Product Manufacturer: SteelSeries
$399 RRP
Estimated Time With Gear:
25+ hour

What Is It?: 60% Gaming Keyboard
Compatible With:
PC, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation

The Apex Mini from SteelSeries is expensive, luxurious and well worth the price tag if you’re only going to be using it for gaming. As a 50/50 keyboard for gaming and everyday use, it’s a pain to use, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless gaming is your primary PC use. 

As a 60% or “tenkeyless” designed keyboard, the Apex Mini sits on a desk looking rather cute. The form factor quickly freezes up a bunch of space on my rather cluttered desk, and coming into the holiday season, I seem to collect more junk on here than I’d like to. The USB-A to UBB-C cord is detachable, making keyboard transportation simple and easy to set up on any desk. And while looks may be deceiving, this small keyboard has plenty going on under the keys with some of the most advanced technology I’ve used in a gaming keyboard. 

Technical Specs:

  • Key Switches: OmniPoint Adjustable Mechanical Switch

  • Switch Rating: Guaranteed 100 Million Presses

  • On-Board Memory: 5 Custom Profiles

  • Processor: 32 Bit ARM

  • Adjustable Actuation Points: 0.3- 3.8mm

  • Connection: Detachable USB Type-C

  • Width: 293 mm / 11.53 in

  • Depth: 103 mm / 4.02 in

  • Height: 40.3 mm / 1.59 in

  • Weight: 610 g / 1.34 lbs

  • Height Adjustment: Rubber Tri-Level Feet

  • Lighting: Per-Key RGB Illumination

One thing a keyboard struggles to match when compared to a controller is the tactile precision that an analog stick provides. However, with Omni 2.0 Switches, the Apex Predator Mini is able to get closer than ever to offering the same experience under a keycap. The keys have a registration distance between 0.4mm and 3.8mm, which you can switch between and meet in the middle. However, you can also set both points of a key press to mean different things. This allows a lighter key press to initiate a walk while a full press activates a run. And you can customise this to suit your gaming needs meaning the potential is limitless. When playing a fighting game, being able to set your keys to the light 0.4mm touch will make all the difference, while a strategy or RPG where you’ll want to make sure of your decisions will benefit from the harder 3.8mm keystrokes.

These features are all fantastic for games, and you’ll get the added customisation with the SteelSeries GG software (I’ll come back to this). Still, it’s frustrating when it comes to using the keyboard for everyday use, or in my case, typing up this like this review. You’ll need to press the FN/SteelSeries button to access the arrow keys under the WASD keys. Buttons that anything writing will probably need to use a little bit. The most annoying and stretching on the wrists is that you have to press the FN button on one side of the keyboard while the WASD keys are on the other, so you can’t one-handed down-key an article if you want to. And then there’s the comfortability of the keyboard itself, which is, again, not something I had an issue with when playing games and doing a lot less movement around the keyboard, but the second I need to use all the keys, I found my wrists start to get sore. This isn’t something I’m going to hold against the keyboard, as it’s not designed for writers or everyday use. But it is worth mentioning if you’re like me and want to use your keyboard for gaming and work.

Size comparation to a full-size Corsair keyboard

What’s In The Box?

The build quality of the keyboard itself is fantastic, and given it came out of the box with little to no padding, I was worried the small form factor might damage easily, but that isn’t the case. Not only does the keyboard contain some heft, weighing 610 grams, but it also seems like it would take some work to damage. I’m comfortable chucking this into my bag to take to a LAN or an esports competition — if they were things I did. Even as a simple-looking keyboard, nice-looking legends are painted onto each key to designate which ones have a second function.

When you get stuck into the SteelSeries GG software, you can play around with the more minor details and controls behind the way your keyboard behaves and change up things like the registration distance. Here you can also play with the RGB of the keyboard and turn it all of the way off if you’d like to. Installation of the SteelSeries GG software, as with any other SteelSeries product I’ve reviewed, is a must-recommend. 

From opening the box to plugging the SteelSeries Apex Mini keyboard into your computer, this is as straightforward of a keyboard as I’ve seen from SteelSeries. It’s as if the company knows this is for hardcore PC gamers. The luxurious unboxing experience and any extra flourishes have been skipped instead of relying on the product itself. And why not? This is a fantastic 60% keyboard that professional gamers or those seeking a reliable and tournament-ready device won’t regret purchasing. However, again, I can’t recommend this to anyone who will want to use it for everyday use.