SteelSeries Unveils New Line-Up Additions


SteelSeries has announced two additions to its peripherals line-up at CES 2014, and they are both set to make their debuts this year.

Review: World of Warcraft Wireless MMO Mouse

I’ve always been a little sceptical of wireless mice. Back in the early days of World of Warcraft I was raiding a boss in Molten Core, when suddenly the batteries died. Without a spare pair of AAs to hand, my evening’s onslaught toward Ragnaros was crippled. At that moment, I swore never to be hobbled by a wireless mouse again.

It’s taken the first wireless mouse from SteelSeries to persuade me to give them another go. With a built in lithium-ion battery and the option to go wired if the battery dies, the World of Warcraft Wireless MMO Gaming Mouse promised to overturn my preconceptions. After putting it through a barrage of tests I have to admit: I’m impressed.

Alongside the mouse, I also tried out the SteelSeries QcK Panda Monk Edition mousepad. With high quality artwork based on Blizzard’s latest expansion, I was eager to find out how mouse and pad would work together to provide the control and precision needed – not just for Mists of Pandaria, but for other popular MMOs as well.

CES 2013: SteelSeries Apex and Apex [RAW]

In amongst all the news coming out of CES this year, there are some items that really grab our attention. Two such examples are the Apex and Apex [RAW] from SteelSeries, a sleek pair of gaming keyboards due out later this year.

The Apex is easily the most visually striking of the pair, putting on a disco-grade light show, called ActiveZone Illumination, underneath your fingertips. In order to make it easier to locate the low-profile keys and improve reaction time, SteelSeries have broken up the keyboard into five zones, each of which can be set to an independent color and illumination level. With 16.8 million colors and 8 different intensity levels to choose from, it should be possible to make the keyboard co-ordinate (or clash) with any other backlit devices on your desktop.

Accompanying the Apex, the Apex [RAW] is a slightly less feature-packed keyboard for the more price-conscious amongst us. While it has much in common with its fully loaded sibling, the Apex [RAW] has a more straightforward “brilliant white” backlight with 8 levels of intensity.

Both keyboards have been designed with macro-heavy gaming in mind, with two banks of dedicated macro keys located along the top and to the left. Each board also offers anti-ghosting, which we’re told will handle simultaneous presses for 20 of the most popular gaming keys. SteelSeries also hopes that further touches, such as an enlarged spacebar, extra directional keys and a latch to disable the Windows key will also improve comfort and reaction time.

However, it’s the advanced macro capabilities that have really caught our eye. Called SteelSeries Engine technology, we’re told that the Apex and Apex [RAW] have the ability to go beyond simple key-press macros, additionally supporting entire command-lines. This should make them both particularly useful for MMOs like World of Warcraft, Rift and The Secret World, where a range of emotes, configurations and controls are available as chat-window slash commands.

The Apex sports 22 dedicated macro keys, although any key can be reprogrammed to fire one off. Collections of macros can be stored in profiles, which can be enabled whenever you start a particular game. Macro profiles can be broken down further into four layers, allowing you to hop from PvP to a dungeon-running layout with the hit of a selector button. By comparison, the Apex [RAW] has 17 macro keys and supports two layers.  

Each macro layer and profile can support different illumination and intensity settings, which should make it much easier to tell which setup is currently in use. Both keyboards can also capture statistics that can be presented as a heatmap, helping to highlight which buttons you bash the most.

The Apex is expected to be priced at $99.99/€99.99, while the Apex[RAW] should come in at $69.99/€69.99. Both are expected to arrive early in Q2 this year.

Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer, Senior Contributing Editor