When you want to have your own PC, you have two choices- you can either build your own or buy a pre-built one.
While there is a lot of joy and pride that you can feel when you build your own PC, the majority of people are not savvy enough to put the components together and that is why getting a pre-built system makes sense for them.
If you are part of that demographic, read on to find out the best gaming desktops in 2020.
There are some that are vehemently against pre-builts simply because they are more expensive than getting the individual components and building the rig on your own.
However, even though it is indeed true that they are more expensive, they provide the convenience of allowing you to play your favorite games right out of the box. You simply plug the machine to an electrical outlet, flick the power switch of the PSU, and then press the button to start things up.
Now, what are the most important things to consider when you are buying a pre-built? First and foremost, you look at the components. If you are going to build a gaming pc, it is imperative that you look at the CPU, as well as the graphics card. Other components that are worth mentioning are SSDs, RAM, CPU cooler, and power supply unit (PSU).
It is also worth considering the size of the pre-built system. There are those that are bulkier than others and there are some that have a compact form factor that allows you to place them in more places than their bigger counterparts.
Of course, the choice is entirely up to you. The good thing is that you can choose between a variety of different configurations that will suit your budget so there really is no problem when getting a pre-built.
Since there are so many gaming desktops out there, I will narrow down the playing field by providing you the best of the best. Here are some of the best gaming PCs on the market:
Best Gaming Desktops
1.Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition
Price: Starts at $999
Alienware has always been at the forefront of gaming PCs for so many years now. In fact, the company’s laptops are touted to be one of the best- both in terms of performance and aesthetics.
Well, the company is now offering gaming desktops with Ryzen 3000 series processes in the form of the Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen edition.
Prices start at $999 with a modest Ryzen 5 3500 for the processor and an Nvidia GTX 1660 Super 6GB graphics card as the GPU.
If you want the most high-end configuration, you will have to spend $1,849 for it. At this price, you will be getting a gaming desktop with the Ryzen 7 3700X as the CPU and the Nvidia Geforce 2080 Super 8GB as the GPU.
At the same configuration, you will also be getting a HyperX Fury 16GB DDR4 RAM, as well as a 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD.
For what you are getting, I’d say that this is a pretty good starting point for many users simply because even the high-end configuration is offered below $2,000.
The looks might not appeal to everyone, but for the price, I would definitely recommend this one if you have less than 2 grand to spend.
2.Corsair ONE i160
If you want a pretty powerful gaming desktop that has a compact form factor, then the Corsair ONE i160 is for you.
It is a mini-ITX machine which means that its footprint is pretty small, but don’t let its stature fool you as it packs a beast inside that is waiting to be unleashed.
For its CPU, you are getting the Intel Core i9-9900K and for the graphics card, you will be getting the top-of-the-line Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080Ti.
As part of the package, this PC is also equipped with 32GB of DDR4 RAM, liquid cooling for both the CPU and the GPU, and 480GB NVMe SSD + 2TB of HDD storage to help you store your operating system and games.
You also get some nice additions such as a built-in WiFi AC card, Bluetooth 4.2 receiver, a wealth of USB 3.0 Gen1 and Gen2 ports, as well as a combo microphone/headphone jack.
I love the fact that the case that Corsair used for this gaming desktop has a lot of vents so that it can dissipate heat really well. The downside is that you will have to clean the components more often than not, but that is something that you are probably okay with.
Now for the negatives. While I like this gaming PC from a pure performance standpoint, some components could have been better.
For instance, since the 10th generation Intel Core i9 chips have been released, it would have been better if it is equipped with that instead of the Intel Core i9-9900K.
Aside from that, the included hard disk drive is only a measly 5400RPM drive. Sure, it has 2TB of storage capacity, but its slower read speed might not be ideal for storing your games as it will load significantly slower.
Still, the company does offer a solid 2-year warranty for both parts and services so it would still be a worthy choice for people that want a mini-ITX gaming rig.
3.Maingear Vybe Stage 4
If you want to get the top of the line gaming CPU in the form of the Intel Core i9-10900K, then the Maingear Vybe Stage 4 is for you. The ‘Stage 4’ in its product name signifies the highest-end model, but you can go for the more modest $899 build if you are on a budget.
Anyway, aside from the best gaming CPU on the market today, you will also get a beefy Nvidia RTX 2080 Super graphics card to go along with it as well.
Other notables include 16GB of RAM, an Intel 660p 512GB NVMe SSD, 2GB 7200RPM HDD, 750W PSU, and it already comes with Windows 10 Home OEM installed in the system. It is also worth mentioning that the processor is also equipped with the Epic 240mm AIO cooler so you can do some overclocking if you are okay with that.
The case that the company went for this build is a standard-sized CPU case because it makes use of an ATX motherboard.
Speaking of the motherboard, the Maingear Vybe’s mobo is probably its weakest link. You see, it comes with MSI’s Z490 A-Pro motherboard and it is an entry-level mobo from MSI. Sure, you can overclock using this part, but at its price, this could have been better.
Still, the overall package comes with RGB bling so if you want flashy lights on your system, you no longer have to buy separate RGB fans and whatnot as they are already built into the machine.
You will also probably love the fact that when you purchase the highest configuration (which is this one), you will also get a Star Wars: Fallen Order and Total War: Three Kingdoms games absolutely free.
4.iBuyPower Gaming Elixir II
iBuyPower is also a reputable brand when it comes to gaming PC pre-built systems. The company’s Gaming Elixir II is the highest configuration on offer and it sells for a little under $3,000.
So, what are you getting for the price? Well, you will be getting an Intel Core i9-9900KF for its CPU, Gigabyte Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Super for its GPU, 16GB of DDR-4000 RAM, a 360mm Thermaltake AIO cooler for the CPU, and 1TB NVMe SSD as your main storage.
It does have onboard WiFI so you can take advantage of your home network wirelessly and that you do not have to contend with wires and such.
Of course, at this price point, you can expect a whole suite of RGB goodness- from the case fans to the case itself.
For the price, you are also getting a free gaming mouse and keyboard to go along with the system so you are pretty much getting the whole package.
Now, I do have some complaints about this build. For one, it uses a 9th generation Intel Core i9 processor and a Z390 motherboard to go along with it. It would have been nice if they had a configuration that uses the latest CPU from Intel and it would have been so much better than this one.
Still, I love the fact that they’ve used an InWin case for this build as the said company makes impeccable cases that are great in terms of aesthetics and build quality.
5.CyberPower PC Gamer Master
I understand that not a lot of people can spend more than $2,000 on a gaming desktop, so I’ve also included some worthy budget options as well.
The CyberPower PC Gamer Master is equipped with the Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, which is considered as one of the best budget CPUs on the market today. It is coupled with an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti graphics card which is a good mid-range performer.
For storage, the system is equipped with 500 gigabytes SATA SSD and an additional 1TB HDD that has an RPM of 7200. Of course, you will also be getting 16GB of RAM which is probably the minimum requirement for a good gaming PC nowadays.
At its asking price, I am surprised that the company was kind enough to include some RGB goodness into the gaming rig, as well as bundle it with a good mouse and keyboard as well.
This is one that I can wholeheartedly recommend for people who are on a budget.
6.Zotac MEK Mini
If you want a solid mini ITX build that doesn’t break the bank, the Zotac MEK Mini is one that you should consider.
Let’s talk about the case first. It is built by the company itself and I have to say that it combines both good air cooling performance, as well as flashy aesthetics. That is thanks to the RGB lighting that is at the front of the case.
Anyway, for the components, the MEK Mini comes with an Intel Core i7-9700 processor, which is an 8-core chip that provides considerable gaming performance. It also has a pretty good GPU in the form of the company’s own iteration of the Nvidia RTX 2070 Super.
For its storage solution, you are getting a 240GB NVME SSD and a 2TB 7200RPM HDD. You will also be getting 16GB of RAM and the machine also has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities as well.
Unlike the Corsair machine above, the MEK Mini is just an air-cooled system but I love the fact that the company included a competitive cooler at that.
The entire system is already pretty good, but if there is one complaint here, it would be its processor. Do remember that the Intel Core i7-9700 is not an overclockable chip and it doesn’t even have hyperthreading which effectively locks its threads to just 8 (same with the core count).
But, if it lacks in CPU compute power, it makes up for it with a pretty good graphics processor.
7.Lenovo Legion C730
Lenovo is one of the best companies when it comes to competitive gaming laptops. However, the company also dabbles into creating some pretty good gaming desktops as well.
The Lenovo Legion C730 is the brand’s highest gaming desktop configuration and I really love the specs that you are getting for a pre-built system that costs less than $2,000.
For the price, you are getting a PC with Intel Core i9-9900K, as well as an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 graphics card.
This configuration also gives you a whopping 32GB of system memory so you can use this for some rendering tasks as well.
Also included in the system is a 512GB NVMe SSD and 1TB 7200RPM HDD so that you can store all of your games in them.
You will also love the fact that it also has a built-in WiFi AC adapter, as well as a Bluetooth receiver to help you pair your favorite wireless gaming audio.
To cap this package off, you will also be getting a mouse and keyboard as well, though you can also choose to use your own.
You will be surprised that this gaming beast is locked inside a relatively small cube with a handle at the top of the case for maximum portability.
8.HP Omen Gaming Desktop
HP is a renowned computer and laptop manufacturer in that the company has not only made great machines for professional uses, but it has also made some pretty good gaming PCs as well.
The HP Omen is the company’s top-of-the-line gaming desktop and it indeed has the prowess to take on any of your favorite games.
Let’s start with the CPU. It comes with the Intel Core i7-9700K processor which is an overclockable chip with hyperthreading. It is also equipped with the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080Ti graphics card which, at the time of writing, is the pinnacle of gaming GPUs.
Since the overclockable chips from Intel don’t come with a stock cooler in the box, HP has included a liquid cooling solution that allows you to manually dial the chip on your own, thus unlocking more performance through overclocking.
You get 32GB of RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, 2TB 7200RPM HDD, and you also get some RGB fans already built into the case as well.
Speaking of the case, the entire machine is quite hefty since it comes with a mid-tower chassis. Still, it does have some additional bling that gives off that gamer vibe that most people like.
As you can probably tell, my only gripe with this machine is that it should’ve been equipped with the latest Intel i9 processor. Still, this system is no slouch at all, given that it comes with the best graphics card on the market at the time of writing.
There is nothing wrong with buying a pre-built gaming desktop. In fact, if you have the money, it provides you with the convenience knowing that you can play your favorite games right out of the box.
Of course, you can save money by building your own gaming rig and you can learn so much about building your own systems, but again, there is nothing inherently wrong with pre-builts at all.
Hopefully, this article has helped you decide which gaming desktop you want to buy.
Xbox Series X- When Will It Be Released and What Does It Bring to the Table?
After months of hype and speculations, the Microsoft Xbox Series X has finally been unveiled to the public and we now know a lot more information about the upcoming game console than ever before.
In this article, I will go over the key points that you need to know about Microsoft’s console, such as release dates, pricing, new features and technologies, and so much more.
Release Date and Pricing
The Xbox Series X will be released on November 10 and pre-orders will start as early as September 22. The price of the said game console will be $499 which is in-line with Sony’s Playstation 5 disc edition.
Unlike Sony where the company has decided to employ a staggered release date for its PS5 consoles, the Microsoft Xbox Series X will be released on the same date worldwide. Of course, there is the challenge of availability considering that we are still suffering from a global pandemic, which is why pre-ordering the console (assuming that you want to get one) makes a whole lot of sense.
Unlike previous Xbox consoles, the Series X will actually have a more tower-like design with some air vents that can be visibly seen on top of the device.
The Series X will also feature a 4K Blu-ray player, so you could say that it is indeed quite similar to what Sony has to offer.
As of the time of writing this article, the console will only be available in black, though with the release of prior Xbox consoles, a white-colored Xbox is not too far off.
The more vertical design of the upcoming gaming machine might prove to be challenging for some people, especially when it comes to desk space. You will need to have adequate space to rest the console on the surface.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen Custom Zen 2, 8-cores/16-threads (via SMT) @3.8GHz (boost) and 3.6GHz (base)
- GPU: AMD Custom RDNA 2 GPU with 52 Compute Units, 12 TFLOPS, and @ 1.825GHz
- Process (nodes): 7nm Enhanced
- Memory: 16GB GDDR6, 320-bit Bus, 10GB @ 560GB/s and GB @ 336GB/s memory bandwidth
- Internal Storage: 1GB Custom NVMe SSD, 4.8 GB/s (read) and 2.4 GB/s (write) (both are theoretical values)
- Storage Expansion: 1TB
- External Storage Support: USB 3.2 External HDD
- Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
- Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, up to 120FPS (Theoretical)
I am really very excited about the new-gen consoles because they are packed with serious hardware that allows you to play games at 4K resolution without any issues.
Just like the PS5, the Xbox Series X is also powered by a custom AMD Ryzen CPU (using Zen 2 architecture) and a custom AMD GPU (using the new RDNA2 architecture). This performance package should allow you to play games at 4K@ 60 frames per second ‘comfortably’ (at least according to Microsoft Xbox president, Phil Spencer) and it could even give you the right amount of processing power to achieve more than 60 frames per second (up to 120 frames per second, theoretically).
The CPU, according to Digital Foundry, has a base clock of 3.6GHz and it boosts up to 3.8GHz. The good thing is that the boosting algorithms will only kick in when the console needs more horsepower which can be a good thing both from a performance and thermals standpoint.
It is also worth noting that the new Xbox will support ray tracing. Thus, you can enable such a feature in the games that support it and you will not have to worry about any performance penalties at all since the hardware is more than capable.
This new and upcoming game console will also be using a custom 1TB NVMe SSD which is 100+ GB more than what the PS5 has to offer.
While Spencer didn’t mention anything specific, the SSD that comes in the Xbox Series X should be faster than any consumer SSD that you can find on the market up to this point.
This would mean that if you are going to use its expansion slot to add more storage, you will have to buy an SSD directly from Microsoft if you want to get the best performance possible out of a storage drive.
If you are okay with using an external hard drive, it can support one that is using a USB 3.2 Gen 1 cable.
The optical drive is a 4K Blu-Ray player and each game disc can hold as much as 100GB of storage (though it is more likely that each disc can contain an amount lower than that).
The Microsoft Xbox Series X has a lot of nice features up its sleeve. For one, it has the new Velocity architecture that makes good use of the console’s NVMe SSD, thus virtually eliminating load times.
In line with the said technology, you will also get to enjoy the ‘Quick Resume’ feature where you can pick up right where you left off almost instantly thanks to the use of a new DirectStorage API and Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS) technologies.
The Xbox Series X will also have VRR or Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode or ALLM to provide you with a smooth gaming experience. The former will eliminate screen tearing and improve overall frame rates and the latter will ensure that it will use your chosen display’s lowest latency mode for maximum performance.
Because the Playstation 5 can support 8K resolution, Phil Spencer also said that the Microsoft Xbox Series X can also handle that as well, though it remains to be seen if the gaming experience will be somewhat enjoyable, given how taxing the said resolution can be.
Unlike the DualSense controller that comes with the PS5, not much is known about the Series X’s controller. Spencer did say that it will have a slimmer form factor and its D-Pad is vastly improved (to mimic the Xbox Elite controller which is a 3rd-party peripheral).
The rumble motors are reported to make a comeback, though I do not know if it will be a better implementation than the haptics that are embedded in the DualSense controller.
It seems that lowering the latency is one of the top priorities of the company as Spencer said that it will have a Dynamic Latency Input feature that will significantly reduce the input lag of the said controller. Of course, this will be tested in our review once the unit is available.
It is a bit of a disappointment that Halo Infinite, which used to be a launch title, is delayed until 2021. There are still plenty of different games, however, and here are just some of the most notable ones:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- As Dusk Falls
- Battlefield 6
- Borderlands 3
- Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War
- Chivalry 2
- Control: Ultimate Edition
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Dirt 5
- Dragon Age 4
- Dying Light 2
- Far Cry 6
- FIFA 21
- Gears 5
- Hood: Outlaws and Legends
- Hogwarts Legacy
- Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
- New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Rainbow Six Quarantine
- Resident Evil Village
- Scarlet Nexus
- State of Decay 3
- Watch Dogs: Legion
Backward Compatibility and Xbox Game Pass
A lot of people were disappointed by the fact that the Playstation 5 only supports PS4 games and is not backward compatible with the older generation Playstation consoles. The Microsoft Xbox Series X is different.
You see, it not only supports all of the games from its predecessor’s content portfolio, but it will also support most of the games of the older generation platforms as well. This means that even the original Xbox games are playable on the new game console which is a really good thing.
You would want to register for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate so that you can unlock all of the games. It is worth noting that by getting the game pass, you also have the privilege of using the company’s xCloud feature that allows you to play Xbox games while you are on the go. Think of this as an improved version of Google Stadia.
I am really impressed with what the Microsoft Xbox Series X has to offer. Aside from its very powerful hardware, its new features and technologies will certainly improve your gaming experience manifold.
By getting the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you get to enjoy your favorite Xbox games while on the go, while also unlocking all of the possible older-generation games that are playable on the new platform.
It remains to be seen if the new controller is better, but I am eager to find out if the new low latency feature can truly decrease input lag by a lot.
Remember that you can already pre-order your own unit today and the console will be officially released on November 10 in all regions. It costs $499.
The Best Wireless Gaming Keyboards for a Clean and Minimalist Setup
Almost all of the new peripherals that you can find on the market are going wireless. From gaming headsets to gaming mice, things have cut their cords in favor of a more seamless experience.
That being said, keyboards are generally okay to be used wired, but if you want a clean setup, you may want to consider one of the best wireless gaming keyboards in 2020.
There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to go wireless. The first is for convenience. Although I’ve really loved my wired headphones, wireless gaming headsets have provided me with a chance to not have to deal with any cables getting plugged into my PC.
Gaming mice have certainly matched or even bested their wired counterparts. Although they are more expensive, using a wireless peripheral allows for those quick movements without any compromises.
A wireless gaming keyboard might not be what you need right now, but it can certainly be useful, especially if you are looking to cut as many wires as possible to have a clean setup.
It is also a great idea to get one since you can play games while you’re sitting on the couch. I have a lot of friends that wire their PCs to their 4K TVs and just play while they’re relaxing on the sofa using their wireless gaming peripherals.
With all of those being said, I will now recommend some of the best wireless gaming keyboards that you can find on the market today.
Best Wireless Gaming Keyboards
The best wireless gaming keyboard, in my opinion, is the Logitech G915. It is a full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard with five macro buttons located on the left side and some media controls situated at the top-right corner of the peripheral.
It uses the company’s own Romer-G mechanical switches which have a low-profile design and good tactile feedback on every keypress. If you’ve grown accustomed to using laptop keyboards, then this should feel right at home.
You can set different macros and save them in the keyboard’s three onboard profiles so you will not have to use the Logitech G Hub software if you do not want to.
Its RGB lighting is okay though if you want to save its battery, you would want to leave that turned off.
Speaking of battery life, this thing can last up to 40 hours without its lighting enabled and around 20 hours if it is. To me, that is pretty good.
You can charge this thing using the included cable, so if you want the convenience of not having to worry about this thing’s battery, you can use it wired if you want.
This thing has a solid build quality and it looks and feels premium. That should be the case considering that this is a $240 peripheral.
Although its price is definitely steep, the Logitech G915 provides you with a seamless gaming experience.
2.Obinslab Anne Pro 2
If you want a minimalist wireless keyboard, then the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is for you. This is a ‘60%’ keyboard and for those of you who do not know what it is, this just means that the Numpad and the section with the INS and DEL keys are removed- giving you a more compact keyboard.
A lot of gamers actually want this form factor as you only have to deal with the keys that you are most likely going to use anyway.
It has RGB lighting though you’d want to disable it if you want to maximize its battery life.
It connects via Bluetooth and can connect up to four devices at any time. This is great because you can use it on your tablet or any mobile device that uses Bluetooth technology.
I also love the fact that you have plenty of switch options to choose from. You can either select Gateron, Cherry MX, and a host of other mainstream mechanical key switches.
The only downside to this thing is its form factor. If you are not okay with the omission of the Numpad and INS-DEL keys, then this is not for you.
However, if you are a gamer who wants a minimalist setup, the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is certainly one of the best out there.
Not all wireless gaming keyboards need to be expensive. The Logitech G613 has received a huge price cut! It was originally sold for $130 but you can get one now for just $73 which is a pretty good deal!
Its design is nearly identical to the G915, albeit that it doesn’t have any backlighting whatsoever. This can be a good thing since, as I’ve mentioned numerous times before, it can help extend the peripheral’s battery life.
You still have some dedicated macro keys situated on the left side of the board and you also have the media control buttons on the top-right as well. To unlock the full potential of this keyboard, you will need to use the G Hub software.
It has a plastic wrist rest that is somewhat comfortable, but for people that do not want a wrist rest attached to their keyboards, you are out of luck. That is because the wrist rest is not removable at all. This could be a potential downside.
You can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth or its 2.4GHz USB dongle. You may want to use the latter for better performance, but if you are using a mobile device that has Bluetooth 5.0, the wireless signal should not be a huge issue at all.
My only gripe with this thing is that you will have to buy two AA batteries to power this thing. Do not worry, if you get one of those Energizer batteries or any heavy-duty ones, then this thing should last for a whopping 18 months which is pretty insane!
4.Logitech MX Keys
Although marketed as an ‘office’ keyboard, the Logitech MX Keys can actually still be used in gaming. In fact, I’ve known some people that really love using this thing over a standard mechanical gaming keyboard.
Instead of the usual mechanical key switches, the MX Keys actually use tactile scissor switches. Its feel is somewhat similar to what you can find in laptops and provide you with a nice tactile feedback on every keypress.
This keyboard connects to your PC or laptop via Bluetooth and the signal doesn’t drop at all. That means that you can play your games with full confidence knowing that this thing won’t bail on you.
Even though you cannot program macros or whatnot and your use-case is limited to just typing and gaming, the Logitech MX Keys provide you with a seamless experience across the board.
5.Corsair K63 Wireless
Corsair is another competent gaming peripherals manufacturer. I really love some of their gaming mice and their keyboards are pretty good as well.
That being said, the Corsair K63 Wireless is the perfect wireless gaming peripheral for people that are on a budget.
At $60, it is really tough to beat. It uses Cherry MX Red switches which are the de-facto standard for gaming keyboards. It provides a good feel, though some typists might find it a bit harder to use due to its lightweight nature.
This thing connects via a USB dongle and it only has blue/white backlighting. In my usage, I was able to use this keyboard for 15 hours with its backlighting turned on, about 25 hours with it set to its lowest brightness, and around 70 hours without any backlighting enabled.
It does have onboard batteries that you can recharge when using the included USB cable. In fact, you can use this peripheral with the cable wired to your PC as well.
The K63’s weakness is its battery life, but if you’re okay with it, it is actually a pretty good wireless gaming keyboard nevertheless.
The Razer Turret is more of a complete package because it not only has a gaming keyboard but it also comes with a gaming mouse as well.
You basically have a huge lapboard that can house all of the keys of the keyboard, as well as a nice surface for your mouse to glide on.
This is a complete solution for people that want to engage in some couch gaming and its wireless signal is unparalleled for that seamless and uninterrupted gaming.
You only get one choice of keys in the form of the Razer greens. They are tactile and clicky but for the most part, they are good for typing and gaming.
The included mouse is also quite competitive. Its sensor is accurate and it can be set to a whopping 16,000 DPI (not that people would use it in real-world scenarios, but the option is there).
It works seamlessly in both the Xbox and the PC, so this is definitely one of the best gaming peripherals to get out there, especially for couch gaming.
7.Corsair K83 Wireless
The Corsair K83 Wireless is marketed as an ‘entertainment’ keyboard but in reality, it is actually a great lapboard for gaming. It is somewhat similar to the Razer Turret above in the sense that you get a keyboard and a mouse, but instead of a ‘true’ gaming mouse, you get a touchpad with some buttons for the left and right mouse clicks.
It uses scissor switches which are a bit mushy for my tastes, but it will certainly do for most gamers.
It can connect wirelessly to your device or computer via Bluetooth or its included USB wireless receiver and using both of them yielded no problems on my end.
The ‘WASD’ keys have a different color and are a bit more textured than the regular keys which can be helpful if you are playing battle royale or first-person shooters.
Although using its touchpad is clunky, in my opinion, the Corsair K83 Wireless can still be good for couch gaming.
Steelseries Apex 7 Review- A Gaming Keyboard with a Cool OLED Display
Steelseries is one of those gaming peripherals manufacturers that have an ace up its sleeve and one of its products, the Steelseries Apex 7, has one nifty feature that you will probably like.
I am going to be reviewing the said mechanical gaming keyboard today. What are my thoughts about it? Read through the rest of this piece to find out.
If you have seen the Steelseries Apex 7 Pro, then the design of its younger brother is quite similar to that. In fact, other than the mechanical switches that are used, the Steelseries Apex 7 looks exactly the same as its ‘Pro’ counterpart.
Here you have a full-sized keyboard that is a bit more compact than others that you can find on the market. It has a volume scroll wheel at the top right and situated directly to its left is the hallmark feature which is the OLED display (more on this later).
Since this is a premium product, you can expect a really good build quality on this one. The company has used aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure that there will be no flexing or creaking when you use this peripheral.
The keycaps use ABS plastic but I would have preferred to use PBT keycaps since they feel much smoother. This won’t be a huge issue for most users though.
Because the keycaps are laser-etched, the RGB lighting can be quite tame by comparison. If you are an RGB fan, this might turn you off, but to compensate for this, you can maximize the LED brightness setting in the Steelseries Engine software.
The Steelseries Apex 7 uses two USB cables and that is because one is used to power the peripheral and the other is used for the USB pass-through that is situated in the top-left corner. You can use the said port to transfer data or plug in your gaming mouse, for instance, but you cannot use it for charging your mobile device as it is a low-powered port.
Upon looking at the keyboard, you might find that the INS key up to the page down key has M1-M6 imprinted on them. That is because you can use the keys for your macros which can be set using the aforementioned software.
Lastly, the Steelseries Apex 7 comes with a plastic wrist rest with a soft matte coating. It is not as comfortable as those leather ones but it is still comfortable nevertheless.
Unlike the ‘Pro’ version, the Steelseries Apex 7 makes use of the company’s mechanical red switches. They are rated to last up to 50 million keystrokes and they also have N-key rollover as well which means that all of the keys (no matter how many of them you press at the same time) will register on the screen.
Just like Cherry MX Switches, you have three choices to choose from. You can choose the linear red switch, the tactile brown switch, and the clicky blue switch.
Personally, I like the blue switch since I really love clicky switches, but for most users, you would probably want to choose either the red or the brown variant.
My review sample has the red switches and they are actually great for gaming. But, I have to caution you about something.
Normally, mechanical switches have some sort of resistance when you type on them. That is what separates them from the mushy feeling of rubber-dome keys.
The Steelseries Apex 7 is somewhat in the middle. It is not mushy like rubber-dome switches but it certainly does not feel like your conventional mechanical switches as well. This is not to say that it doesn’t feel right; it just feels weird in comparison, especially if you have used mechanical gaming keyboards for quite some time.
The linear red switches are great for gaming. I’ve had no issues using the Apex 7 in fast-paced games at all thanks to the fact that it doesn’t have that tactile bump that is found in brown and blue switches.
I also love the fact that the RGB lighting can be used to your advantage. For instance, you can set the lighting to let you know the status of your health in the games that you play. Of course, it takes some time doing this as you would have to set things in the Steelseries Engine program, but you would only have to do it once. In fact, you can exit the program after use since you can save the profile to the peripheral’s onboard memory.
For maximum performance, I advise you to update the keyboard’s software. You should be prompted after firing up the device’s software.
What separates the Steelseries Apex 7 apart from other gaming keyboards is its OLED display. When this was first implemented in one of the company’s gaming mice, it was considered as a gimmick, but it can actually be quite useful if you really take the time to set things up nicely.
You can use the OLED display to provide you with some useful information about the games that you play or the programs that you are using.
When I work, I’ve used the OLED display to provide me with the current information about the song that is playing on my Spotify playlist.
You can use the said feature to tell you to display some important statistics in the games that you play. The usability is extensive- you just have to commit some time to set things up first before you can truly enjoy it.
If there is one thing that could have been improved, it would have been nice if the display was a bit larger. But, it works nicely.
From a performance standpoint, the Steelseries Apex 7 is just like any other gaming keyboard that you can find on the market. Although it uses the company’s own switches, it feels somewhat similar to Cherry MX switches that are commonly found in mechanical keyboards.
However, what sets it apart is its OLED display which, once configured, can be quite helpful in daily and gaming tasks.
Do I recommend the Steelseries Apex 7? I wouldn’t say that I would 100% recommend this thing to anyone who is looking for a gaming keyboard, but what I would say is that the OLED display is quite an appealing and nifty feature that you may want to try out.
This keyboard retails for $160.
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