Mechanical keyboards are great, but even the quietest Red-switched varieties aren't to everyone's tastes. Whether r/mechanicalkeyboards wants to believe it or not, a substantial market still exists for membrane keyboards, even for gaming. SteelSeries knows the sales figures and has announced the Apex 150, a board built using the company's proprietary Quick Tension membrane switch design, coupled with five-zone RGB LED backlighting.
SteelSeries says its Quick Tension membrane switches will last all the way through 20 million keypresses, a figure that's on par with that of most mechanical switches. The mechanism employs an iron plate at the base, a special membrane sheet, and custom-molded top inserts for each key. The company says its design delivers low friction and improved key feel compared to regular membrane keyboards, in addition to the extended durability.
The Apex 150 has 24-key rollover and the same integration with the Discord voice chat program that SteelSeries rolled out with the more expensive Apex 750 keyboard. The feature allows the keyboard to display notifications for new messages, mute status, and other information.
Membrane switches excel in the realms of water resistance and cost reduction, and the Apex 150 delivers on both fronts. SteelSeries touts the Apex 150's ability to survive spills and splashes, but stops short of saying the board will survive submersion or being left out in the rain. As for the cost-reduction bit, buyers can pre-order the Apex 150 on Amazon now for $50. The first shipments are expected to arrive on October 5. The Apex 150 has a one-year warranty in the US, and two years in EU countries.