SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini keyboard review: A small but mighty gaming tool

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Keyboards professionals and cons Execs 2.0 omnipoint adjustable switches Adjustable per-key RGB backlight Twin-action programmable keys Cons Worth No magnetic wrist relaxation extra shopping for decisions I’ve all the time held an ambivalence towards mechanical gaming keyboards. They arrive in many alternative key swap choices which might really feel overwhelming. However … The post SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini keyboard review: A small but mighty gaming tool appeared first on Ferdja.

May 26, 2023 - 22:00
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini keyboard review: A small but mighty gaming tool


SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Keyboards

professionals and cons

  • 2.0 omnipoint adjustable switches
  • Adjustable per-key RGB backlight
  • Twin-action programmable keys
  • Worth
  • No magnetic wrist relaxation

extra shopping for decisions

I’ve all the time held an ambivalence towards mechanical gaming keyboards. They arrive in many alternative key swap choices which might really feel overwhelming. However I not too long ago acquired to check SteelSeries’ newest launch, the Apex Pro Mini and Apex Pro Mini wireless keyboard. Like its full-size sibling, the Apex Pro, the Professional Mini makes use of specialised adjustable 2.0 omnipoint hybrid switches to regulate the keys to your actuation desire, so all the important thing swap choices are packaged into one small keyboard. This along with the brand new small 60% aluminum body design have made me a gaming keyboard convert. 

I examined the Apex Professional Mini wired and wi-fi keyboards for about 20 hours, and I discovered that whereas the small, compact design might not be one of the best for these with musculoskeletal points, the sleek typing and gaming expertise make these keyboards nice gaming instruments.

Additionally: Mechanical keyboards: A complete information


Apex Mini Professional wired

Apex Mini Professional wi-fi







Keyboard dimension

61 61

Key swap

2.0 Omnipoint adjustable switches

2.0 Omnipoint adjustable switches

Keyboard materials




USB-A to USB-C wired

wired/2.4GHz/Bluetooth extension adapter








The aluminum-frame keyboard operates with SteelSeries’ conventional, fade-proof, programmable per-key RGB backlight design, enabling me to look down and see the keys clearly whereas typing or gaming. The Apex Mini slimmed the design whereas retaining a 60% kind issue. It takes up a lot much less area in comparison with a conventional keyboard with the tenkey construct, so it is excellent for many who wish to maximize area whereas having the normal tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard.

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini wireless keyboard

The keyboard is not a lot bigger than my Google Pixel 6 Professional cellphone.

Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNet

I examined each the wired and wi-fi choices. The wired possibility comes with an extended USB-C to USB-A cable for connecting to a desktop or a laptop computer. As a result of I exploit the MSI GS66 Stealth, I do not want your entire cable size, and I discovered the wi-fi mannequin saved me from one other twine tangled amongst different cables. If you happen to do not wish to fear about charging, the wired possibility gives loads of cordages to hook up with a desktop with ease. Nevertheless, if you detest cables, then the wi-fi possibility excels at holding your desk cable-free.

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini wired keyboard

The wired keyboard comes with a plug-and-play characteristic, however you will want to put in crucial updates whenever you first use it.

Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNet

The one design beef I’ve is that I can really feel the ligaments pressure on the skin of my wrist when typing as a result of it isn’t a break up keyboard. On the identical time, SteelSeries designed this keyboard for gaming efficiency and never lengthy hours typing novels. For conventional keyboard and mouse gaming, customers can and can benefit from the small design. For those who want ergonomics or for many who could have musculoskeletal points like myself, it is best to most likely take into account one other, extra ergonomic SteelSeries keyboard and even a split gaming keyboard.

Beneath the body itself, SteelSeries included a keycap puller. The wi-fi model separates the dongle and the keycap puller, so you will see it within the packaging as an alternative of beneath the keyboard. If you have to clear a key or swap keys for a set you like, I discovered that together with this device made it simple to finish these duties.

Additionally: The most effective ergonomic keyboards


Once I first began utilizing the Apex Mini, the one issue I seen was how clean urgent every key felt. My dad and mom had an electrical typewriter with these signature clicking keys after I was a child. Typing with this keyboard felt paying homage to my childhood – the press keys not solely jogged my memory of my playful typewriter days but in addition delivered a smoother, simpler typing expertise. 

For many who want extra resistance to their keys, the actuation could be adjusted utilizing the SteelSeries operate key plus the “I” or “O” on the keyboard. In checking the options, it takes two seconds to regulate a complete keyboard’s resistance capabilities. Once more, these with musculoskeletal points will possible take pleasure in that it comes programmed for the lighter .2mm actuation response; those that want the resistance will take pleasure in its simple adjustment.  

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini wired keyboard

The per-key RBG keys could be adjusted on the press of a button.

Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNet

Whereas writing, I shift round loads on the keyboard and use my management capabilities and arrow keys to hop round and edit as wanted. The downsized Apex Mini Professional altered the arrow keys in order that you have to use the SteelSeries key and the management button to make use of the arrow keys, now discreetly tucked beneath the “W-A-S-D” keys. 

Whereas it is sensible when downsizing to shift these keys to this location, as an everyday typist, this shift bothered me and hindered my typing. Nevertheless, this complete evaluate was written with this keyboard with this minor hindrance. When you get used to this variation, it turns into much less noticeable.

I examined the Apex Mini wired and wi-fi keyboards on two totally different video games: Loss of life Stranding and It Takes Two. Once I pressed the two.0 omnipoint switches, the important thing switches responded instantaneously. I did not have to fret about my gaming lagging or buffering as Sam scaled cliffs or when Might labored with Cody to defeat the Software Field. This real-life response time felt consistent with the 0.54ms response time SteelSeries promised with this keyboard. Once I examined the wi-fi possibility in opposition to these identical video games, I anxious that I would expertise cutouts or lagging because it connects by way of Bluetooth 5.0 or a 2.4GHz community with a dongle. I did not want to fret — the wi-fi possibility carried out as speedily and flawlessly as its wired sibling.

The keyboard additionally comes with dual-action programming, so I might reprogram keys to make Sam stroll if I half-pressed the “W” key, or run if I pushed all the way in which down in Loss of life Stranding. SteelSeries provides these choices via its signature SteelSeries GG Engine software program. If you have not used this software program already, you may must obtain it from the SteelSeries website.

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini wired keyboard

Add your individual keys with the important thing capper tucked beneath the wired model. The important thing capper does not retailer beneath the keyboard within the wi-fi model.

Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNet

Moreover, the keyboard can program as much as 5 totally different preferences for personalization so you possibly can program one keyboard operate for League of Legends whereas nonetheless retaining most popular settings for Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla. To swap between them entails urgent the SteelSeries operate key plus “Z.” I performed round with this characteristic and located it was largely purposeful for swapping between devoted keyboard sport settings and even totally different relations who could share the identical laptop. Just like the dual-action programming, you may want to regulate these settings within the GG Engine programming, and it is on this software program that you may alter configurations, actuation/twin actuation, and even meta bindings. 

Battery life

If you’re within the midst of a heavy sport, having a terrific battery life is crucial. The wi-fi model of this keyboard guarantees as much as 40 hours of battery life. With a purpose to see your battery life, you will want to obtain the SteelSeries GG software program from the corporate web site, the place you possibly can see on the primary dashboard how a lot battery life is left. I swapped between my work-authorized laptop computer and my MSI throughout testing, and since I did not have entry to SteelSeries GG on my work laptop computer, I couldn’t see how a lot battery life I had after a pair hours’ use.

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini wireless keyboard

Management the connection by way of a Bluetooth 5.0 or a 2.4GHz swap.

Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNet

The keyboard goes right into a sleep mode to protect extra battery life when it isn’t in use. This helped to increase the battery life. SteelSeries acknowledged that the wi-fi possibility will final for as much as 40 hours on a single cost. After one gaming session the place I used the keyboard for 2 hours, the wi-fi battery life went right down to 55% from 60%, so I used to be impressed by that. 

However the keyboard takes for much longer to cost than anticipated. Initially, I plugged the keyboard into my laptop computer by way of a USB-C to USB-A cable. The SteelSeries software program informed me that it was as much as 70% battery life after a 10-minute cost. Once I eliminated the keyboard from the charging cable, it nonetheless registered at 60%, which informed me that when charging the chances don’t precisely replicate how a lot life is left in case you’re in a pinch for battery life. I left it plugged in, and it took somewhat over an hour to cost. For longer use, you can also flip it off utilizing a swap positioned on the again of the keyboard — a terrific characteristic for these with cats that prefer to stroll throughout keyboards.


At $179.99, the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini wired is somewhat steep, particularly contemplating that the Apex Pro retails for $199.99 and comes with an accompanying removable magnetic wrist relaxation. If you happen to want the wi-fi possibility, it costs $239. I might have appreciated to have seen a magnetic wrist relaxation for avid gamers’ consolation added to this bundle, however SteelSeries did not add one. Hopefully, we’ll see one designed for the Mini launch quickly right here.

Backside line

The SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini wired and wi-fi gaming keyboards are a terrific device for those who desire a devoted small gaming keyboard. If you happen to’re a gamer that wishes customizability in your key switches, or aren’t positive what sort of key swap you need, this keyboard will assist you to modify and determine what resistance stage you like in your switches. It additionally capabilities nicely for those who require an area saving setup, corresponding to in an condominium, or those who don’t need a big clunky keyboard on their desk. Customers that desire a wi-fi keyboard will benefit from the wi-fi Apex Professional Mini wi-fi model, however those who want to not stress about how a lot battery life is left can be higher suited to the wired possibility. If this keyboard does not really feel prefer it’s one of the best match for you, make sure you take a look at our alternate options to contemplate under.

Options to contemplate

If you happen to’re not feeling the small dimension of the Apex Mini, go for its bigger sibling, the Apex Professional, which comes with the identical omnipresent switches in a conventional dimension keyboard. You additionally get a specialised OLED Good Show, the place you possibly can modify profiles and get real-time data throughout your gaming. For many who require a extra ergonomic setup, this keyboard gives a removable magnetic wrist relaxation.

Ergonomics and mechanical keyboards formally mix their powers on this break up TKL mechanical keyboard. You possibly can place your mouse within the center for a extra snug setup. The keyboard makes use of cherry switches, and you may modify quantity, surf pages, or extra on the customizable aluminum wheel.

One other small however mighty TKL mechanical keyboard, the wi-fi ASUS gives a helpful contact panel on the facet for fast key entry, controlling quantity and extra. You possibly can anticipate over 450 hours of battery life on a single cost.

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