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SteelSeries illuminated keyboards light up CES 2013 with 16.8 million color options

The SteelSeries Apex and Apex Raw keyboards are a gamer's best multitool, featuring 16.8 million possible custom color combinations, a low-profile layout, and of course, macros on macros.

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Justin Yu
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Justin Yu Associate Editor / Reviews - Printers and peripherals

Justin Yu covered headphones and peripherals for CNET.

2 min read

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SteelSeries Apex gaming keyboard SteelSeries

LAS VEGAS--There's never a lot to report on the gaming front here at CES 2013, but we can always expect SteelSeries to announce something hot during the show.

Last year it was the SRW-S1 racing wheel, and they stand out this year with two new flashy keyboards that let you customize almost every inch to suit your pwning needs.

The $99 Apex is the gem of the announcement and the realization of the company's dedication to R&D. Drawing from an understanding that gamers require hardware that demands as little movement as possible, the Apex is the first device to allow 16.8 million color combinations in up to eight intensity levels across each of its five illuminated zones.

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Confused? Check out the slideshow below for a visual guide. The raised macro buttons on top, 22 additional independent macro keys on the left, the main keyset, the number pad, and the right-side media buttons can all be tuned to various levels of brightness. I'm anxious to see the colorways that gamers will create with this machine.

Small additions like a slightly raised "W" key for a quick return to the home position and an extra fat space bar lend a more comfortable gaming experience, and SteelSeries is the first to add two diagonal buttons to the navigational pad for quick movements in the virtual world.

SteelSeries Apex gaming keyboards (pictures)

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The Apex Raw cuts the price by $30 and offers users eight levels of white illumination, no color. Gameplay enhancements on this guy includes N-key rollover for simultaneous key press actuation, a SteelSeries key that automatically disables the Windows key without the need for additional software, and two separate feet that fit onto the bottom of the 'board for variable angle control.

The $100 Apex and $70 Apex Raw keyboards from SteelSeries will hit stores in Q2.

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