SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless Keyboard Review ( FAIL ! )

do not buy this keyboard:

i’m sending mine back for refund …

i don’t know who wrote all those 5 star reviews - on Reddit everybody agrees it’s crap and everybody is sending theirs back

i won’t go through features like hall effect variable actuation depth switches - there are plenty of videos on YouTube about this, which i am starting to suspect were paid advertisements. i will focus on MY personal experience, what i liked and what were my deal breakers.

my first problem was most of the light from the KB is actually from the sides and reflects in my TV that i use as a monitor - that alone already was a deal breaker, but Apex Pro Mini was just warming up …

within minutes a second ( redundant ) death blow came - the wireless dongle seemingly got bricked during firmware update … when i plugged it in it said it was installing drivers but it was taking a long time so i went for the firmware update and while firmware was updating a message appeared that drivers finished installing - so firmware update was probably interrupted because the dongle never worked right.

bluetooth connection ( which doesn’t use the dongle ) did work properly …

next problem was the ESC key was flashing green and turned out it is a charging indicator and can’t be disabled - it always flashes when charging and always solid green when charged. another potential deal breaker.

next death blow ( this is like 3rd or 4th already, when even one would be enough ) was when i realized the FN key is only on right side … which means that to activate second layer keys on the right side i would have to be pressing two buttons both on the right side of keyboard at the same time … which is insane

i then went to Steel Series Engine software to remap a key on left of keyboard to act as a FN key only to discover it can be remapped to any key EXCEPT the FN key …

not that it matters at this point but i will add SteelSeries Engine is an extremely heavy software - i think it was like 700 megabytes - it’s literally almost the size of something like Microsoft Office …

another potential downside to this KB is the bottom row ( with space bar ) is quite high off the table. it isn’t uncomfortably high but it’s higher than most keyboards. some people might want to use a wrist rest with such a tall KB yet one isn’t included or offered as option as best i can tell. Essentially if you look at the bottom of the KB it isn’t flat - there is a protruding portion that raises it about 1/4 of an inch …

again, personally i didn’t find that extra height uncomfortable … in fact maybe i even preferred it … but it’s definitely there and it’s noticeable

so why 2 stars why not 0 stars ?

well because the key feel is quite good. my typing was fast and accurate and the buttery smooth keys were a pleasure.

but i didn’t buy a set of Gateron Hall Effect switches, i bought a SteelSeries Keyboard.

the switches get 4 stars from me - excellent feel overall, though i would prefer tactile and damped switches - of course you can’t have tactile switches with adjustable actuation depth.

the keyboard minus the switches is 1 star from me - build quality is decent - keystrokes don’t resonate in any sort of cheap way. styling is sharp. but as mentioned above there are multiple fatal flaws.

so between 4 star switches and 1 star chassis i would give the overall product 2 stars.

back to Amazon you go !

PS: this review was typed on an Epomaker Niz TKL electro-capacitive keyboard.