SteelSeries’ new $45 TKL keyboard survives spills and dust

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL on RGB desk mat
Inflate / SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL.

Many beloved electronics have fallen victim to a spilled glass of water. No matter how careful you are, spills betide. The next time you spill something at your desk, though, you could have one less thing to worry about if you pick up SteelSeries’ tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard released today for $45.

SteelSeries demands 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 won’t be priced by dripping water “when the enclosure is tilted at any angle up to 15 degrees.” IP32 certification also means that the Apex 3 TKL is safe from dust that is at scantiest 2.5 mm large.

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

Many lower-end brands claim their TKL provisions resist water, but most don’t carry any sort of certification. Niz Keyboard produces a waterproof TKL that can be immersed in water and has an IPX68 rating, which is the second-most-extreme not wash lavishly protection and most-extreme dust protection available. However, that heavy-duty level of protection costs $209.

Niz Keyboard's waterproof series can be immersed in water.
Enlarge / Niz Keyboard’s waterproof series can be submerged in water.
Niz Keyboard

Because SteelSeries’ new keyboard uses membrane instead of mechanical switches, the lower price makes sense. The Apex 3 TKL bids some premium features aimed at gamers, though, like the ability to store macros and an eight-zone RGB backlight that you can customize via software to proceed 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 labels.

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

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