.

Though I desire 65% for day-to-day use, there is no doubt that this tiny type issue is superb for gaming. The Apex Professional Mini is simply barely longer than two gaming mice however end-to-end, means that you can place the keyboard precisely the place you need whereas leaving ample desk area. It is the other expertise of Asus ROG Strix Flare IIwhich is sort of as vast as my gaming monitor.

Connectivity and ports

Dual connection switch on the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless.
Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

The wi-fi model of the Apex Professional Mini is $ 60 greater than the wired model, nevertheless it earns that further value. You’ve got the choice between Bluetooth and a pair of.4GHz wi-fi, and the low latency model feels such as you’re utilizing a cable. SteelSeries claims 40 hours of battery life, however you may doubtless get much more as a result of keyboard’s computerized sleep mode.

Like different SteelSeries peripherals, the sleep mode will not be excellent (learn our SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wi-fi assessment for extra). There is a delay whenever you get up the keyboard because it responds to the dongle. It is a few second or two on the Apex Professional Mini, which makes it really feel a lot much less snappy than a wi-fi keyboard just like the Logitech G915 TKL.

When the battery runs out, you’ll be able to cost the Apex Professional Mini with the USB-C port on the again of the keyboard. It sits subsequent to the connection change, which lets you toggle between Bluetooth and a pair of.4GHz or flip the keyboard off.

Omnipoint switches

Omnipoint switches on the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless.
Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

Exterior of the truth that that is the primary 60% keyboard from SteelSeries, the Apex Professional Mini additionally stands out as the primary keyboard to make use of the corporate Omnipoint 2.0 mechanical switches. The primary model debuted on the full-size Apex Professional, and SteelSeries says this 2.0 model affords 11x quicker response instances, 10x quicker actuation instances, and are two instances as sturdy as “normal mechanical keyboards.”

And to my shock, I can really validate a few of these claims. For sturdiness, the Omnipoint 2.0 switches are assured to supply 100 million key strokes (double that of a standard Cherry MX change), and for actuation, the Omnipoint 2.0 switches can go down as little as 0.2mm. That compares to simply over 1mm on the quickest mechanical switches.

The Apex Professional Mini appears like a dream for players.

That actuation level is what makes Omnipoint 2.0 switches stand out. You’ll be able to regulate it from 0.2mm as much as 3.8mm throughout the board or on a per-key foundation. And it really works. I bumped all the things right down to 0.2mm, and it felt like all I needed to do was lay my finger on a key for it to register an enter. It is horrible for typing, however for gaming? The Apex Professional Mini appears like a dream.

Razer additionally has adjustable actuation on its Huntsman Mini Analog, nevertheless it doesn’t go practically as little as what SteelSeries is providing. I will not often use 0.2mm as an actuation drive throughout the keyboard, however I loved bumping right down to sub-1mm ranges on my area bar and WASD keys whereas enjoying video games. It appears like a wholly totally different technique to play, and I by no means had points with doubled or missed inputs.

Gaming and typing efficiency

Symbols on the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless.
Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

After configuring my actuation factors, I used to be flying when enjoying video games on the Apex Professional Mini. I significantly preferred utilizing it in fast-paced shooters – Future 2, Doom Everlasting, Valorant – the place the low actuation level felt prefer it was making an enormous distinction. Utilizing the keyboard exterior of gaming is a little bit of a trouble, although.

The 60% type issue has the entire keys you want (minus arrow keys), however utilizing one as a every day driver will not be excellent. It is not that the keys are smaller, however the truth that there is no further board beneath you palms. I subconsciously stability my hand on the highest of a keyboard when urgent quantity keys, for instance, and a 60% keyboard just like the Apex Professional Mini exposes these hand rails. I discovered myself having extra slip-ups with typos when typing for a very long time, which additional proves that the Apex Professional Mini is a gaming keyboard first.

It is nonetheless a pleasure to sort on in the case of really feel. The Omnipoint switches are linear with a chunky, hole clank to them that is not too distracting. They’re, once more, for gaming first and typing second, however the Omnipoint switches don’t really feel like one other knock-off of Cherry or Kailh.

SteelSeries GG software program

SteelSeries GG with dual actuation settings.
Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

Bringing all the things collectively on the Apex Professional Mini is SteelSeries GG – an admittedly flawed piece of software program regardless of how a lot performance it unlocks for the Apex Professional Mini. Beginning with the great, GG provides you full management over key bindings each on the bottom layer and within the Meta layer, and you’ll rebind the keys to macros, utility controls, OS shortcuts, and far more.

Past what you’d count on out of a $ 200 keyboard, GG additionally means that you can arrange twin bindings and twin actuations. These two options are a few of the extra attention-grabbing choices in SteelSeries GG. Twin bindings will let you bind a separate command upon releasing the important thing, whereas twin actuations will let you set separate inputs for various actuation factors.

SteelSeries GG means that you can carry out mainly any PC enter, and often a number of ones, with a single key press.

It is laborious understating the scope of prospects with this setup. I think about most individuals will simply use the keyboard as regular, however the energy that GG affords is an enormous deal for many who have extremely particular use circumstances. Simply executable macros in your favourite MMOs, a whole board of productiveness shortcuts, or perhaps a row of keys devoted to superior Excel tips – you’ll be able to carry out mainly any PC enter, and often a number of ones, with a single key press.

It is a good factor that the important thing bindings are so nice as a result of the remainder of SteelSeries GG is a slog. The RGB lighting engine works with varied totally different results, nevertheless it’s not practically as versatile as Corsair iCue (and the colours in GG aren’t consultant of the colours in your keyboard). The built-in macro recorder works, nevertheless it’s not as intuitive as Logitech G Hub. The record goes on.

My greatest challenge with GG is how a lot bloat there’s, although. There is a devoted part for giveaways, for instance, and the Moments part captures moments of key gameplay in supported video games (which AMD and Nvidia’s software program already does). As well as, that you must create a SteelSeries account to even use the app, and the house web page serves as an inventory of tiles to promote different SteelSeries merchandise (as an alternative of, , those you will have related). GG is a flawed piece of software program that, sadly, is important to unlock the potential of the Apex Professional Mini.

Our take

The SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi is a monster gaming keyboard that does all the things the perfect keyboards can do and extra. The Omnipoint switches are the most important promoting level, even when they don’t utterly justify the keyboard’s insane price ticket. I would purchase this keyboard, however solely with full consciousness that it’s unnecessarily costly.

Are there any alternate options?

Though there aren’t every other keyboards with Omnipoint 2.0 switches, there are some comparable choices from SteelSeries’ rivals:

  • Razer Huntsman V2 Analog: Cheaper than the Apex Professional Mini and comes with adjustable actuation level. You should not have as a lot room for adjustment, although, and there’s a wi-fi model accessible.
  • Asus ROG Falchion NX: A barely bigger 65% keyboard that is nonetheless tremendous small and comes with wi-fi connectivity. It lacks Bluetooth, nevertheless it’s less expensive than the Apex Professional Mini.
  • HyperX Alloy Origins 60: Considerably cheaper than the Apex Professional Mini whereas nonetheless coming with true mechanical switches and a 60% type issue. If you don’t care about all of the bells and whistles and need a keyboard that simply works, this one is for you.

How lengthy will it final?

SteelSeries says its Omnipoint switches are assured for 100 million keystrokes every. That’s to say, the Apex Professional Mini will final you till you select to improve.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. It brings one thing distinctive to the desk, even on this planet of high-end gaming keyboards – and even at its sky-high value. Keyboards just like the Logitech G915 TKL show {that a} excessive value is not a demise sentence, however there are nonetheless a number of different nice 60% gaming keyboards which might be $ 100 cheaper than the Apex Professional Mini.

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