If you're not keen on spending big bucks on gaming peripherals, you might find yourself interested in what SteelSeries just rolled out. The company announced a trio of new items, including a $30 gaming mouse, a $50 water-resistant keyboard, and a $100 keyboard with "hybrid" key switches.
SteelSeries said it wanted to expand the options for gamers who are "stuck using boring, traditional office peripherals for gaming." My interpretation is SteelSeries is hoping to draw in gamers who might find themselves shopping ordinary office peripherals because of cost constraints. Whatever the motivation, I'm all for companies releasing less expensive gear for gamers.
In this case, the new Rival 3 mouse is the cheapest of the bunch at $30. It's shaped like an ambidextrous mouse, but is designed for right-handed users with thumb buttons positioned on the left side.
There are six buttons in all, with the main clickers outfitted with mechanical switches that are good for 60 million clicks, according to SteelSeries.
At the heart of the Rival 3 is a TrueMove Core optical sensor capable of 100-8,500 dpi, in 100 dpi increments. SteelSeries says it offers true 1-to-1 tracking to replicate exact motions on the screen (we have not tested the mouse yet ourselves). RGB lighting is part of the package too, naturally.
Next up is the Apex 3 ($50), a water-resistant keyboard (IP32 rated) that won't necessarily have you swearing up a storm if you spill a drink. That's never fun, though at least in this case, there's a fighting chance the keyboard will live on.
SteelSeries says it outfitted the Apex 3 with its new "low-friction switches for near silent use." These are membrane switches, though, so I wouldn't expect the same kind of feel mechanical keyboards offer.
Other features include dedicated media keys, 10-zone RGB lighting, and a "premium" magnetic wrist rest.
Last up is the Apex 5, a $100 keyboard with hybrid switches. SteelSeries claims they "combine the smoothness of a membrane switch, with the added durablity, performance, and tactile click of a blue mechanical switch."
You can find plenty of quality mechanical keyboards in this price range. But one thing the Apex 5 potentially has going for it is a smart OLED display. This can be customized with animated GIFs or display things like incoming Discord messages, real-time info from games, song information on TIDAL, and so forth.
All three are available now.
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Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).