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SteelSeries’ new $45 TKL keyboard survives spills and dust

SteelSeries’ new $45 TKL keyboard survives spills and dust

 October 12, 2021 at 5:19 pm   |     Author:   |     Technology  

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


Many beloved electronics have fallen victim to a spilled glass of water. No matter how careful you are, spills happen. 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 says 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 damaged 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 anything that’s at least 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 mechanical 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 boards 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 water 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 immersed in water.

Because SteelSeries’ new keyboard uses membrane instead of mechanical switches, the lower price makes sense. The Apex 3 TKL offers 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 react 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 brands.

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