SteelSeries’ new $45 TKL keyboard survives spills and dust | GeekComparison

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL on RGB desk mat
enlarge SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL.


Many beloved electronics have fallen victim to a spilled glass of water. No matter how careful you are, there could be a spill. However, the next time you spill something on your desk, don’t worry about buying SteelSeries’ tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard, released today for $45.

SteelSeries says its new Apex 3 TKL is both water and dust resistant, thanks to IP32 certification and a polymer frame. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) rating guarantees that the keyboard will not be damaged by dripping water “when the case is tilted at an angle of up to 15 degrees.” IP32 certification also means that the Apex 3 TKL is safe for anything that is at least 2.5mm in size.

SteelSeries’ Apex 3 TKL is simply a numberless version of the SteelSeries Apex 3, which has the same certification. Other gaming keyboards, like Corsair’s K68 mechanical keyboard, come with the same IEC stamp, but finding a water-resistant keyboard in the TKL form factor is rare.

Many cheaper brands claim that their TKL signs are water resistant, but most don’t have any certification. Niz Keyboard produces a waterproof TKL that can be submerged in water and has an IPX68 rating, which is the second most extreme protection against water and the most extreme dust protection available. However, that heavy level of protection costs $209.

Niz Keyboard's waterproof series can be submerged in water.
enlarge Niz Keyboard’s waterproof series can be submerged in water.

Since SteelSeries’ new keyboard uses membrane instead of mechanical switches, the lower price makes sense. However, the Apex 3 TKL offers some premium features for gamers, such as the ability to save macros and an eight-zone RGB backlight that you can adjust via software to respond to Discord and games.

The Apex 3 TKL represents SteelSeries’ first product launch since the company announced its acquisition by GN, the parent company of Jabra, and other audio brands.

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