SteelSeries removed all the bells and whistles from the regular Apex keyboard and released a [RAW] version of the peripheral – without the spare USB ports, cloth-wrapped cable, and selective illumination by zone, among other things. However, it kept the basics: 17 macro keys (that can store 34 macros), the excellent configuration software, and the stylish angled design. Let’s describe it first and then see how this “less sophisticated” Apex fared.

Apex RawFigure 1: Apex [RAW] keyboard

The Apex [RAW] is a big membrane keyboard, with rugged dull black borders and a smooth glossy black interior that houses 125 rubber switches. The wrist rest is integrated to the angled body. A white frieze runs through the front and ends up on both laterals in an elegant detail that gives a cybernetic touch to the keyboard.

Apex RawFigure 2: Lateral detail

The keys are slightly separated, and some have a very different shape. The space bar is more a block than a bar per se; and there are two extra arrow keys that point up to each diagonal, right and left.

Apex RawFigure 3: Space bar

Apex RawFigure 4: Arrow keys

A self-assumed gadget-freak and an avid gamer, André Gordirro has written about pop culture, Internet and technology for the past ten years. He works for SET Magazine, Brazil's biggest movie magazine, and usually contributes to its technology section writing about consumer products. His body lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – although his mind is said to inhabit cyberspace.