SteelSeries Apex 7 Ghost gaming keyboard review: A ghost you'll definitely want to see

7 months ago 174
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(Pocket-lint) - The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL Ghost is simply a constricted variation plan variant of the company's tenkeyless keyboard, featuring improved looks and plentifulness of awesome features.

Straight retired of the container it's awesome enough, but erstwhile you plug it successful you get to spot the main gully - immoderate of the champion RGB lighting we've seen - it makes an already stunning keyboard adjacent much glorious.

There's a batch much to the Apex 7 TKL Ghost than conscionable looks though. Let america interruption down its highlights and insignificant misses arsenic we've experienced.

Sublime design

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame
  • Tenkeyless plan with other functions
  • Double Shot PBT PrismCaps

Straight retired of the box, it's instantly evident that the Apex 7 TKL is going to beryllium a pleaser. This is simply a wonderfully constructed keyboard with a bully coagulated physique quality, an aluminium frame, and galore plan highlights - that see everything from cablegram channelling to treble changeable pudding-style keycaps and overmuch more.

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Like the modular Apex 7 TKL, the Ghost has a dedicated show that you tin usage to amusement a assortment of things - including Discord notifications, CPU and GPU data, and each sorts of different things (all of which is programmable wrong SteelSeries GG).

On the acold close of the 'board there's besides a tiny small measurement instrumentality and multi-function media button; the second volition play euphony with a azygous press, skip with a double-tap, and rewind with a triple-tap. We honestly similar dedicated media keys, but this is inactive preferable to having them buried successful the relation keys arsenic a batch of different compact keyboards do. It's besides portion of the compromise of having that surface connected the apical right.

The worth and usefulness of that show is besides going to alteration depending connected however you beryllium and the space of your keyboard. If you similar to slouch past it's harder to spot arsenic it's hidden down the keycaps. If you beryllium upright past it's much visible. We're besides bittersweet that Spotify won't show connected the screen, but astatine slightest Tidal will. 

This keyboard besides has a soft-touch magnetic wrist remainder that pleasantly snaps into place, truthful it comes disconnected easy erstwhile you don't request it. It's not padded peculiarly heavily, yet is someway pleasant connected the wrists and brings immoderate casual alleviation erstwhile conscionable typing away. It has an off-white decorativeness and seems similar it should beryllium casual to hitch clean, though however good it holds up implicit clip remains to beryllium seen. 

One happening that mightiness permission users with mixed feelings is the cabling. In 2021 a batch of keyboard manufacturers are making boards with removable USB-C cables truthful you tin upgrade to your ain fancy customized cables and person immoderate state of prime there. The Apex 7 TKL Ghost by examination has a chunky beast of a cablegram - which is heavy due to the fact that it's 2 cables successful 1 truthful you tin person a passthrough larboard for plugging successful different peripherals. Luckily the cablegram routing strategy connected the underside means you tin marque it tally retired of the right, mediate oregon near of the keyboard, truthful it'll beryllium nicely with your setup, but it's inactive a large disfigured cable. 

Satisfying cardinal switches and comfy caps

  • 84-Key N-Key rollover
  • 100% anti-ghosting 
  • SteelSeries Red Linear mechanical switches
  • 2mm actuation, 4mm full travel, 45cN force, 50 cardinal click guarantee

The satisfying glow of the Apex 7 Ghost is partially down to the PrismCaps. These are treble changeable PBT keycaps with a pudding style. This means they are partially transparent and frankincense fto a batch much airy through. We've seen different PBT keycaps that effect successful immoderate dullness successful the cardinal lettering owed to the other thickness, but that isn't a occupation here. The lighting and lettering is frankly sublime. 

The added bonus is that the PBT plan means that the keycaps volition past longer and should assistance support that eye-pleasing achromatic decorativeness for a agelong clip to come. There's a bully curvature to the caps too, truthful they're casual connected the fingers and comfy erstwhile typing.

Underneath the keycaps are SteelSeries reddish linear switches. These are fundamentally variations connected the classical Cherry MX reddish switches, with akin specs. They're large for gaming on, not excessively loud, and accelerated to actuate astatine conscionable 2mm. Sadly, the Apex 7 Ghost doesn't person the aforesaid adjustable Omnipoint switches arsenic the Apex Pro TKL truthful you don't get that awesome enactment of being capable to set the actuation connected a key-by-key basis. 

One tiny lowlight is the stabilisers connected the bigger keys. The spacebar, for example, sounds a spot hollow and determination are tiny dependable differences betwixt the different stabilised keys (such arsenic the participate cardinal and ample close shift). That said, we've heard acold worse. It doesn't person immoderate nasty pings oregon rattles that we've heard elsewhere.

Oh-so-stunning RGB

  • Per-key illumination and reactive lighting

We've spoken a spot already astir the RGB lighting connected this keyboard and it's worthy dwelling connected further arsenic it's simply wonderful. The operation of the achromatic design, the pudding keycaps and the assorted lighting effects enactment perfectly together. 

Firstly, it's worthy mentioning that the lighting connected this keyboard is insanely bright. If thing it's excessively bright. That's nary atrocious happening though arsenic it's besides easy adjustable with the F11 and F12 buttons. There are a fig of satisfying lighting options that you tin power betwixt successful SteelSeries GG bundle too.

These see not lone antithetic colours and effects, but besides reactive options. Such arsenic wherever a keypress volition nonstop a changeable of lighting retired crossed circumstantial lines connected the keyboard oregon dispersed retired successful the signifier from the cardinal you've touched. 

From SteelSeries GG you tin besides usage various apps to conjure up different sorts of magical effects. Making the cardinal lighting respond to the audio you're listening to oregon turning a gif into an RGB visualisation. There's per-key illumination that's programmable too, truthful loads of options to play astir with. 

Even much successful the software

  • Extra furniture of actions with SteelSeries Meta Layer

The different astir absorbing diagnostic is hidden successful the bundle and not instantly obvious: download and install SteelSeries GG and you're treated to entree to each sorts of other mounting options. From present you tin customise the display, setup profiles that volition activate erstwhile you unfastened circumstantial games, reprogramme keys, grounds macros, and much besides. 

On 1 tab you'll find an enactment for Meta Bindings. This is simply a secondary furniture of buttons that you tin programme wrong the software. You tin past entree these by pressing-and-holding the SteelSeries fastener connected the right-hand broadside of the keyboard adjacent to CTRL.

This means that you nary longer request to interest astir the nonaccomplishment of keys owed to the TKL format and alternatively tin person entree to adjacent more, including macros. When you bash programme them, the colour volition besides alteration connected the keys truthful you tin spot astatine a glimpse which keys you've programmed connected the Meta Layer. Fantastic stuff. 

Verdict

The SteelSeries Apex 7 Ghost variation is simply a fantastic gaming keyboard successful our mind. Wonderfully designed, comfy to crippled on, staggeringly good-looking, and boasting highlights specified arsenic RGB lighting and dual-programmability of the keys via the Meta Bindings.

It's conscionable a shame the switches aren't optical oregon the awesome Omnipoint ones from the Apex Pro TKL. Still, you can't person it all. But this 'board is different astir arsenic adjacent to perfection arsenic tin be.

Also consider

Pocket-lint

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SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL

Not arsenic fancy looking successful our sentiment - but it does person the added bonus of intelligent cardinal switches with programmable actuation, truthful you tin acceptable the actuation of astir of the keys connected the keyboard individually.

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Pocket-lint

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Corsair K65 RGB Mini

A smaller and possibly not arsenic feature-rich 'board, but it's a existent looker. It's pleasing connected the fingers too, meaning we thoroughly enjoyed utilizing this one. 

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Writing by Adrian Willings. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 20 December 2021.

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