The Apex 9 is hot-swappable, which sets it apart from the other keyboards in this lineup, however your switch options are only other single-pin optical switches. you will learn our article on SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL review. The SteelSeries Apex 9 is the latest gaming keyboard in the Apex series. The usage of exclusive OptiPoint switches sets this unit apart from the others in the range. These OptiPoint switches are optical switches that employ lasers to register a keypress as opposed to the magnetic OmniPoint switches found in the Apex Pro versions or the conventional mechanical switches found in the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL. The SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL is actually a pretty attractive choice for individuals who want optical switches with adjustable actuation but don’t want the exorbitant 0.1mm per-key adjustment supplied by the Apex Pro Mini. The wider layout of the Apex 9 TKL is advantageous for anyone who thinks a 60 percent layout to be too small; for those who don’t, there is also the Apex 9 Mini. It is not nearly as versatile as it might sound because the keyboard’s hot-swappable PCB is actually only compatible with SteelSeries’ future optical switches.

SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL review: Design

Putting usability aside, gamers are a fickle group. Therefore, we desire items that feel wonderful and have even greater appearances. Fortunately, the Apex 9 TKL stands out from the rest with an impressive RGB setup. You may change the style with several preset programmes by simply pressing a button. This is likewise true of the brightness adjustment feature and the toggle option for changing the game’s audio. It is a fantastic gaming buddy because everything can be altered instantly. We are all aware of the abuse keyboards endure. You get a little enthusiastic whenever you play a game. Therefore, the targets of your fury are frequently your periphery. Thankfully, the aircraft-grade aluminum case is sturdy and long-lasting. It looks amazing and feels good as well. In addition, the OptiPoint switches have a staggering rating of 100 million keystrokes! You can be confident that this is long-lasting because that number is absurdly high. Additionally, there are three different resting positions available. The keyboard can be placed flat, elevated slightly with the small feet, or raised higher using the last two options. Whatever you decide, it is comfortable for long gaming sessions on your wrists. Finally, you may customize the Apex 9 TKL by swapping out the switches. You have complete control because you have a choice of three. The convenient keycap puller makes switching between tactile, clicky, and linear keycaps a breeze. But keep in mind that these need to be sourced individually.


The Apex 9 TKL sports a tenkeyless layout with navigation keys and arrow keys but no number pad, in contrast to the Apex 9 Mini’s 60 percent layout without a number pad, navigation keys, or arrow keys. The keyboard is firmly built with a “Series 5000” aircraft-grade aluminium alloy frame and top plate, as well as double-shot PBT keycaps, despite the fact that the chassis is plastic. The SteelSeries Apex 9’s individually backlit keys can be completely modified using the software that comes with it. The new gaming keyboards in tiny form are clearly designed with the fastest response time in mind. Optomechanical keyboard switches are used for this by SteelSeries. A quick response time of 0.2 milliseconds can be provided by the SteelSeries Apex 9 Mini and Apex 9 TKL. So without a doubt, this price range is the highest. also you can check our article on SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL review. The key legends are easy to read in low light since they are shine-through. Unfortunately, the colour mixing is rather poor because of the white backlighting’s strong aqua hue. The SteelSeries Apex 9 provides excellent typing efficiency. You won’t likely fall off the keys while you type thanks to the PBT keycaps’ good texture and hold. While some of the larger modifier keys tilt somewhat, the majority of the alphanumeric keys are solid. The Apex 9 TKL switches appear a touch shaky, but thanks to their incredibly light actuation force, they are efficient at lowering finger fatigue. The design is generally uncluttered, so using the board straight out of the box won’t be a problem. Since the wrist posture is a little stretched, a wrist support might improve comfort overall, but you’ll need to purchase one separately.

SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL review: RGB Lighting

The SteelSeries Apex 9 can be customised using SteelSeries GG software. You can easily set up macros, control the RGB lights, remap keys, and create profiles with this software. It is also not too difficult to use. It is not difficult to save any of these settings to the onboard memory. The performance of the test box depends solely on the capabilities of the auxiliary software, not on its overall performance.


The SteelSeries Engine, a component of the SteelSeries GG software suite, is compatible with the Apex 9 TKL. The software isn’t essential because the keyboard has built-in shortcuts for switching between on-board profiles, recording macros, and altering the brightness of the RGB for each key (SS key + F11/F12), as well as switching between gaming and typing modes (SS key + I/O). You can configure the keyboard’s five on-board profiles as well as the primary and secondary (SS key) bindings using SteelSeries Engine. The SteelSeries function key and all but two keys—the multi-purpose media key and the clickable volume roller—can be remapped almost entirely. Additionally, you can only switch the complete keyboard between typing and gaming modes; you cannot individually change the actuation point of each key. The lighting on the Apex 9 can also be modified in SteelSeries Engine. For three separate layers, each key can be personalised independently with various colours and effects (active, reactive, and idle). Different lighting profiles can be saved in SteelSeries Engine, however they cannot be linked to onboard profiles.

Typing and Gaming Experience

SteelSeries’ innovative OptiPoint optical switches, which are hot-swappable and have two points of actuation, are included with the Apex 9. (not to be confused with dual-actuation, which is a feature that currently only exists on the Apex Pro Mini). Although the Apex 9 has hot-swappable switches, they are only compatible with optical switches and not mechanical ones. Additionally, according to the manufacturer, while third-party optical switches will fit in the board, those with black bottom housings absorb too much light to function effectively. in this article we will discuss about SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL review. The keyboard only officially supports its own OptiPoint switches. The switches of the Apex 9 have 2-point actuation, which means that their actuation can be adjusted between two levels: 1.5mm for typing and 1mm for gaming. Using the SteelSeries key + I/O keyboard shortcut or the GG software provided by SteelSeries, you can switch between these two modes. Using the keyboard in both modes—for typing and gaming—put our original worries about these two actuation points’ lack of sufficient distance variation to rest. Considering that the Apex 9 uses linear optical switches rather than my usual clicky mechanical keys, typing on it feels very nice. It will take some getting accustomed to typing on the Apex 9 if you’re coming from a heavier, non-linear mechanical switch background because the switches have a smaller travel distance (3.4mm) and a lighter actuation force (35g) than the normal Cherry MX Red mechanical switches. Unsurprisingly, playing games on the Apex 9 felt better than typing because linear switches, whether optical or not, typically provide a better gaming experience than typing. The switches, which SteelSeries claims have a 0.2 ms response time and zero debounce, certainly seemed quite snappy, especially in game mode, which permits very light, quick keypresses.

SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL review: Performance

Both boards have SteelSeries’ OptiPoint switches, as was already mentioned. These optical switches include two alternative actuation depths in addition to the typical advantages of light-based actuation. What really sets these boards apart is their “2 Point Actuation” function. The integrated OptiPoint linear’ full travel depth already seems less than other full-height switches. The actuation point can also be elevated from its resting position by up to 0.5mm. One of the most immediate-feeling keyboard inputs we’ve ever had is offered by this. In League of Legends, skill actuations feel more immediate, and strafing in any FPS feels more responsive. Is the difference significant? No. However, it just takes a small amount to tip the scales in games where milliseconds determine whether you live or die. Of course, switches with short actuation distances have existed in the past. Unfortunately, the unintentional presses they frequently cause have a terrible tendency to affect typing accuracy. The second setting of the 2 Point Actuation is used in this situation. These switches are as accurate as any we use in our own daily driver boards when set to 1.5mm actuation depth, assuming no appreciable error increases. Gaming and typing performance are the life and death of keyboards. Thanks to the OptiPoint switches, both of these models perform superbly in either duty. We’ve found that the Apex 9 boards offer some of the most responsive gaming and most precise typing. Read this article on SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL review.


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