ReviewsReview: Apex 9 TKL

Review: Apex 9 TKL

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When looking at a gaming keyboard, there are many names that jump out. However, not many are as renowned as SteelSeries. This high-end brand is known for its game-changing approach and market-leading technology. Consequently, when I was offered products from the new Apex 9 range, I couldn’t resist. Today, I’m looking at the larger of the two, as I pull apart (literally at some point), the Apex 9 TKL.

Everything about this keyboard screams quality. From the metal finish to the excellent customisable RGB lighting, this looks fantastic. What’s more, its actuation points are razor thin, and this makes for a responsive and accurate time. Alongside this, swappable switches (sold separately) make this keyboard your own. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s jump right in and see what it’s like.

The Apex 9 TKL is vivid and striking.
Ohhh it’s so bright.

What’s in the box of the Apex 9 TKL?

  • The compact and stylish packaging. This robust box keeps its contents well protected. Furthermore, it highlights key selling points and is 100% recyclable.
  • The Apex 9 TKL. This stunning and hard-wearing device will look amazing next to any gaming rig. Thanks to its small design, it is the perfect accompaniment for a tighter workspace.
  • Keycap puller. Hidden underneath the keyboard body, this simple device is essential. If you wish to alter your keys, this tool is a must.
  • A USB-A to USB-C cable. This handy cable is a good length and well built.
  • User manual. A basic guide that highlights the fundamentals. 

Technical aspects. 

If you are shopping for a standard keyboard, you simply want comfort. However, the gaming scene demands much more. Luckily, the Apex 9 TKL delivers a lightning-fast device that looks great, feels amazing, and is built to last. What’s more, its compact design works wonders in tight spaces. 

Response time is an absolute must in competitive gaming. As such, you want minimal actuation points for maximum control. With a range of 1mm for light press users and 1.5mm for ultra accuracy, your keystrokes have never felt better. Alongside this, the Apex range offers 33% faster actuation in comparison to other optical keyboards. Accordingly, you experience a 0.2ms response time with zero debounce. Now, this may not sound a lot, but when every second counts, this makes a world of difference.

The Apex 9 TKL happens to be the fastest keyboard I’ve ever used. In fact, it was so quick that I had to adjust my approach. This wasn’t a problem, but it was surprising how much difference it made. Even when typing, I noticed the difference between my ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro. Now, I love that keyboard, but this one may just have gazumped it. 

Change your switches to personalise your keyboard.
Easy to lift keys.

Quality design. 

Usability to one side, we gamers are a fickle bunch. Consequently, we want something that feels great and looks even better. Fortunately, the Apex 9 TKL has an eye-opening RGB set-up that stands out from the crowd. With many preset programs, you can adjust the style at the touch of a button. This is also true of the ability to adjust the brightness and a toggle switch to alter in-game audio. In short, everything can be changed on the fly and this makes it a phenomenal gaming companion. 

We all know that keyboards take a battering. Whenever you play a game, you get a little excited. Subsequently, your peripherals often bear the brunt of your rage. Fortunately, though, the aircraft-grade aluminium case is robust and hard-wearing. Furthermore, it feels fantastic and looks incredible. Alongside this, the OptiPoint switches are rated for a whopping 100 million keystrokes! That’s unbelievably high and assures you that this is built to last.

On top of this, there are 3 resting positions to choose from. You may lay the keyboard flat, use the mini feet for slight elevation, or raise it higher with the final option. Whatever you choose, it is comfortable on your wrists for extended gaming sessions.

Finally, the switches are swappable to make the Apex 9 TKL your own. With the choice of three available, you are in total control. Tactile, clicky, and linear can be easily swapped out using the handy keycap puller. Be aware, however, that these must be sourced separately.

Make your life easier with the SteelSeries GG app.
The SteelSeries GG app.

SteelSeries GG and macros. 

I was happy with the preset lighting, but you may wish to create your own. If you do, you can download the SteelSeries GG engine to map your keyboard. This intuitive software is free to download and is a go-to for every SteelSeries product. What’s more, it is easy to understand, simple to use, and will make your device personal for you. 

Yet, what I loved more was the ability to record macros. By using the SteelSeries function button, you can set your macros to enhance your gaming experience. This is a fantastic addition for anyone that plays MMO titles and it complemented my presets from my ROCCAT gaming mouse. Consequently, in a competitive situation, I was one step ahead, and this is great for pro gamers and amateurs alike. 

Is the Apex 9 TKL worth it? 

There are many amazing keyboards on the market. Luckily, I’ve used most of them and the Apex range is among the best. Because of its excellent build quality, low actuation points, OptiPoint switches, phenomenal build quality, and custom options, this is a market leader. 

The Apex 9 TKL’s responsive nature and build quality blew my mind. I was genuinely shocked by the difference it made when playing competitively. Furthermore, its stunning RGB display and excellent software make all the difference. Subsequently, I easily recommend that you buy it here

(More information on SteelSeries can be found here!) 

The Apex 9 TKL has been awarded the Movies Games and Tech Gold award.
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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