Published on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 19:54
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There's a somewhat fierce fight taking place in the market nowadays between consumers who strongly support the typical membrane key technology used in the majority of keyboards and the ones who prefer the more durable mechanical keys used in a much lower degree. The only problem with this is that some manufacturers actually invest many resources to further improve membrane key technology and we've already seen such solutions one of which is the very good APEX Gaming Keyboard recently released by SteelSeries. The only downside however when you make a feature-rich gaming keyboard regardless of the type of keys used is its price tag and the APEX is really not the most affordable choice especially for a keyboard that uses membrane keys and thus is considered less "durable" by many people. Well SteelSeries has been around for a long time and they know first-hand that in order to cover most consumers they need to have variety and the cut-down version of the APEX named the APEX [RAW] Gaming Keyboard should tempt consumers on a tight budget a lot more than its brother.
From day one, SteelSeries has been focused on making professional gaming gear that provide meaningful benefits to gamers of all skill-level, with the most demanding being those gamers whose lively hood depends on the performance of our products. We believe, as most gamers do, in winning, not trying! What originally began as a small two-person operation in Copenhagen back in 2001 has become a global leader in professional gaming products. SteelSeries recognized the need for superior, high-quality professional gaming gear that would give players a competitive edge. Fast-forward to today, and we've come a long way since our first glass mousepad. We have global offices in North America, Europe, and Asia, providing an integrated portfolio of products designed specifically for gaming. Fueling our growth is you, the gamer!
Unlike the 6Gv2 and the 7G Mechanical Keyboards launched by SteelSeries a few years back the APEX and the APEX [RAW] are nearly identical in design so with both placed right next to each other it may be hard for some people to tell which is which (there are only two differences when the illumination is not on). They also share the same rubber dome keys which according to SteelSeries have a lifespan of up to 5 million keystrokes, the same anti-ghosting feature (6 simultaneous keypresses from the 20 keys that support them), same low profile keys and finally the same adjustable height. However that's just about it and so the [RAW] version only has white key illumination with a total of 8 levels (compared to the 16.7m colors of the APEX), no active illumination zones (the APEX has 5), 17 macro keys in 2 macro layers (vs 22 macro keys in 4 layers of the APEX), shared media keys (while the APEX has dedicated ones) and finally no USB connectors (the APEX has 2). Of course the good thing is that these differences are not massive and most people will probably never use the full potential of the APEX so the [RAW] actually sounds like a good alternative for casual gamers.