In brief: The original Apex 3 released to a lukewarm reception, but that hasn’t stopped Steelseries from releasing a TKL version of the membrane-based, full-sized wired gaming keyboard. The newer model drops the numpad and the price (by $5) and costs $45.
The Apex 3 TKL is the first keyboard to be released by Steelseries, following the company’s $1.2 billion acquisition by the GN Group. This compact model retains most of the features found in the full-sized version, including an IP32 rating against spills, floating key design, three-way cable routing and a plastic build.
It also keeps the ‘whisper quiet’ switches that Steelseries says should last for over 20 million key presses. There are dedicated media controls as well, including the clickable volume roller and the play/pause multi-function button, both of which are now smaller.
The TKL layout also affects the keyboard's PrismSync RGB, which now lights up in 8 zones (instead of 10), and the magnetic, plastic wrist rest found on the full-sized model is absent too. Targeted at the budget crowd looking to save some desk space, this keyboard's plastic frame, membrane switches and wired connectivity has helped keep the price down.
The Apex 3 TKL is now available to buy on Steelseries' official website. It costs $45 in the US and a few other countries in the Americas, though the price goes up slightly in other regions.