The Steelseries Apex 5 is a mechanical, RGB-lit gaming keyboard with a small OLED display. It can be purchased for around 130€ from the usual dealers and thus sits relatively in the middle of the now quite high price premium for mechanical gaming keyboards. So far, so well known. But what might distinguish this keyboard from the rest? Because if we're honest, mechanical keyboards are now like sand by the sea and sand is actually the last thing you expect for this price.
Let's pack it on and off: The package includes the keyboard, a magnetically pluggable palm tray and a quick guide. This is also enough, whereby you have to download the software manually, which has become almost standard.
Optics and haptics
Visually, the Apex 5 is really nice to look at, but you have to consider it first, because it is not particularly striking due to its simple design and lack of "gamer-moderate" accents. What I see as a big plus here, because not every gambler wants to have an RGB-lit Lamborghini on the desk.
The Apex 5 looks beautifully simple and well built, which is also due to the choice of materials. The top of the keyboard is completely covered with a single piece of aluminum, giving it a shimmering quality look. The rest of the frame and the underside are made of matte plastic, which is almost unvisible from the user's point of view. And the keycaps are also made of plastic with a matte slightly rubberized finish.
The logos found on this keyboard are as eye-catching as the rest of the design. One is lasered into aluminium on the function button, to the left of "CTRL", and the other on the back. The third is located in the middle of the palm rest, as it is a dark logo on a black background, but it is not easy to discover. And one last one is at the front of the keyboard, but this can only be seen if the palm rest is not attached.
If you did not personalize the OLED display, you would find another logo here, which is of course only visible when it is switched on.
Unfortunately, I have to address a small negative point about the optics and that is the coating of the buttons and the palm tray. Unfortunately, after a week of testing, I found that both showed the fingerprints and handball prints quite clearly. Fortunately, both could be removed with a light cleaning. This so-called rubber coating is not bad per se, but after a long period of use usually tends to dissolve symptoms if one does not remove the sweat regularly.
As in the optics, the materials of the Apex 5 also make a great impression in the feel and handling. Even compared to other mechanical keyboards, the Steelseries Apex 5 simply feels better built. The aluminium structure plays a major role here.
The buttons are relatively high and have a slight dent on the surface, so that the fingers are always in the middle of the buttons as if by themselves. The material is matte and feels very comfortable when typing. The palm tray is made of a matte, rubber-like material and can be easily attached to the keyboard using integrated magnets. It offers a very pleasant storage for long sessions and fulfills its purpose simple and good.
For the curious and statisticians among you, I have re-compiled the technical data…
… and the manual is attached:Apex_5_PIG_04_MP
SteelSeries Apex 5, USB, DE (64535)
|Zentrallager: Auf Lager, Lieferzeit 2-3 Werktage||124,04 €*Stand: 02.06.20 14:22|
|Lagernd im Versandlager - Lieferzeit 2-5 Werktage||124,99 €*Stand: 02.06.20 15:10|
|Zentrallager: Auf Lager, Lieferzeit 2-3 Werktage||125,00 €*Stand: 02.06.20 15:18|