SteelSeries launches new Apex 9 mechanical keyboards with lightning-fast optical switches

SteelSeries Apex 9
(Image credit: SteelSeries)

What you need to know

  • SteelSeries launched two new mechanical keyboards for gamers who also find themselves using their keyboard for typing words.
  • The new Apex 9 and Apex 9 TKL are available with SteelSeries OptiPoint optical switches.
  • Both keyboards are available now with the Apex 9 TKL and Apex 9 Mini costing $139.99 and $129.99, respectively.

SteelSeries announced the launch of its new Apex 9 range of mechanical keyboards. Available in ten-key-less (TKL) and mini variants, the new Apex 9 keyboards sport the company's latest OptiPoint optical switches for lighting-fast actuations and customizable performance. Taking cues from the growing modding scene, the hot-swappable switches actuate 33% faster than other optical keyboards.

A response time of just 0.2ms is present with zero debounce and two-point actuation adjustment. Using the SteelSeries GG, the brand's software ecosystem, it's possible to customize just about everything with the Apex 9 TKL and Apex 9 Mini. Options include the choice between a performance-driven 1mm actuation point or a deeper and more deliberate 1.5mm on a per-key basis. 

Physically, SteelSeries offers linear, tactile, and clicky switches that can be swapped in to provide a different feel. Interestingly, SteelSeries is targetting the competitive gaming scene with the Apex 9 in that there's no full-size version with a keypad. The Apex 9 TKL kicks off the family with better overall ergonomics for gaming and a premium aluminum top plate.

The Apex 9 Mini shrinks things down further,  compacting everything required for gaming into a tighter 60% form factor. If you're a little tight on desk space, such a keyboard could provide additional surface area for the mouse. Regardless of which Apex 9 you choose to buy for your setup, you'll be able to enjoy SteelSeries' latest optical switches.

It's good to see SteelSeries joining ranks with faster optical switches found in the best gaming keyboards. The Apex 9 TKL and Apex 9 Mini are available for $139.99 and $129.99, respectively. You can purchase one through SteelSeries directly or a partner retailer.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.