SteelSeries latest line is both colourful but also more affordable. Similar to the Apex 5 Keyboard that we reviewed recently, the Apex 3 Gaming Keyboard and Rival 3 Gaming Mouse are both cheaper than the rest of the SteelSeries offering, but also oozes the same quality and finish that the SteelSeries brand is known for.
APEX 3 GAMING KEYBOARD
From the outside, The Apex 3 looks a lot like the Apex 5 in terms of quality. It’s made out of a polymer frame, so feels quite study in terms of build. Interestingly enough, this keyboard is supposed to be water and dust resistant at an IP32 standard. Obviously, I didn’t flood it with water, but I tested it with a few spills and found that it didn’t impact performance whatsoever.
Unlike the Apex 5 keyboard, the Apex 3 has whisper quiet keys, which I actually found really nice to type on. It’s also a nice change from a lot of the other gaming keyboards that are quite loud to use, especially at night or in the company of other people. I found that this was a nice happy medium between a quiet key and a key that feels great to type on. Typing was always accurate whilst using this keyboard, but the keys are quite tall in terms of how they sit on the keyboard, and do have a high actuation point. In terms of gaming, it’s definitely a little bit of a slower press compared to other keys, but it’s still decent.
Unlike the Apex 5, the Apex 3 doesn’t have per-key RGB. It has a 10-zone RGB illumination, which you can customise with a lot of the same effects that you’ll be used to if you’ve used other SteelSeries keyboards. I actually really liked the design of the RGB in this keyboard. I found it to be brighter and more vibrant than other keyboards that I’ve used. As always, SteelSeries Engine is a joy to use and it’s where you’ll customise absolutely everything to do with this keyboard, in terms of setting macros, the poling rate or just messing around with the RGB.
The keyboard comes with a really nice magnetic wrist rest, which I found to be an absolute joy to use, but I understand that some people absolutely loathe wrist rests. Luckily, it snaps on hand off incredibly easily, so it’s there if you want to use it.
In terms of extra, there’s also dedicated multimedia buttons. There’s a singular button which you can program to control media and also a wheel which you can use to adjust volume. There’s also three-way cable routing at the base of the keyboard.
In terms of comfort, I use the fingertip grip so I found it extremely comfortable to use. SteelSeries also recommends the claw grip for this type of mouse as well, but if you’re a palm grip user, you might want to look elsewhere. You’ve got two buttons on the side which you can customise using SteelSeries Engine and also a button on the top below the scroll wheel that will let you change sensitivity.
The RGB in this mouse is the brightest I’ve seen. You can customise three zones on the base of the mouse, which looks pretty cool one you find your perfect colour combo and you can also customise the logo.
The mouse allows you to save things like polling rate, keybinds as well as 5CPIs directly onto the mouse, meaning you can take it with you and use the mouse anywhere without the need for SteelSeries Engine. As we’ve mentioned above, the RGB and other customisations can be made through the SteelSeries Engine which is a genuine joy to use.
Sensor: SteelSeries TrueMove Core
Sensor Type: Optical
CPI: 100–8,500 in 100 CPI Increments
IPS: 300, on SteelSeries QcK surfaces
Polling Rate 1000Hz 1 ms
Grip Style Claw or Fingertip
Number of Buttons 6
Switch Type SteelSeries mechanical switches, rated for 60 million clicks