The world's fastest keyboard just got faster.

  • Industry
    Consumer Electronics — Gaming
  • Product
  • Date

For the last 20 years, Steelseries has been designing and manufacturing top quality gaming peripherals that improve gamers’ real-time interactive experience. As a company they are dedicated to providing accessories with professional grade quality and simple, modern design. The Apex Mini Pro is no exception. MNML partnered with SteelSeries to set the standard for gaming keyboards.

Role: I led this project at MNML from start to finish, creating concept sketches, 3D models, prototypes, final renders, and technical packages for the keyboard. Throughout the six month project, I worked with MNML intern Maximilian Brueck. Additional design refinement and engineering input were provided by Zeeshan Hakkim and Gary Paulson, respectively.

Launch Video

MNML worked closely with Steelseries to ensure every detail of the new Apex Pro Mini was crafted to deliver a precise, tactile experience for gamers on the go. Minimalist design meets industry leading specs, freeing up desk space and giving gamers a powerful competitive advantage.

Smaller & Faster

The Apex Pro Mini is Steelseries' first compact keyboard (60% form factor). The smaller size offers a number of advantages: more room for larger mouse movements during gameplay and a truly portable footprint that easily fits into a backpack. Keycaps feature side-printed legends to maintain full-size keyboard functionality.

Ergonomically Superior

Ergonomics heavily informed the design approach. The MNML team developed three different typing heights to deliver maximum comfort during long gaming sessions. Adjustable switch weights reduce typing fatigue, and user programmable shortcuts (e.g., WSAD doubling as arrow keys) help consolidate common commands, decreasing the input movement required versus a full size keyboard.

Strong & Simple

A unibody housing paired with a metal switch plate virtually eliminates keyboard flex, ensuring a premium typing experience and enhanced durability. Visual simplicity was of paramount importance to the design team; this was achieved through symmetry and the careful grouping of elements (such as the feet) into linear blocks. A custom keycap puller (orange) was hidden beneath the flush rubber cable strap to maintain the planar bottom surface.

Aircraft Grade Aluminum Alloy — The Series 5000 aluminum top plate provides enhanced rigidity and structural stability for a rock solid typing feel and a lifetime of use.

Warp Speed.

Inside the minimalist housing, Apex Mini Pro delivers unparalleled speed with Quantum 2.0 Wireless technology. Gamers can choose between ultra-fast 2.4GHz wifi or Bluetooth 5.0 to experience lag-free gaming for up to 40 hours on a single charge.

OmniPoint Switches

The primary design goal was to create a housing that would act as a platform to celebrate Steelseries' newest technology, the OmniPoint 2.0 switches. Utilizing state-of-the-art magnetic sensors for instant, zero contact keystroke activation OmniPoint 2.0 gives gamers what they want — speed. With near infinite opportunity for customization and 11x faster response time, these 2-in-1 switches can be programmed to trigger different actions depending on the depth pressed. The registration distance of keystrokes is tunable to the nearest 0.1mm. Whether you prefer the feather-light touch of 0.2mm, or a firm press at 3.8mm, the choice is yours.

Built To Last

Double Shot PBT Keycaps — Experience a giant leap in quality and durability with fadeproof PBT keycaps, engineered with a unique texture for enhanced keystroke feel and better typing accuracy. Side-printed secondary actions grant users all the functionality of a full-size keyboard.

Detachable USB Type-C Braided Cable — Durable and portable, the removable USB-C Braided Cable can withstand the wear and tear of daily life.

Design Refinement

Every detail of the keyboard was put under a magnifying glass throughout the design process. Multiple versions of the edge profile were explored to find the right balance of bold, rugged, and refined.

Prototyping Process

Rough prototypes were instrumental in developing a keyboard with sound ergonomics. New ideas such as a side mounted volume scroll wheel and cable storage strap were tested in this way. Dozens of side profiles were printed and refined iteratively.

Concept Visualization

Below, the last model and renders I produced for Steelseries. Changes between the final concept and production version include: the magnetic silicone wrist rest, capacitive volume slider on the side, centered USB cable, and the cable strap color.

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