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SteelSeries Apex 5
Drop CTRL (2018)
See Top Ranked Mechanical Keyboards

SteelSeries Apex 5 vs Drop CTRL (2018)

Analysis:

The SteelSeries Apex 5 is a great Mechanical Keyboard for its $99 asking price.

The Drop CTRL (2018), however, while a reasonable product for $220, doesn't stack up against its competitors quite as well. If you're considering Mechanical Keyboards in the $210 range, you might want to check out some better options.

The SteelSeries Apex 5 was loved by reviewers at Rtings, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The 5 Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards - Winter 2021" roundup where it was named its "Best Mechanical Keyboard Under $100", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

Taking a look at the Drop CTRL (2018), we found that it got praised by Laptop Mag and Wirecutter (NYTimes) - two sources that are known for their high-quality in-depth testing. The Drop CTRL (2018) was named "Best customization in a snap" by Laptop Mag and "Other great mechanical keyboards" by Wirecutter (NYTimes) in their respective Mechanical Keyboard roundups; that suggests that it's a product that's worth considering.

We examined all of the review data that we could find and first took a look at sources that reviewed both of them, like Tom's Guide, and found that they haven't shown a preference for either product.

Then we checked which sources liked these two Mechanical Keyboards best and found that the SteelSeries Apex 5 got its highest, 8, review score from reviewers at PCmag, whereas the Drop CTRL (2018) earned its best score of 7 from Tom's Guide.

Lastly, we averaged out all of their review ratings and observed that the SteelSeries Apex 5, with its 7.7 average, performed considerably better than most Mechanical Keyboards - the mean score for the product category being 7.4 out of 10 - while the Drop CTRL (2018) managed an average of 7.0.

There's one caveat here - it might not be entirely justifiable to do a direct SteelSeries Apex 5 vs. Drop CTRL (2018) review average comparison since they aren't priced the same and more expensive products tend to get higher review scores from some sources.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Rtings
PCmag
Tom's Guide
Laptop Mag
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Go Mechanical Keyboard
Android Central
Tech. Specs Comparison
SteelSeries Apex 5
$99
Drop CTRL (2018)
$220
Keyboard Size
Full-size
Tenkeyless
Keyboard Switch Type
Mecha-Membrane
Kailh
Wireless
No
No
Has average expert review score
7.5
Overall Avg. for Mechanical Keyboards
7.7
Avg. Review Score
Score
Has average expert review score
7.5
Overall Avg. for Mechanical Keyboards
7.0
Avg. Review Score
Score
Recommended by trusted experts
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 6 Best Gaming Keyboards Under $100 - Winter 2021” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The 5 Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards - Winter 2021” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Go Mechanical Keyboard
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “5 Best Budget Mechanical Keyboards Under $100 in 2021!” 
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 8 Best Gaming Keyboards - Winter 2021” 
Last updated: 4 days ago
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Other great mechanical keyboards
in “Our Favorite Mechanical Keyboards” 
Last updated: 3 Nov 2020
Laptop Mag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best customization in a snap
in “Best gaming keyboards for 2020” 
Last updated: 25 Dec 2019
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Mechanical Keyboards for Chromebooks 2021” 
Last updated: 10 Dec 2020
Go Mechanical Keyboard
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best RGB Mechanical Keyboards of 2021” 
Laptop Mag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Mechanical Keyboards 2019” 
Last updated: 8 Sep 2019
Go Mechanical Keyboard
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboards of 2021” 

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