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Keyboards

SteelSeries Apex 3 Keyboard Review

Brittany "Briggsycakes" González
Cover image for SteelSeries Apex 3 Review

Steelseries

SteelSeries Apex 3 Keyboard

The SteelSeries Apex 3 Keyboard is user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, but some latency issues may bog it down for gamers looking to maximize their usage.

Our Score

It comes with an affordable price ($49.99). It’s user-friendly software will attract gamers who just want the pretty RGB illumination while working or gaming. But does it make up for the high latency needed for avid gamers or even fast typers like me? It’s hard to say. But it does provide relief for someone who suffers from severe sensory overload like me.

The Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Quiet Keystrokes
  • Water Resistant
  • Simple Multimedia

Cons

  • High Latency Response Time
  • No Mechanical Switches
  • Underwhelming RGB Lighting Customization

Before acquiring the SteelSeries Apex 3, I used a Razer BlackWidow Chroma. This mechanical gaming keyboard all but ruined my life. The loud clicking was too much for my brain to handle. But I used this keyboard for more than two years, having been told that it was a “gamer’s dream.” However, I slowly realized that while a mechanical keyboard is generally ideal for gaming, it wasn’t for me.

After asking around, a friend provided a quiet alternative that fit my budget, the SteelSeries Apex 3. It comes with rubber-dome switches and decent performance for the price. After only a week, I already felt the difference and became more productive.

It provides a more comfortable feel that enhanced my typing experience and didn’t trigger my anxiety. The magnetic wrist rest is a definite plus and adds a level of comfort that a lot of keyboards lack.

The software is also very user-friendly and provides options for customizing the RGB backlight. The RBG lighting is zone-based. And the software provides different templates if you aren’t feeling too creative. It’s a visual delight when I’m playing different games and when I’m talking on Discord.

Many gaming enthusiasts, especially those who are MMO fiends, may prefer customized, backlit separate keys. If you’re one of them, you’re out of luck and you may want to choose another RGB gaming keyboard. This hasn’t personally turned me off, but I can understand why this wouldn’t be someone’s first choice if they want more advanced customization options.

Two more perks are the Apex 3’s water resistance and simple multimedia. Having a water resistant gaming keyboard provides a level of security I definitely appreciate. I can be extremely clumsy with my drinks throughout the day. Many a keyboard has been sent to the shadow realm due to my incompetence. So, it’s a relief to see that despite my best (read: accidental) efforts, the Apex 3 still works like new and is also easy to clean.

The multimedia scroll wheel on the top right of the keyboard can be easily missed, however it is nice to have in a pinch to adjust volume quickly. A more personal perk regarding this is when a game becomes particularly difficult. When I got frustrated with a game as a kid, I would mute the television and, without being overwhelmed by the sounds, I was able to concentrate and beat the level usually within the next try. Having the ability to mute my media by simply pressing the scroll wheel when things get crazy is an immense mental failsafe for me.

The Apex 3’s biggest drawback is the response time. The high latency can be very jarring. There have been times where I would reactively slam my left shift key a second time. as I was playing games as nothing would happen the first time. I do not recommend this if you are expecting some last second Hail Mary in any gameplay; you will find yourself frustrated by the delay. Even with general typing, I would notice my sentences missed a letter or two, sometimes showing its inability to register my keypresses. This would drive me nuts as I couldn’t tell if my typing game was getting weaker or if the keyboard was simply not responding right.

I have to wonder if there is a better way to achieve a better response time for such smooth keys or if technology has not gotten there yet. I also wonder if the cheap price point has something to do with it. What I can say is the Apex 3 could be worse. It has helped me mentally and financially. And I would recommend this to someone on a budget or who wants some peace.

I’d give it a 3. The latency is keeping it from the 4, imo. If it was a bit more responsive, it’d be almost perfect.

So, if you’re looking for a clean, easy keyboard that keeps your wallet full, the SteelSeries Apex 3 is not a bad choice. It can even provide unexpected relief in the simplest of ways. But if your goal is to get something you can make your own, you’re better off either looking for a more high-end option.

Brittany
Brittany "Briggsycakes" González

Brittany Angelica Gonzalez, a.k.a "Briggsycakes" is a lifelong gamer and history addict who enjoys using her knowledge of socioeconomic issues to provide a necessary insight as to what needs to be done to make gaming a safe space for all. She enjoys cooking, pole dancing, a nice glass of red wine, and getting involved in all sorts of good trouble to hopefully inspire other people to stand up and fight.

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