Often we see a lot of fanfare when companies launch their latest flagship products, but those products often come at the high-end of the price spectrum, so it is refreshing to get a new launch of some lower-cost alternatives. SteelSeries is launching a trio of new peripherals today all aimed at the budget-conscious gamer with the new Rival 3 Gaming Mouse, as well as the Apex 3 and Apex 5 gaming keyboards.

Rival 3 Gaming Mouse

What constitutes a gaming mouse? It is certainly not just the RGB lighting, although most, including this product, offer customizable lighting. The mouse sensor is one of the key aspects, and SteelSeries worked with PixArt to develop a new sensor which they’ve dubbed the TrueMove Core optical sensor. The new sensor offers 8500 CPI, one-to-one tracking, and over 300 IPS and 35G of acceleration capability. For a mouse in this price bracket, it is very capable.

SteelSeries Gaming Mouse
  Rival 3
Sensor TrueMove Core
Sensor CPI True 8500
Acceleration 300 IPS / 35 G
RGB Backlighting 3 Zones
Weight 77 grams
Onboard Storage 5 profiles
Main Buttons SteelSeries 60 M Click Rating
Total Buttons 6
Mouse Type Right-Handed
MSRP $29.99

The Rival 3 is a right handed mouse (if you need an ambidextrous they offer the Sensei series) which weighs in at just 77 grams. It offers three zones of RGB backlighting which achieves 750 lux, making this the brightest LEDs in any SteelSeries mouse. There are six buttons and the main buttons feature a SteelSeries switch rated at up to 60 million clicks, whereas a comparable Omron would only be rated at 10-20 million. The casing is finished in matte black, so it should stand up well to the test of time.

The mouse features customization through the SteelSeries Engine software, and offers onboard storage for five profiles, so even if it’s not used with the software, you can still choose your CPI profile on the go.

The new Rival 3 Gaming Mouse is available globally today for a MSRP of $29.99.

Apex Gaming Keyboards

SteelSeries Gaming Keyboards
  Apex 3 Apex 5
Switch Type POM Reinforced Membrane Hybrid Mechanical
Key Cap   Standard MX 4mm throw
RGB Backlighting 10-Zone Per-Key
Frame Plastic Aluminum
Cable Management 3-Way 3-Way
Onboard Storage No 5 profiles
Media Keys Yes with Volume Wheel Yes with Volume Wheel
Wrist Rest Detachable Magnetic Detachable Magnetic
OLED Display No Yes
MSRP $49.99 $99.99

SteelSeries is also launching two new gaming keyboards which feature anti-ghosting and RGB lighting, without breaking the bank. The Apex 3 is launching today with an MSRP of $49.99, and the Apex 5 is available globally for $99.99.

The Apex 3 features an upgraded and reinforced membrane switch, which SteelSeries says offers an improved key feel. The keyboard offers ten zones of RGB backlighting as well, and a magnetically attached wrist rest. There’s dedicated media keys, and a volume wheel as well, and the keyboard offers three routes for cable management so you can route the USB cable out the left, right, or middle of the keyboard. Finally, the Apex 3 is rated for IP32 water resistance, so it should survive an accidental spill.

The Apex 5 ramps up the features, as expected since it is literally double the price of the Apex 3, but for $99.99 this gaming keyboard offers hybrid mechanical switches, which are true mechanical switches, but which feature  the smoothness of a membrane switch coupled with the click of a blue switch. The keys are also individual backlit with per-key RGB lighting.

The Apex 5 features the same OLED display as the Apex 7 and Pro lineup, which can be used to view in-game info, song information, and more. The OLED is coupled with media keys, and offers five onboard profiles meaning the keyboard can remember your settings as you move it from device to device.

The Apex 5 also features a full aluminum frame, and offers a premium magnetically attached wrist rest.

All of these products are available globally today. Check out SteelSeries.com for more details.

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  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - link

    The keyboards don't look very good. Cherry MX has, for a while, expired the license on its mechanical switches, and chinese clone manufacturers have been making performance-competitive and aggressively low-costed alternatives for a while now, like Kailh, Gateron, Outemu, and more. On Amazon, you can get a fully featured mechanical keyboard (albeit with poor software/lighting controls, but if RGB doesn't matter to you then this isn't a fault) for $40 or less. Some even with a "premium looking" aluminum frame (really just a sheet) for $50 or less.

    The mouse looks interesting, though. Lightweight, good sensor, looks like a basic shape, (RGB for those that care), at an affordable price of $30.
  • Operandi - Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - link

    They look good to me. When it comes to keyboards build quality and feel are more important then "looking" premium. These keyboards have the features and looks so if the quality is there I'd say the price is about right.
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - link

    Not sure if I'd agree. It's $50 for an RGB membrane keyboard. You can get real mechanical keyboards for under $40 and the mechanical feel of the keys will be better than a membrane switch.

    Also, I've never been a fan of floating key "open frame" aluminum backplate keyboards. Dust can get into the keys, and when exposed it can start causing issues. Not to mention that aluminum is by nature lightweight, which doesn't give a sturdy/heavy feeling on the desk. I don't think either a cheap Amazon mechanical, nor the 2 steelseries keyboards shown here would have the premium heavyweight feeling, but that can't really be expected for a low-cost mechanical keyboard.
  • Operandi - Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - link

    I'm not sure about the $50 membrane one either. Probably not worth it but I'd be willing to be proven wrong.

    As to the AL thats about providing a ridged and durable frame and looks. Anodized AL looks sick and is plenty strong, its not about adding mass. I have a Logitech keyboard with a pretty similar design, AL deck open frame. Very solid keyboard with no flex and I've never had any issues keeping it clean vs any other keyboard.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - link

    "Dust can get into the keys" have you ever cleaned out a keyboard? Keys sitting down in a well doesn't prevent dust from getting down there, on the contrary it just makes it harder to get it out. Give me floating keys anytime instead of a pit for all that gross to just get trapped in.
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link


    This is a common problem with floating key style keyboards. I don't have this issue because I avoid those kinds of keyboards to begin with, but I've had 2 acquaintances come up to me asking about how to fix double/multi-pressing keys on a mechanical keyboard (after I talked to them about mechanical keyboards which got them interested in buying one), and turns out they had both gotten floating-key Corsair style keyboards and started getting that issue in less than a year.
  • Dragonstongue - Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - link

    ~$50 CAD for the mouse (likely)

    Seems priced ok, depends on quality, the height/size and of course if the software works properly.

    something rated for 10s of millions of clicks means little if the software jibs out.

    last Steelseries thing I had (headset) constant loss of connection as well as constant "need to get newest drivers" or would not work at all (though it also had onboard storage)

    seems like this would be a good option IF and only IF that 2nd part would not rear it's ugly head....probably not as bad as Kingston with the Negenuity software which you have to get from MSFT site it still in BETA and does not do a proper background task (so therefore reset itself however it sees fit each reboot/close cycle...will not even remember its polling rate regardless of Sync or make a profile....

    I myself am not fond of RGB as it seems more often than not the various makers prioritize have to make RGB look good over baseline functional (as well as robust) product using it.

    ahh well.
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    errr... if you're experiencing software issues i would just uninstall the software. The keyboard, mouse, and headsets will still work as plug in play in windows 10. Software just enhances the experience.
  • shabby - Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - link

    Are these creator friendly peripherals? Or is the rgb a creator no-no?
  • gurok - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    I don't know if creators could get past the black colour scheme.

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