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SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Aug 12, 2022 at 10:13 am
Latest change: Test bench update Nov 29, 2023 at 09:32 am
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless Picture
8.6
Gaming
7.8
Office
8.6
Mobile/Tablet
8.1
Programming
6.4
Entertainment / HTPC
8.5
Raw Performance

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is the compact, wireless version of the popular SteelSeries Apex Pro. Like the original, this keyboard maintains the ability to adjust the actuation point of each key. However, this version takes this technology a step further and allows you to program two inputs to one keypress: one that activates at a light press of the key and one that activates when you've pressed the same key further.

Our Verdict

8.6 Gaming

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is an excellent keyboard for gaming. The standout feature is its adjustable pre-travel distance, which you can set on a per-key basis within a wide range. Otherwise, this is a well-built unit with extremely low latency that's suited to any gaming genre. It also has easy-to-use companion software, meaning you can program macros or dual gaming inputs to any key. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a wrist rest, which would improve the overall comfort.

Pros
  • Feel very well-built.
  • Adjustable pre-travel distance.
  • Extremely low latency.
Cons
  • Battery life is fairly short.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
7.8 Office

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is a good keyboard for office use. It offers a nice typing experience that's fairly quiet, so you can use the keyboard in open office environments without distracting your colleagues. Overall, it feels very well-built, and it has companion software that's available on both Windows and macOS, so you can adjust your settings to best fit your workflow. It has acceptable ergonomics, but it has a high profile, a compact size, and lacks a wrist rest. Also, its battery life is pretty short in comparison to many wireless keyboards.

Pros
  • Feel very well-built.
  • Connects wirelessly with USB receiver or Bluetooth.
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Battery life is fairly short.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
8.6 Mobile/Tablet

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is an excellent keyboard for mobile devices or tablets. The compact size is more portable than standard full-size units, though it's still heavy. Every key works as intended on any operating system, except for a few function keys. Also, its companion software is only compatible with Windows and macOS systems, but it has onboard memory to store your settings and bring them across devices. Unfortunately, its battery life isn't as long as many other wireless options.

Pros
  • Feel very well-built.
  • Connects wirelessly with USB receiver or Bluetooth.
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Battery life is fairly short.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
8.1 Programming

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is a great keyboard for programming. It offers a nice typing experience packaged in a solid unit with full RGB backlighting. You can also use it wirelessly with its USB receiver or connect it with up to three devices using Bluetooth. Its companion software is fully compatible with both Windows and macOS, and you can use it to program macros to any key or alter your settings to improve your workflow. It has acceptable ergonomics, but it has a high profile, a compact size, and lacks a wrist rest.

Pros
  • Feel very well-built.
  • Connects wirelessly with USB receiver or Bluetooth.
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Battery life is fairly short.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
6.4 Entertainment / HTPC

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is a decent keyboard to use in home theater PC setups. Although it lacks a trackpad for on-screen navigation, it does have great wireless connectivity options, so you won't have to worry about running a cable through your living room. You can access the media keys through hotkeys, and it has full RGB backlighting, so the legends are visible in the dark. On the downside, its battery life is fairly short compared to many other wireless options.

Pros
  • Feel very well-built.
  • Connects wirelessly with USB receiver or Bluetooth.
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Battery life is fairly short.
  • No trackpad or knob for easy on-screen navigation.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
8.5 Raw Performance

Pros
  • Feel very well-built.
Cons
  • Battery life is fairly short.
  • No included wrist rest for better ergonomic support.
  • 8.6 Gaming
  • 7.8 Office
  • 8.6 Mobile/Tablet
  • 8.1 Programming
  • 6.4 Entertainment / HTPC
  • 8.5 Raw Performance
  1. Updated Nov 29, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Updated Nov 21, 2023: We've added details concerning latency performance difference with the Rapid Trigger feature enabled or disabled in the Single Key Latency and Multi-Key Latency sections of this review.
  3. Updated Oct 27, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.3, which overhauls how key input is evaluated. We've added new tests for Single Key Latency, Multi Key Latency, Data Transmission, and Chord Split. We've also introduced a new Raw Performance usage and adjusted how the Gaming and Office usage scores are calculated. You can see the full changelog here.
  4. Updated Jun 12, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.2. This update introduces new Backlight Features and Backlight Clarity test boxes. We've also added a new Switches test box, added additional test comparisons to our Hardware Customizability test box that we introduced with our last Test Bench. For an in-depth look at our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  5. Updated Mar 22, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.1. This update adds several new tests addressing Hardware Customization, Macro Keys And Programming, and Wireless Mobile Compatibility. We've also added new objective evaluations to the Typing Noise test, and we've simplified several tests and removed several others that were no longer relevant. For an in-depth look at all our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  6. Updated Aug 18, 2022: Added a comparison to the newly reviewed SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini.
  7. Updated Aug 18, 2022: Changed Software Compatibility to include Linux and Android as fully compatible. Scores and relevant text has been updated to reflect this change.
  8. Updated Aug 12, 2022: Review published.
  9. Updated Aug 04, 2022: Early access published.
  10. Updated Jul 15, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  11. Updated Jul 12, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  12. Updated Jul 01, 2022: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

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Black Apex Pro Mini Wireless
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is the wireless version of the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini. While it only comes in one colorway, black, there are many different language layouts available. We bought and tested the US English variant, and you can see the label here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is the compact, wireless version of the SteelSeries Apex Pro. The smaller size opens up more room on your desk for mouse movements while gaming, and it's also a lot more portable than the original Apex Pro. However, this change in size means you lose a lot of the hardware features found on the original, like the programmable OLED screen and dedicated media keys. These newer compact versions also feature upgraded OmniPoint 2.0 switches, which have a longer range in which you can adjust the pre-travel distance. While it's a solid gaming unit, the battery life isn't as long as other wireless options like the ASUS ROG Falchion

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

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini

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.

Razer Huntsman Mini

The Razer Huntsman Mini and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless are high-performing, compact gaming keyboards. Their latency and performance are pretty on par, but the major difference is that the SteelSeries has an adjustable pre-travel distance feature and wireless connectivity options, while the Razer is wired-only and lacks that level of customization.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is the compact, wireless version of the original SteelSeries Apex Pro. Due to the smaller size of the Mini Wireless, it lacks the hardware features, like the programmable OLED screen, volume knob, and dedicated media keys found on the original. However, the Mini Wireless version features upgraded OmniPoint switches, which allow you to adjust the pre-travel distance within a longer range.

Razer Huntsman Mini Analog

The Razer Huntsman Mini Analog and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless are both compact gaming keyboards with adjustable pre-travel distances. However, the SteelSeries implements this feature much more consistently and accurately. On the other hand, the Razer has an "Analog Mode," which means the keypresses can emulate joystick controls on a gamepad.

ASUS ROG Falchion

The ASUS ROG Falchion and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless are both compact, wireless gaming keyboards with a few notable differences. The SteelSeries uses specialized switches that allow you to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis, meaning you can control the sensitivity of your keypresses. On the other hand, the ASUS is a slightly larger model, so it has dedicated arrow keys tucked into the right-hand side of the board. While the ASUS is also wireless, it doesn't support Bluetooth connections, while the SteelSeries does.

Corsair K65 RGB MINI

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless are compact (60%) gaming keyboards with some major differences. The Corsair is a wired-only unit that only comes with linear Cherry MX Speed switches, which have a short pre-travel and light actuation force that's great for gaming. The SteelSeries is a wireless model that only comes with SteelSeries' proprietary OmniPoint 2.0 switches, which allow you to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis, so you have complete control over the sensitivity of your keypresses.

Wooting two HE

The Wooting two HE and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless are both high-performing gaming keyboards with an adjustable pre-travel distance feature. The major difference is that the SteelSeries is a compact, wireless board that lacks many of the software features that the Wooting has. The Wooting, on the other hand, is a wired-only, full-size keyboard. Using its companion software, you can adjust the pre-travel distance within a longer range than the SteelSeries, and you can enable an "Analog Mode" so the keypresses emulate joystick controls. The Wooting also offers many different multi-input features that are great for fast-paced games.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Compact (60%)
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
1.20 lbs (0.544 kg)

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless 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.

8.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material PBT

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless has an excellent build quality. The chassis is hard plastic, while the top plate is solid aluminum, so the unit feels sturdy. The keys feel mostly stable, though there's a bit of wobble when the keys aren't being pressed. However, upon pressing down a key, the wobble goes away and isn't noticeable. The keycaps themselves are made of doubleshot PBT with a rough texture that feels nice on the fingertips. Underneath, the four rubber feet do a pretty good job keeping the board in place.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
4.5°
Medium Incline
Maximum Incline
11°
Home Row Height
34.3 mm (1.4")

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless has okay ergonomics. It's a straight board with 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 this keyboard also has a high profile. Also, since it's a compact board, the smaller size might take some getting used to at first, but the keys don't feel too cramped to type on.

6.0
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
Yes
Stabilizer Fixation
Plate-Mounted
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
6.25u
Size Of Right Mod Keys
1.25u
Hot-Swappable Switches
No
Switch Stem Shape
Cherry MX Style
Switch PCB Socket
Soldered
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
Yes
10
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
Yes
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
Yes
Software Controllable
Yes

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless has full RGB backlighting with individually lit keys. You can use the companion software to customize the lighting colors and effects on a per-key basis.

8.0
Design
Backlight Clarity

While the key legends are shine-through and easy to read in the dark, the secondary legends are a little harder to see. Also, the the white-only lighting has a noticeable blue tint.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wireless
Detachable
Yes (Wired Mode and Charge)
Length 7.3 ft (2.2 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless comes with a detachable braided cable. It's fairly long, but it retains kinks from the packaging.

10
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
3
Proprietary Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
Rechargeable

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless comes with a USB-C wireless receiver, so you'll need to make sure your computer has a USB-C port to use it. SteelSeries also advertises a battery life of 30 hours with the receiver or 40 hours with Bluetooth. There's also a wired-only version of this keyboard called the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini.

5.5
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 0
Onboard Macro Programming
Yes
Macro Programming With Software
Yes
Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Non-Dedicated
Trackpad / Trackball No
Scroll Wheel
No
Control Knob
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps Lock

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless has a few extra features. Notably, you can adjust the pre-travel distance of every key on a per-key basis within a range of 0.2mm-3.8mm. You can also program dual inputs for a keypress. For example, you can walk forward in-game with a light keypress, but push that same key deeper to sprint. In addition to these specialized dual inputs, you can program full macros to any of the keys either directly onboard or using the companion software. However, all functions and media keys are hotkeys throughout the board, so you might have to do a bit of playing around to memorize the layout.

Design
In The Box

  • SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless
  • USB-A to USB-C
  • USB-C wireless dongle
  • Wireless extension adapter
  • Keycap puller
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality
Key Spacing
19.0 mm (0.748")

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless offers a very good typing experience. The PBT keycaps have a rough texture that feels nice on the fingertips while providing extra grip. Though there's a bit of wobble to the keys, they feel stable during the keypress, so it isn't noticeable or distracting. Overall, the typing experience will take some getting used to at first as this is a compact board where many buttons found on larger boards, like arrow keys, are instead found as hotkeys. Since all of the functions keys are hotkeys, it'll take a bit of playing around with to memorize the locations of these hotkeys. Also, without a wrist rest, you're prone to a bit of wrist fatigue during use.

6.9
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
55.3 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is a moderately quiet keyboard. The OmniPoint switches have a linear feel to them and don't make a clicking noise, but due to the light force needed to actuate the key, you're more prone to bottoming the keys out, which makes using the keyboard louder.

Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
OmniPoint 2.0
Switch Type
Hall-effect
Feel
Linear
Analog
Yes

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless uses SteelSeries' proprietary OmniPoint 2.0 switches. These switches are similar to the ones found in the Wooting two HE, as they use Hall Effect sensors to register keypresses rather than lasers (found in Optical switches, like those in the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog) or metal contact points (traditional mechanical switches). With these specialized switches, you can adjust the pre-travel distance of each key within a range of 0.2mm to 3.8mm.

Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
41 gf
Actuation Force
42 gf
Pre-Travel
2.2 mm
Total Travel
4.2 mm

This keyboard was tested with the switch pre-travel distance set to 1.8mm, which is the default setting out of the box. It's important to note that during testing with this adjustable pre-travel distance, the actual recorded measurement was about 0.3mm longer than the measurement set in the software. However, this inaccuracy is consistent no matter what you set the distance to in the software, so you likely won't notice the difference since it's very marginal.

Performance
9.0
Performance
Single-Key Latency
Best Connection
4.0 ms
Best Connection Std Dev ±0.4 ms
Wired
4.0 ms
Receiver
5.7 ms
Bluetooth
13.8 ms
PCB (Estimated)
N/A

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless delivers outstanding single-key latency performance. The above results are with the Rapid Trigger setting disabled.

With Rapid Trigger enabled and set to its lowest (most sensitive) setting of 0.1mm, the Wired latency results are slightly higher at 4.9ms, but the Receiver latency results are the same.

8.4
Performance
Multi-Key Latency
Connection Evaluated Receiver
Key Press
5.1 ms
Key Release
15.1 ms

This keyboard offers impressive multi-key latency performance. The above results are with the Rapid Trigger setting disabled.

With the Rapid Trigger setting enabled and set to its lowest (most sensitive) setting of 0.1mm, the Key Press result is marginally worse at 5.6 ms, but the Key Release result is significantly better at 7.6 ms, making it a great setting to use if you play games requiring quick repeated inputs.

8.7
Performance
Data Transmission
Connection Evaluated Receiver
USB Polling Rate
1,000 Hz
Effective Update Rate
1,000 Hz
N-Key Rollover (NKRO)
Yes
Multiple Keys Per USB Report
Yes
7.7
Performance
Chord Split
4 Chord Split Delay
6.4 ms
8 Chord Split Delay
10.2 ms
Software and Operating System
Software and Operating System
Configuration Software
Software Name SteelSeries GG
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes
Onboard Memory
Yes
Profiles
6+

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless uses SteelSeries GG for customization. This software is easy to use, and it lets you rebind keys, customize the RGB backlighting, and, importantly, adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis. You can also use the software to set up to two actions per keypress or program macros. Though it's important to note, you can also program macros directly onboard using the instructions in the user manual.

10
Software and Operating System
Computer Compatibility
Windows
Fully Compatible
macOS
Fully Compatible
Linux (Ubuntu 22)
Fully Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Windows, MacOS & Linux

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is fully compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android systems. However, the customization software is only available for Windows and macOS.

10
Software and Operating System
Wireless Mobile Compatibility
Android
Fully Compatible
iOS
Fully Compatible
iPadOS
Fully Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Android, iPhone & iPad

On iPadOS and iOS, all keys work except for the Print and Insert hotkeys. Likewise, there's no software support for these systems.