I'm going to start with some serious honesty here. I have gotten used to mechanical keyboards, and now I really don't like using rubber dome keyboards all that much. I usually go through a couple weeks of testing in games, keeping up with IMs and such, maybe even some random Facebook'ing here and there, but I don't do all that much writing on them, maybe just a review or two, but I definitely use them when I write the review for each keyboard. What I am finding with the APEX [RAW] is that when done right, the keys don't have to feel like mud, and the keyboard as a whole doesn't have to be some super flexible piece of crap that a lot of companies offer these days. What I am finding very strange is that I have both the Logitech G710+ here as well as my Cherry MX Green based Cooler Master, but I am finding myself not wanting to set the APEX [RAW] to the side just yet.
There really wasn't anything about the keyboard that I didn't like. I was able to game very well on it, I am more than happy writing on it, and I don't seem to mind the low-profile nature of the keycaps either. I thought that the lack of curve on the top of the key caps, and the fact that I thought they would feel gross when depressed, but it wasn't the case. During gaming where I was mashing multiple keys as I was trying to use the arrows to move around along with the usual suspects like reloading and swapping spells, the keyboard didn't miss a stroke. The Logitech illumination with the G710+ is much brighter, but I find that the lighting level offered in the APEX is more than sufficient. The software did take me a few tries before I had everything down with the programming, but even there, allowing every key on the keyboard to be remapped is awesome, most keyboards you need to go find third party software for that sort of programming.
I know I never had the original APEX, but to be blunt, $100 is way too much for a rubber switch keyboard. I mean honestly, for $20 more you can get into some really nice mechanical keyboards. That is what I like most about the APEX [RAW]. SteelSeries cut out the fat, and definitely brought a leaner and meaner contender to take your money. It left plenty of options for setting the keyboard to your exact requirements of it, and it can hold 34 Macros at one time along with as many in storage as you need, if you are a Macro maniac.
Considering you get a really nice keyboard with the APEX [RAW], the $69.99 it is going to set you back, is in my opinion so worth the asking price. Coming from a guy who is seriously pro-mechanical when it comes to keyboards, the fact that the SteelSeries APEX [RAW] is still on my desk after two weeks of use says a lot right there.