Steelseries’ new keyboard has adjustable switches for gaming and typing
Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts often don’t need an excuse to buy new keyboards, but for those who do, there really hasn’t been a one-switch-fits-all solution to date. If you’re into competitive gaming, for example, you’ll probably want something like ultra-responsive red switches with low actuation points. But if you need something for longform writing, you’ll likely want a higher actuation point to provide more satisfying feedback and help prevent typos.
Steelseries’ latest keyboard, the Apex Pro, is designed to be the best of both worlds: a keyboard that both gamers and writers alike can use. (As someone who often writes about PC gaming hardware, I can’t deny that the idea is appealing.) It’s all down to the new switch design, which lets you adjust the actuation point on the fly to meet the task in hand.
Steelseries is calling this technology the OmniPoint switch. Because of the switch’s magnetic sensors, you’re able to adjust the actuation point — the point of travel at which a keystroke is registered — between 0.4mm and 3.6mm. The bottom end of that scale would make it perhaps the most responsive gaming keyboard on the market (and probably unusable by normal humans), while the top end would make it a crunchy typing keyboard that’d require quite a lot of force to use.
Here’s what the switch looks like:
Steelseries has developed its own customization software for the keyboard, but you’re also able to adjust the settings directly through the use of a clicking scroll wheel, a secondary button, and a monochrome OLED display. The screen can be used to display things like Discord notifications and in-game stats.
Or you can just put GIFs on it, as was the case with this demo unit.
I don’t quite think this is going to be the keyboard for everyone, because the feel of the key switches themselves is basically like reds. If you want that tactile, clicky bump from a blue switch then this won’t be for you. But it’s definitely an innovative design that could make sense for a lot of people. I’m looking forward to seeing how it holds up over a longer period of time.
The Apex Pro will be shipping in a couple of weeks for $199.99. Steelseries is also putting out cheaper versions of the same design with regular red, blue, or brown switches in both full-sized and tenkeyless models.