SteelSeries Apex 150 takes membrane switches to the next level

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.

Comments closed
    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 2 years ago

    JBI’s next keyboard?


    • psuedonymous
    • 2 years ago

    Lacking a dedicated Calculator button, it is instantly inferior to the old Microsoft Sidewinder X4.

    • Welch
    • 2 years ago

    It’s Cherry Reds for me forever. How I ever delt with non-linear keys before is beyond me.

    • BillyBuerger
    • 2 years ago

    There are some good rubber dome keyboards (Topre) and some good membrane keyboards (IBM Model M). And supposedly even some good dome/membrane keyboards like the BTC dome with slider models. But keyboards like this one here are almost always not made to those standards. Maybe they did something different here. Hard to tell without seeing something more then just their marketing fluff. But it mostly just looks like another standard dome/membrane keyboard but with RGB… You know, for gaming.

    • not@home
    • 2 years ago

    Back when I was in collage (I think it was 1999 or 2000), one of my friends spilled a lot of coffee on his rubber dome keyboard. He threw it in the dishwasher at the cafeteria (where he worked). It still worked perfectly. I would never do that with my IBM model M that I am still typing on now, but I bet he has replaced that keyboard by now. In fact he has probably gone through several keyboards. SteelSeries claims 20 million key presses, which I do not doubt, but age will dry rot those rubber domes over time. Of course most people who care about their keyboard buy the style they prefer. Even me, I tried a new mechanical keyboard. I gave it a 3 month trial and I just had to go back to my model M because of the feel of it.

      • AMD64Blondie
      • 2 years ago

      Fellow IBM Model M user here.(1991 PS/2 version).

      I’ve had it for 10 years now.(Bought it in 2007 from Ebay.)

      Still clicking away after a decade of use.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        Pretty sure my Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 is the same vintage. Still going strong. (membrane)

      • Froz
      • 2 years ago

      I owned several keyboards and I never had one where a switch would break. In most cases it was something with keycaps or spilling beverage over the keyboard. I got mechanical keyboard partly because I believed the claims that it would last me for much longer – and now I have a keyboard with 2 broken keycaps that I can’t replace with original parts anymore.

    • floodo1
    • 2 years ago

    Didn’t Topre already take membrane switches to the next level? (-8

    Looks pretty nice for a $50 keyboard !

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