Steelseries Apex Pro Mini Wireless review.  We take a look at the most expensive Steelseries keyboard

Steelseries Apex Pro Mini Wireless review. We take a look at the most expensive Steelseries keyboard

Box and accessories included

Modern, traditional for a Steelseries box with amazing accessories. This is how you can describe the beginning of our adventures with the Apex Pro Mini Wireless keyboard, in the set of which we receive a description card, a high-quality USB-A to USB-C cable with silver triggers signed by the manufacturer. logo, button puller, USB-C receiver and USB-C to USB-A adapter with rubber base.

The latter is especially important in the absence of USB-C on a computer or a remote location from the main set, although of course many will turn their noses up at the fact that in a wireless connection we still use a wired connection.

Highlights of the Steelseries Apex Pro Mini Wireless

  • Keyboard 60%
  • Materials: Aerospace grade plastic and aluminum on the top cover
  • Switch: OmniPoint 2.0 switchable with a capacity of 100 million
  • Dimensions: 293 x 103 x 40.3 mm
  • Weight: 543 grams
  • 150 cm braided, rigid nylon USB cable
  • Adjustable double tilt legs with rubber trim
  • RGB backlight
  • Support for SteelSeries Engine software
  • A complete distribution of N-Key
  • 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 processor
  • Built-in memory for 5 profiles
  • Quantum Wireless Connectivity 2.0
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Warranty: 2 years

Materials, design and manufacture

Steelseries initially disappointed me a little with the fact that the Apex Pro Mini Wireless is made entirely of plastic. The weight confirmed this (543 grams is a featherweight), but the rigidity of the structure did not announce a complete plastic housing, and in fact – there is aluminum, but only under the keys. So it is difficult to “feel” and even see them, because the manufacturer has placed a large plastic base and upper edges, on which the electricity and the upper aluminum panel are “replaced”.

Therefore, the Apex Pro Mini Wireless in terms of appearance and touch does not create an elite appearance like a PLN 1,300 keyboard. However, the devil is in the details and in this model in particular it comes with very high quality keys with a matte finish, two legs and hard rubber inserts that don’t slip. Four simple, longitudinal grooves on the corners also ensure the stability of the keyboard.

In addition, this Steelseries proposal, although focused on mobility, has a contoured base, placed at an angle, which facilitates writing. Special features? There is not much of this, because apart from the legs and buttons mentioned above, the Apex Pro Mini Wireless also received a USB-C port for charging and wireless mode, and a switch that chooses between the 2.4 GHz radio mode, wireless and Bluetooth. Wireless modes work thanks to a built-in rechargeable battery with a durability of up to 30 (USB 2.4 GHz) or 40 hours (Bluetooth) with a basic backlight.

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Personally, however, the design of “60” in the case of the keyboard is tolerated only in the case of concrete models for gamers, because there are no separate arrow keys and. delete it makes even simple tasks difficult. So if you intend to play only titles on the main keys and frequently change your playing position, the Apex Pro Mini Wireless is the best choice. Otherwise… well, if I were you, I’d look for the wireless TKL models.

Steelseries GG software with backlight

Access to all settings is available from the manufacturer’s HUB, which is Steelseries GG. In it, we will do everything that is most important in the case of the keyboard, i.e. record detailed macros, replace the functions of each button and even change multimedia functions, i.e. secondary functions (obtained after pressing the combination with the function key) . Thanks to all this, despite the 60% format, the Apex Pro Mini Wireless can act as a full keyboard (and even something else), although it needs to get used to and set up.

In fact, the most useful menus come with setting the switch’s activation level and assigning a second function to the second (previously set) press level. Unfortunately, I could not access the sector and backlight management (according to the ad, it is too wide), but we can change it anyway from the keyboard level (special combination). However, it’s probably a software cleanup issue. In addition, Steelseries allows us to store up to 5 profiles in the device memory and create an unlimited number of configurations.

Test of OmniPoint switches

OmniPoint 2.0 switches (refined OmniPoint 1.0) are revolutionary in their class. This is due to the patented technology based on the Hall effect. What is it? Below is a short physics lesson straight from Wikipedia:

Hall effect […] it is a physical phenomenon in which a potential difference occurs in a conductor through which an electric current flows when the conductor is in a magnetic field transverse to the current flowing. This potential difference, called the Hall voltage, occurs between the planes bounding the conductor, perpendicular to the plane defined by the current direction and the magnetic induction vector. It is caused by the Lorentz force acting on a charge moving in a magnetic field.

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Using a magnet on the spring-mounted switch spindle, the Apex Pro Mini Wireless detects where the switch is located, allowing it to detect its activation level with millimeter accuracy. Hence the possibility of adjusting the activation part, as well as the durability of the activation over 100 million due to the lack of elements that rub against each other.

OmniPoint 2.0 is a practically installed Red switch, i.e. soft and silent, which, according to the manufacturer, is 11 times more responsive and 10 times faster. They really translate into reality, because using them is pure pleasure. In addition, these switches offer something incredible, because the ability to adjust the activation of the switch in fractions of a millimeter (from 0.2 to 3.8 mm) in the program, although its general working path is 4 mm.

As you can guess, the ability to set whether the button is a soft pressure activation or a deep push is something unique in the entire mechanical switch market. Thanks to this, we can even (!) Save two functions for a certain switch, depending on whether we press the button lightly or deeply. As a result, you can make the Apex Pro Mini Wireless feel like a knife on the controls by setting the movement of the character with a slightly pressed switch and rushing by pressing all the way (depending on the game, it requires a different technique – shift. + alt macros or just a dedicated button).

Steelseries Apex Pro Mini Wireless review – overview

I sincerely hope that the keyboard market in the future will surprise me to such an extent that after the spread of “cheap mechanics”, we will see completely new types of switches instead of optical ones. Steelseries focusing on its Omnipoint on the Hall effect hit the rock and gave the world something unique that should inspire other producers to experiment. Maybe it’s high time, for example, to use optical switches in a different form and, for example, to direct the laser light to the bottom of the spindle and determine the level of its input depending on the distance?

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However, the Apex Pro Mini Wireless keyboard is one of those models that only a few will buy, considering its price of more than PLN 1,200, but I am sure that every buyer (as long as the 60% format meets their needs) will be. be pleased with it. Especially if it makes good use of its small size and weight, wireless channels, and above all, the switches themselves and the possibilities that come with them. Therefore, this model of Steelseries not only recommends, but also distinguishes: