Right from very first look it’s easy to see SteelSeries’ new Apex gaming keyboard means business. It’s big, black and glowing with so many colors in practically demands your attention. And you’d be wise to comply, since the Apex is probably one of the fastest, and certainly most customizable, membrane keyboards in the market today.

The first thing you’ll notice, beside its massive frame, is the colors. The Apex has four different lighting zones, each with its own color so their easy to tell apart in the dark. Of course, all of these colors are customizable through the SteelSeries Engine – with up to 16.8 million different colors and eight levels of intensity, I bet you can find a combination that suits you. If you want, you can also change the lighting on the sides of the keyboard, to really give your desk that sci-fi look.

Now let’s talk keys. The Apex is a membrane keyboard, not a mechanical one; if that’s deal breaker for you, too bad, because the Apex is very responsive and offers great resistance while playing. Plus, it’s really quiet, so you can game away well into the night without waking the neighbors.

Like the rest of the keyboard, the spacebar is enormous; but despite its size it doesn’t feel clunky at all. In fact, your thumbs fit quite well on this gentle giant. Another welcome feature are the two small bumps of the W key, making it real easy to find the WASD zone and get right back into the action without taking your eyes off the screen. We also get two diagonal arrow keys, which we had no idea what to do with, and a large escape button, just in case. The only downside it the layout; for such a big keyboard, the keys are packed in real tight, making it too easy to press to wrong key by accident. But then again – it’s never an issue once you get used to it.

On top of the keyboard, and also on the left side, we have the macro keys – 22 in total. Each of these buttons has four layers of functionality so you basically get 88 of them (and of course, each layer has its own color scheme). We particularly like the top row of macros, mainly because of the way they are positioned. The top row is slightly elevated in a downwards angle. So with just a quick swipe of the finger you can press one, two, or three buttons in less than a second. Add to that the fact you use the SteelSeries Engine to program pretty much any key to do whatever you want whenever you want, and you get endless customization possibilities.

As with a lot of new keyboards, the Apex takes two USB ports, but gives them right back with its own two USB ports located in the back, which can be used for anything. We’ll also mention the anti-tangled cord and the swappable (not adjustable) rubber feet.

The Apex gaming keyboard lets you custom-make your own dream keyboard. From the lighting to the colors to the functionality – you can make this keyboard your own personalized command center that works just the way you want it to. About the only thing you can’t change is the wrist rest, which comes built-in (and is, admittedly, not very comfortable).

The only real flaw we found with his keyboard is that it isn’t mechanical, and that’s not even that much a flaw for most gamers. With a $100 price tag, you get a lot bells and whistles attached to a great piece of hardware that’s worth every penny.

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