Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts often do not need an excuse to buy new keyboards, but for those who do, so far not one switch has ever been possible. For example, if you like competitive gaming, you probably want something like ultra-sensitive red switches with low control points. But if you need something for long-term writing, you probably want a higher operating point to provide more satisfied feedback and prevent typos.
The latest keyboard from Steelseries, the Apex Pro, is designed to be the best of both worlds: a keyboard that both gamers and writers can use. (As someone who often writes about PC gaming hardware, I cannot deny that the idea is attractive.) It is all due to the new switch design, which allows you to directly adjust the control point to the task.
Steelseries calls this technology the OmniPoint switch. The switch's magnetic sensors allow you to adjust the operating point – the point of movement at which a key stroke is registered – between 0.4 mm and 3.6 mm. The lower end of that scale might make it the most responsive gaming keyboard on the market (and probably unusable for normal people), while the upper end would make it a crunchy keyboard that took a lot of power to use.
This is what the switch looks like:
Steelseries has developed its own keyboard customization software, but you can also adjust the settings directly using a click wheel, a secondary button, and a monochrome OLED screen. The screen can be used to display things such as Discord notifications and in-game statistics.
Or you can place GIFs on it, as was the case with this demo unit.
I don't think this will be the keyboard for everyone, because the feel of the switches themselves actually resembles that of red. If you want the tactile, clicky bump of a blue switch, this is not for you. But it is definitely an innovative design that can be useful for many people. I look forward to seeing how it lasts over a longer period.
The Apex Pro will ship within a few weeks for $ 199.99. Steelseries also releases cheaper versions of the same design with ordinary red, blue or brown switches in both models with normal and tenke freedom.