New SteelSeries Keyboards at CES? Oh hell yes!
Without a doubt, we love SteelSeries and we’re always interested in seeing what they’ve got coming down the pipeline. This year they’re looking to debut some awesome new products, keeping themselves right on par with all of the other big boys in the peripheral game. If you’re familiar with SteelSeries’ product line, you’ll know the one thing they don’t have a massive selection of is keyboards. While the Shift is a nice keyboard, it’s a fairly plain keyboard that doesn’t really do much for those of us who like sturdy gaming products with a whole bunch of flash. Thankfully, after spending quite some time developing keyboard solutions for laptop manufacutures such as MSI, SteelSeries is finally set to show off the newest their newest keyboard line: The Apex.
“Made up of beautiful form and carefully optimized functions, the Apex and Apex [RAW] feature unique enhancements to the keyboards layout from low-profile keys, specially designed raised macros rows for quick access, and multiple layers of customization in colors and intensity. Built to deliver the world’s fastest reaction time and key combinations, the Apex features SteelSeries ActiveZone – a unique combination of programmability with visual support to better navigate the keyboard to win.” What does this mean for you, the gamer? It means you’ll be able to find functions not only based on more accessible keyboard placement, but also by color. You can set individual zones on the keyboard to be a specific color! I’ve been advocating the Mad Catz STRIKE keyboard line for the past few months now, but I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on this Apex keyboard.
Following the same naming convention as the Sensei, the Apex will be a full featured keyboard with a downgraded version known as the Apex [RAW]. SteelSeries loves doing this with their products because sometimes all you really want is functionality, and function should be affordable. There’s no reason to buy something that does way more than you’d ever want it to, and by offering the [RAW] version, SteelSeries knows they’ll be able to appeal to a larger number of consumers.
Does this mean the Apex [RAW] isn’t going to do as much as the Apex will? Well, yes, but it’s not a huge difference. The [RAW] version only lights up in white, and it’s got 17 macro keys (as opposed to the 22 on the Apex) with 2 layer (opposed to 4) macro opportunities. This just means the [RAW] won’t be as pretty and only does about half of the macro functions available to the regular Apex, but that’s still like 200 macro possibilities and it’s $30 cheaper! This is still fantastic, as the obvious choice would have been to remove LED illumination just to chop the price down but they didn’t! That’s super awesome.
Keep an eye out for SteelSeries if you’re at CES, and we’ll see the Apex in stores sometime in Q2 of 2013.