SteelSeries Apex Mini Professional and Mini Professional Wi-fi Evaluation: In depth Customization on 60% Boards

If you happen to’ve by no means used a 60% keyboard, now could be the time. SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini and Professional Mini Wi-fi are each wonderful examples, delivering sensible build-quality and intensive customization choices alongside some attention-grabbing options, together with dual-actuation, dual-bindings, and—better of all—customizable actuation.

Specs
  • Model: SteelSeries
  • Wi-fi: 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth
  • Backlight: Sure
  • Media Controls: Through command key
  • Battery: Wi-fi model as much as 40 hours
  • Num Pad: No
  • Swap Kind: SteelSeries OmniPoint 2.0
  • Replaceable Keys: Sure
  • Variety of Keys: 62
  • Suitable Gadgets: Home windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox
  • Keyboard Description: 60%
Execs
  • Wonderful construct high quality
  • Distinctive OmniPoint 2.0 mechanical switches
  • A number of wi-fi connectivity choices
  • Good moveable dimension
  • In depth customization choices
Cons
  • On the expensive aspect of issues
  • 60% type issue will not swimsuit everybody
Purchase This Product

SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini/Mini Wi-fi

It is at all times tough switching keyboards. You rapidly develop into accustomed to the format, the space between keys, the actuation pressure, and even the sound of your keystrokes. The rest feels alien.

Which is what makes the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini and Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi such a exceptional 60% keyboard. Positive, you are shedding some typing real-estate, and your fingers will hit some further keys as you modify, however the general typing expertise on the default board format is great. Observe how I mentioned default?

That is the place issues begin getting spicy. The SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini comes with OmniPoint 2.0 adjustable mechanical switches, that means, should you don’t love the way it feels, you possibly can modify particular person keys to your liking. And, utilizing that very same adjustable actuation tech, you possibly can program the Apex Professional Mini to register two inputs should you press the important thing at a particular depth.

It isn’t low cost, however SteelSeries’ first foray into small type issue gaming keyboards is nicely price your consideration.


SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini Type

Phrase to the smart—this overview is overlaying each the Apex Professional Mini Wired and Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi, and I will be referring to them for particular options, largely concerning the Mini Wi-fi’ wi-fi capabilities.

However earlier than we get into that, let’s speak concerning the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini fashion. Coming from my present every day driver, a SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL Ghost, the 60% type issue feels unusual. It is not, in fact, however if you’re used to a bigger keyboard, the numerous discount in keys (from a keyboard that is already contracted!) does really feel odd.

Nonetheless, that is not a lot to go on. The Apex Professional Mini is 11.5 inches huge, stands 1.6 inches tall, and has a depth of 4 inches. It’s compact and weighs in at 610g/1.34lbs, which is definitely solely half a pound lighter than the aforementioned Apex 7 TKL. The Apex Professional Mini and Mini Wi-fi have a powerful aluminum body, constructed utilizing SteelSeries ultra-durable Collection 5000 “aircraft-grade aluminum alloy,” and the standard of the board and the keys feels second to none.


The double shot PBT keycaps are additionally price a point out. Though they don’t seem to be mindblowing, the slight concave and lightweight texturing make the general typing expertise very nice, the Apex Professional Mini’s LED lighting shining via every glyph and shimmering across the edges. It is a good contact and one that can endear the board to typists and avid gamers alike.

Now, if you do not know, a 60% keyboard does away with as many keys as doable, lowering the general type issue and footprint of the keyboard right into a streamlined affair.

The result’s that you simply do lose the arrow keys, which is unquestionably one of many greatest losses when switching to a board of this dimension. SteelSeries has printed the extra keys throughout the Apex Professional Mini, all of that are accessible via the SteelSeries macro button (carrying the SteelSeries emblem). Together with the arrow keys (positioned on the WASD keys, as you’d use for motion in-game), you will additionally discover capabilities to regulate the keyboard LEDs, modify quantity and playback, and common operate keys, together with F1-F12, Print, House, and so forth.

You too can add an enormous variety of customized macros to the Apex Professional Mini through the SteelSeries GG desktop app, however extra on this in a second.

SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini/Professional Mini Wi-fi Connectivity and Battery Life

The one actual distinction between the 2 SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini variants is connectivity. The clue, I assume, is within the title.

The Apex Professional Wi-fi mannequin is the extra versatile of the 2, providing what SteelSeries dubs “Quantum 2.0 Wi-fi,” an ultra-low latency connection utilizing dual-channel 2.4GHz wi-fi to make sure a buttery-smooth expertise, with a ballot charge of 1000Hz/1ms. The wi-fi mannequin additionally gives a Bluetooth connection, but it surely comes with a slower ballot charge of 125Hz/8ms. After all, you may as well use it in a wired configuration.

Alternatively, the wired model is simply that. If you happen to assume you’ll actually by no means have use for a wi-fi 60% keyboard, go for the wired model; it is less expensive. However the further portability the Mini Professional Wi-fi delivers may nicely be price the additional outlay relying on how you propose to make use of the board.

On the subject of battery life, the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini delivers as much as 30 hours of use utilizing the two.4GHz connection, rising to round 40 hours whereas utilizing Bluetooth.

SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini OmniPoint 2.0 Adjustable Mechanical Switches

Onto the star of the present: the OmniPoint 2.0 adjustable mechanical switches. Though adjustable mechanical switches aren’t totally new to the mechanical keyboard market, they’re utterly new to me, and rattling, they’re actually superior. Utilizing the SteelSeries GG app, you possibly can modify the actuation pressure of Apex Professional Mini and Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi switches between 0.2mm-3.8mm in 0.1mm increments, supplying you with extraordinarily advantageous management over how your typing or gaming expertise feels and responds.

Adjustable switches are good for anybody that wishes a keyboard that may deal with each worlds. Too usually it comes right down to a alternative of whether or not you need ultra-slick response for gaming, or one thing barely extra forgiving for typing, and maybe settling for one thing within the center. The Apex Professional Mini’s OmniPoint 2.0 linear switches are a superb third choice and given you possibly can modify the actuation of particular person or teams of (or all!) keys, create particular profiles for various actions, and simply swap between the 2, SteelSeries may nicely have solved one of the enduring points going through keyboard customers.


Together with adjusting the actuation of your keys, you may as well program your keys to register a number of keypresses. Usually, in case your keyboard registers a number of inputs if you try and kind, you might need a problem with ghosting or assume your keyboard is outright damaged.

With the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini, a double-key press may nicely be your supposed consequence, with the corporate suggesting the function will make most sense when gaming. It is odd to get used to, I will give them that. Twin-bindings activate if you launch the important thing (i.e., motion one prompts on down, and motion two prompts on up), and dual-actuation means that you can configure particular actions at totally different ranges of actuation (i.e., motion one prompts instantly, motion two prompts midway via your down stroke).

SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini Customizable Macros

Together with the OmniPoint switches and twin press tech, the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini and Mini Wi-fi include excellent help for macros. Now, most of this help is delivered through the SteelSeries GG app (which you’ll be able to examine within the subsequent part), but it surely actually is spectacular how far you possibly can customise the instructions on these keyboards.

You can feasibly create a complete set of customized instructions for any program, switching between profiles, or create particular instructions with a single profile for a number of packages. You can set a complete spectrum of macro instructions to your favourite MMO, or streamline your productiveness. Truthfully, the vary of customization, between the actuation, twin key presses, and detailed and highly effective macro instrument, is slightly overwhelming at first look.

However, with time, you will discover that the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini’s extension customization engine is what makes it such an superior mechanical keyboard.

SteelSeries GG Desktop App

If you happen to purchase the Apex Professional Mini or Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi, you completely should obtain the SteelSeries GG desktop app to go together with it. The entire superior options talked about above are discovered there, and it is also the place you will discover the LED customization choices.

Connecting to the SteelSeries GG app is so simple as plugging in your USB dongle, ensuring your keyboard is related, then opening the app. It ought to routinely detect your Apex Professional Mini, the place it can seem underneath the Engine tab. From right here, choose the Apex Professional Mini or Professional Mini Wi-fi.

Ought to You Purchase the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini or Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi?

Now, onto the second of reality: must you purchase the Apex Professional Mini? How concerning the Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi?

This is the place you would possibly come unstuck. The Apex Professional Mini retails for $180, whereas the Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi is available in at $240—slightly eyewatering, I will admit, particularly as you do not even get a wrist relaxation with both board.

On the flip aspect, they’re sensible. Your fingers will stand up to hurry with both keyboard inside minutes, and the construct high quality and general really feel of the Apex Professional Mini and Mini Wi-fi are incredible. A few of the tech SteelSeries has crammed into these keyboards can also be definitely worth the cash alone, although it’s admittedly slightly area of interest. However, if you wish to enhance your productiveness or cram as many macro instructions as you possibly can right into a tiny mechanical keyboard, SteelSeries has created the right match for you.

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