Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.
184
Keyboards store-bought and tested, supported by you via insider access, and when you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Driven by data, run by a passionate team of engineers, testers, technical writers, developers, and more. We are hiring!

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Aug 17, 2022 at 10:40 am
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Picture
9.2
Gaming
5.0
Mobile/Tablet
7.6
Office
7.9
Programming
5.1
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wired
Size
Compact (60%)
Mechanical
Yes

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is the compact (60%) version of the popular SteelSeries Apex Pro. Like the original, it has an adjustable pre-travel distance feature, meaning you can customize the sensitivity of your keypresses on a per-key basis. However, this newer, compact version features updated OmniPoint 2.0 switches, the range in which you can adjust the pre-travel is longer, and you can now program up to two inputs to a single keypress.

Our Verdict

9.2 Gaming

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is an outstanding gaming keyboard. It feels well-built and offers a satisfying gaming experience. This unit uses SteelSeries' proprietary OmniPoint 2.0 switches, which allow you to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis within a pretty long range, so you can get your sensitivity settings right where you want them. There's also a feature that allows you to program up to two inputs per keypress. You can make all of these changes, as well as standard macro programming and backlighting customization, using the companion software, which is available for both Windows and macOS. Unfortunately, the ergonomics of this keyboard are only okay as it has a high profile and doesn't include a wrist rest.

Pros
  • Adjustable pre-travel distance feature.
  • Exceptionally low latency.
  • Feels very well built.
  • Companion software available for both Windows and macOS.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
5.0 Mobile/Tablet

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is a wired-only keyboard with a USB-A to USB-C cable, so it's not suitable for use with most mobile devices.

7.6 Office

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is a good keyboard for office use. It feels well-built, and it offers a satisfying typing experience. Although the typing noise isn't as quiet as most dedicated office keyboards, it's quiet enough that you likely won't disturb your coworkers in an open office environment. Also, the keyboard and its customization software is fully compatible with both Windows and macOS, meaning you can alter your settings no matter your operating system. Unfortunately, its ergonomics are only okay as this is a straight keyboard with a high profile and doesn't include a wrist rest.

Pros
  • Adjustable pre-travel distance feature.
  • Feels very well built.
  • Companion software available for both Windows and macOS.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
7.9 Programming

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is a very good keyboard for programming. It has a solid build quality and feels satisfying to type on. The companion software is available for both Windows and macOS and lets you perform several adjustments, like programming macros, customizing the RGB backlighting and, most impressively, adjusting the sensitivity of your keypresses. Unfortunately, as it's a wired-only unit, it's not recommended for use in multi-device setups, as you can only use it with one device at once. Also, its ergonomics are only okay as it has a high profile and doesn't include a wrist rest.

Pros
  • Adjustable pre-travel distance feature.
  • Feels very well built.
  • Companion software available for both Windows and macOS.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
5.1 Entertainment / HTPC

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is a poor keyboard for a home theater PC setup. Since it's wired-only, you'll have to run the cable from the keyboard to the PC, which could be a tripping hazard or just inconvenient if your PC is more than two meters away from your couch. This keyboard also lacks any trackpad for on-screen navigation. On the bright side, the RGB backlighting illuminates the key legends and makes them easy to read in the dark, and its media keys are easily accessible hotkeys.

Pros
  • Adjustable pre-travel distance feature.
  • Feels very well built.
  • Companion software available for both Windows and macOS.
Cons
  • No trackpad for on-screen navigation.
  • Wired-only.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
  • 9.2 Gaming
  • 5.0 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.6 Office
  • 7.9 Programming
  • 5.1 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Aug 17, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Aug 10, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.6" (4.0 cm)
Width 11.5" (29.3 cm)
Depth
4.0" (10.2 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.33 lbs (0.604 kg)

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is the compact version of the SteelSeries Apex Pro. This smaller version allows for more room on your desk for mouse movements, but it may take some getting used to if you're more familiar with full-size boards. It's also important to note that the weight difference between this keyboard and its wireless counterpart, the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is due to the weight of the cable on the wired version.

8.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material PBT

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini has an excellent build quality. The chassis is stiff plastic, while the top plate is fully aluminum, so the unit feels sturdy. The keycaps are double-shot PBT with a rough texture that feels nice on the fingertips and adds a bit of grip. The stabilizers do a good job of keeping the keys stable, but there is a bit of wiggle that's only noticeable when the keys aren't pressed down. Underneath the board, the four rubber feet do a good job keeping the board in place. This version has a compartment in the bottom that stores a keycap puller, while the wireless version lacks this compartment.

6.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
4.5°
Medium Incline
Maximum Incline
11°
Wrist Rest No

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini has okay ergonomics. It's a straight board with a high profile and two incline settings. Unlike the original SteelSeries Apex Pro, this model doesn't include a wrist rest, which would increase the overall comfort during use. As it's a compact board, the smaller size could take some getting used to, but the keys aren't too cramped.

9.6
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
RGB
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Poor
Effects
Yes
Programmable
Yes

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys. You can customize the backlighting with different colors or effects using the companion software. While the key legends are shine-through and easy to read in the dark, the hotkey legends are printed on the front, so they're a little bit harder to read. Also, the color mixing is on the poor side, as the whites show up with a strong blue tint that isn't caused by any interference from the switch or keycap.

Design
Cable & Connector
Detachable
Yes (Wired Only Keyboard)
Length 7.3 ft (2.2 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini comes with a detachable braided USB-A to USB-C cable. The cable feels nice, but it retains kinks from the packaging.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is a wired-only keyboard.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps Lock

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini has a few extra features. The most notable is the adjustable pre-travel distance feature, which allows you to set the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis within a range of 0.2mm-3.8mm. You can also program dual inputs on a single keypress, meaning you can walk forward in-game with a light keypress but press the same key deeper to sprint. Additionally, every key is macro-programmable, either using the companion software or directly onboard. As a difference from the wireless version, this keyboard has a compartment on the bottom to store the included keycap puller.

Design
In The Box

  • SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Keycap puller
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
OmniPoint 2.0
Feel
Linear
Operating Force
40 gf
Actuation Force
41 gf
Pre-Travel
2.2 mm
Total Travel
4.2 mm

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini uses proprietary SteelSeries OmniPoint 2.0 switches. These switches differ from traditional mechanical switches because they use magnetic Hall Effect sensors to register keypress. Due to this technology, you can adjust the pre-travel distance of each key within a range of 0.2mm to 3.8mm for control over the sensitivity of your keypresses. Out of the box, the default setting is 1.8mm, and the above results use this default setting.

As you'll notice from the results above, there's a slight discrepancy between the actual recorded measurement and the measurement set in the software. However, this inaccuracy is consistent, so no matter what distance you set in the software, you likely won't notice the difference as it's very marginal.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini's typing experience is very good. The PBT keycaps have a rough texture that feels nice and adds a bit of grip. There's a slight wobble to the keys, but it isn't noticeable during use. Overall, the keyboard takes some getting used to at first due to the keyboard's compact design. Since all of the function keys, navigational keys, and media keys are hotkeys rather than dedicated keys, you'll have to play around and memorize their locations, especially if you're coming from a full-size keyboard.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is a moderately quiet keyboard. The OmniPoint 2.0 switches have a linear feel and don't make a clicking noise, but due to their light actuation force, you're prone to bottoming out the key, which makes typing louder.

10
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
1.9 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini has outstanding latency, so even the most competitive gamers won't notice a delay.

Software and Operating System
10
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name SteelSeries GG
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
Yes
Macro Programming
Software and Onboard
Ease Of Use
Easy
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini uses SteelSeries GG software for customization. This software is simple and allows you to rebind keys, program macros, and customize the RGB lighting. Most notably, you can adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis and set up to two actions per keypress. It's also important to mention that you can program macros directly on board without the software. The instructions for how to do this are found in the user manual.

8.2
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Full
Linux Full
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is fully compatible with both Windows and macOS. Every key works as intended on Linux, but there's no software for customization.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is the wired version of the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless. There is very little difference between these two units except that the wired-only version has a storage compartment on the bottom of the board to store a keycap puller. While it only comes in a black colorway, there are many different language layouts available. We bought and tested the US English variant. You can see the label of our unit here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is the compact (60%) version of the SteelSeries Apex Pro. The compact layout means you have more room on your desk for dynamic mouse movements while gaming, and it also means this keyboard is much more portable than the full-size version. However, due to the change in size, you lose a lot of the extra hardware features that were a staple on the original, like the programmable OLED screen, volume wheel, dedicated media keys, and USB passthrough. As an upgrade over the original, this smaller version uses OmniPoint 2.0 switches, which have a longer range in which you can adjust the pre-travel distance. These switches also allow you to program up to two inputs per keypress, similar to the multi-input features found on the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog and the Wooting two HE.

If you're interested in other options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best RGB keyboards, and the best mechanical keyboards

Razer Huntsman Mini

The Razer Huntsman Mini and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini are compact gaming keyboards, but the SteelSeries has a unique feature that allows you to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis. Other than this feature, the two keyboards both have a similarly premium build quality and exceptionally low latency. The Razer is an older unit that's easier to find at a lower price, so unless you want the adjustable pre-travel feature on the SteelSeries, the Razer may be a better option.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is the compact (60%) version of the original SteelSeries Apex Pro. This compact version has upgraded OmniPoint 2.0 switches that have a longer pre-travel distance range, and they allow you to program up to two inputs per keypress. However, due to the decrease in size, many hardware features found on the original are missing like the programmable OLED screen and dedicated media keys.

Corsair K65 RGB MINI

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini are both compact gaming keyboards, but the SteelSeries has a feature that allows you to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis, meaning you can set the sensitivity of your keypresses to where it feels best for you. On the other hand, the Corsair has a maximum polling rate of 8000Hz for incredibly low latency.

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is the wired-only version of the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless. Other than the connectivity options, the only major difference between the two keyboards is that the wired-only version has a storage compartment on the bottom to hold the included keycap puller.

HyperX Alloy Origins 60

The HyperX Alloy Origins 60 and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini are both compact gaming keyboards, but the SteelSeries has a unique feature that allows you to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis. On the other hand, the HyperX has an excellent build quality, and it's more straightforward than the SteelSeries as it's an out-of-the-box unit with minimal customization options.

Razer Huntsman Mini Analog

The Razer Huntsman Mini Analog and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini are both compact (60%) gaming keyboards with an adjustable pre-travel distance feature. The major difference between the two boards is in the technology that they each use. The SteelSeries uses magnetized switches that are more consistent and accurate than the Optical switches found on the Razer. However, the Razer has an "Analog Mode," which emulates joystick controls using your keyboard.

Razer Huntsman V2 Analog

The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini are both gaming keyboards with an adjustable pre-travel distance. The Razer is a full-size wired unit that uses Optical switches, while the SteelSeries is a compact (60%) keyboard with magnetized Hall Effect switches. The SteelSeries is more consistent with their implementation of this adjustable pre-travel distance feature, but the Razer has an Analog Mode, so keypresses emulate joystick controls on a gamepad.

+ Show more

Discussions