Judgment

The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is the best TKL keyboard we’ve ever used, so it’s no surprise that it’s been runners up for our Zero1 2021 best mechanical keyboard. It’s feature-rich and the only thing missing is a Numpad, but since it’s a TKL keyboard, that’s the whole point. Our only complaint about it is the loudness, so if you are in the market for a TKL mechanical keyboard and don’t mind it loud and priced at R 11,999, go for the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL.

Steelseries Apex 7 TKL detailed review

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is part of SteelSeries’ new lineup of mechanical gaming keyboards with SteelSeries Apex Pro and Apex 7. As the name implies, it is a TKL or Tenkeyless variant. At first glance, this is a very premium looking keyboard with a sleek and elegant design and a sturdy aluminum frame. Of course, let’s not forget the OLED screen at the top right of the keyboard, to be different. With that said, let’s jump into the review and see how to rent a SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL and whether you should buy it.

Steelseries Apex 7 TKL specs at a glance

Top material: Aircraft grade aluminum alloy frame

N-key rollover: 84-Key Anti-Ghosting

Key RGB illumination per dynamic

Weight: 771 g

Dimensions: 355.44 x 139.26 x 40.44 mm

SteelSeries QX2 Mechanical RGB Switch

Switch actuation: 2 mm

Total travel: 4 mm

Tell me: 45cN

Lifetime: 50 million keypress

Steel Series Apex 7 TKL Build and Design

As we mentioned earlier, this is a TKL variant of Apex 7. This means no nompad is included. Now, the lack of a numpad may become a bit of a habit, but it also has some advantages. For starters, TKL keyboards take up less real estate on the desktop; More rooms are always nice. Additionally, there are some benefits to combining your hands while gaming, as reducing the distance between your keyboard and mouse helps gamers perform better in the long run. There are also obvious advantages to a low cost keyboard. However, there is also the advantage of having a Numpad, so considering your preferences, you may prefer SteelSeries Apex Pro or Apex 7 over Apex 7TKL.

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL has a very premium look and feel. The upper plate of the keyboard body is made of aircraft grade aluminum, which is both lightweight and strong. The bottom plate is made of hard plastic, and comes with multiple grooves for handling wires, which is nice. The Apex 7 TKL uses a doubleshot PBT keycap, so you don’t have to worry about running out of legends anytime soon. At the top right of the keyboard, you get a clickable scroll wheel, which acts as a volume control. Scroll up or down to control the volume and click mute. You get a single button at the bottom of the scroll wheel, which acts as a play pause button. Additionally, both the scroll wheel and the media buttons can be used to navigate the 128×40 OLED screens that are located just to their left. This screen displays the SteelSeries logo by default, but can be customized and used for more, which we will find in the properties section.

You’ve also got a single USB passthrough on the left side of the keyboard, illuminated by a white light to help you actually identify the port, which is quite convenient.

The Apex 7 TKL has its own magnetic wrist rest, it has a rubber cover, so you won’t have problems with your grip. It’s also at a fairly comfortable height, but you always have the option to go without. The wrist rests nicely on the keyboard and connects magnetically. The magnet is strong enough that it clicks in place, but it is not very secure; Pick up the keyboard and it will stand out.

Steelseries Apex 7 TKL features

Next we come to the features. Starting with the key switches, the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL QX2 comes with mechanical RGB switches, which are not very different from the Cherry MX switches; Your overall experience should not be too different. As we mentioned earlier that many prominent brands are coming up with their own switch variants on the Cherry MX, the QX2 is one such variant. The Apex 7 TKL unit we got for review came with QX2 Reds, which is a linear and quiet switch. In addition to red, you also have blue switches that are clicky and sensitive and brown switches that are sensitive and quiet. There is no difference between the three in terms of actuation force and travel distance, they all have 45cN actuation force, 2mm actuation travel distance and 4mm total travel distance.

The keyboard comes with per-key RGB illumination, which can be customized using companion software, the SteelSeries engine. Here too you will customize the OLED screen. Each key in the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is reprogrammed for whatever you want, so lots of customization can be done to your liking.

The OLED screen is coming by itself, as we mentioned above, by default you got the SteelSeries logo on it, but you can customize it to your liking and even turn on the GIF on it while idle. With the SteelSeries engine, there’s a bunch of preset things you can run on the OLED screen, including system statistics like CPU or RAM usage, temperature, and more. Additionally, certain games are compatible with OLED screens, which allow you to display certain statistics on them, however, it may or may not be helpful considering that most people are not moving away from the game to look at the OLED screen.

We mentioned earlier how the volume scroll wheel and media button can be used to navigate the OLED screen. Things can be tweaked directly on the keyboard, without the need to go into software or settings, which is quite simple. Holding down the media button for a few seconds will display four settings on the display: illumination, macro, profile and settings. All of which are quite self-explanatory. Here, you can cycle through several lighting options, including preset and custom lighting. Adjust brightness, create or delete macros and switch between and create profiles. Being able to do everything without the need to open the software, even when you are in the middle of something is quite convenient.

Still series Apex 7 TKL performance

We had no complaints while using SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL. The lack of a numpad may be somewhat habitual, but the overall experience is quite pleasurable in both gaming and typing. Even after a long gaming session we found the keys to be responsive and the keyboard to be comfortable. Typing on the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL was also enjoyable, however, the experience may be different as people have different switch preferences.

We personally like the red key for their silence, however, we have seen that the QX2 switches are quite loud nonetheless. Keycaps have more to do with the bottom out than the switches. Basically, the sound is caused by half of the roof of the keycaps hitting the switch base. If this is something that carries both blue and brown switch variants, you will probably guess the same, perhaps more strongly in the case of blue switches which are clicks.

Software – Steel Series Engine

SteelSeries’s companion software, SteelSeries Engine, is intuitive and easy to navigate and a neat aesthetic to boot. This is where you will be able to customize keybinding, macro, lighting and OLED settings. While you can adjust these features directly to the OLED screen, the software gives you more information and options to work with. The SteelSeries engine is also where you can download apps for your OLED screen that can run in the background, such as a music player, system monitor, and the GameSense app for specific games; You will need it to display relevant information about the game.

Steelseries Apex 7 TKL Roy

The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is the best TKL keyboard we’ve ever used, so it’s no surprise that it’s been runners up for our Zero1 2021 best mechanical keyboard. It’s feature-rich and the only thing missing is a Numpad, but since it’s a TKL keyboard, that’s the whole point. Our only complaint about it is the loudness, so if you are in the market for a TKL mechanical keyboard and don’t mind it loud and priced at R 11,999, go for the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL.

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