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SteelSeries APEX [RAW] Gaming Keyboard Review

By: Chad Sebring | Keyboards in Peripherals | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 5:56 am
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: SteelSeries

Inside the APEX [RAW]




Removing what must have been about a dozen and a half screws, I was able to pry apart the top and bottom half, as there still were clips to keep it in one piece. This allowed me to remove the switches and key caps so that you can see the white plastic sheet that lights up the keys with the traces for the magnets in the switches lying on top of it.




If I remember correctly there are seven PCBs like these along the back edge. Some hold a pair of LEDs while the ones at the ends contain a single light. They are all powered with individual clips and will come out easily if you had ideas of modding the color of the LEDs.




Here we have the 8-bit, 48MHz, MC9S08JM16 USB2.0 microcontroller. Along with doing the task of controlling the key inputs and delivering them to the PC, it also includes flash memory to keep those Macros handy.




The key caps are actually locked into the top plate, so if you accidentally turn this over, you aren't going to have to reset all of the keys. You can also see the thin membrane that contains the magnets to make contact with the traces we saw on the other side.




With the photo lighting it is really tough to tell, but these keys are all illuminated now. I also made sure to include the majority of the W key so you can now see both bumps on it and it makes it easy to feel your way back to it when you are in the heat of the moment and don't have the time to look for it.




Stepping back to take it all in, the APEX [RAW] is now illuminated to the brightest of the eight selections. While it isn't overly bright in any way, with white LEDs, it doesn't seem to take as much to see them in the dark, as say blue or red.

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