The Steelseries Apex M500 the latest mechanical keyboard from the masters of gaming peripherals, and this one is more of less a budget mechanical gaming keyboard.
Just looking from the front, when it comes to selling the keyboard, Steelseries had adopted the approach of show all, as the keyboard is show in all its glory, letting you know what switches it uses and what colour the keyboard uses to light up.
Moving to the underside of the keyboard, you will find out the keyboard used Cherry MX Red Switches, Blue LED illumination, can hold up to 50m Clicks, for its whole lifespan and full N-Key rollover.
Wondering what full – N-Key roller over means?
‘Certain high-end keyboards have “n-key rollover”. This means that each key is scanned completely independently by the keyboard hardware, so that each keypress is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being pressed or held down at the time’ –wiki.
When moving to the back, it does get a little messy, as they decide to describe the many advantages, in many different languages, they should keep the common EU languages, for EU/UK keyboards and really push more marketing.
Now the issues come to one area, why this keyboard over other keyboards? As it’s a basic Mechanical Keyboard, it has nothing special, like Macro keys, and you will find it has the same benefits of other keyboard in the same price point, like the Coolermaster Quickfire XTi, or the QPad MK50. Both offers 50m clicks, both offering there own switches ‘Coolermaster Quickfire XTi – Cherry MX Brown’, ‘QPad MK50 – Cherry MX Black’. The Coolermaster Quickfire XTi offers Blue and Red back lighting, and the QPad MK50 offers just white lighting.
They are both designed in the same sort of fashion, just, each of them offering, slight changes to the key layout after you pass the standard keyboard section.
So what does this keyboard offer for its money, what about great performance? The Cherry MX Switch?, what about its actual size, coming on at 17.3 and 5.4 inches, without feeling too cramped. What about its media keys? Yes eSports players do not need them, but it’s always nice to have them on a keyboard for the general gamer/user. Something though, non of the aforementioned keyboards have, a cable management system, under this keyboard, there are three grooves, allowing you to thread the keyboard cable to the left, middle or right, stopping any tangle issues.
The keys themselves are great, however, they only use Cherry MX Red, there are no other MX Switches available, not an issue for me, but it might be an issue for some gamers out there.
If you are wondering what each colour switch offers, here is a break down,
Red switches are quiet and soft to touch, Brown are resistant and quiet, blue are resistant and noisy and black in non clicky and medium stiff.
Everything on this keyboard is controlled by ‘Steelseries Engine 3’ an absolutely fantastic program that consoles all of the peripherals from Steelseries. With this software, the keyboard standout from in a crowd, thanks to the ability to set any key to any macro you create or any function, also you can mess around with the lighting.
Even thought the keyboard only has one colour, not what you see on other keyboard 16.8 million colours, you can set the brightness level and animation, I would of preferred RED to match Cherry MX Red Switches.
Now comes to the on- the- fly macro recording, not that easy to do, and I need to find out and have a look on the web, to figure this one out. There is no dedicated button, as we already know, so you need to create and assign a button to ‘on-the-fly macro, it’s simple and everything can be done via the Steelseries Engine 3 program.
Being a review artist and site owner, I get access to all the latest game, either free or super cheap, so I managed to check this game on my favourite games, The Division, DOOM, Total War: Warhammer and I have also been playing Castlevania Lords of Shadow. All the games performed will on the this keyboard, no frills,\no spills. Not for the more competitive games CS:GO, and Starcraft 2, macro-ed up and off we go, again the keyboard performed as expected,damn well.
I am very happy with the keyboard, but more happy with Steelseries Engine 3, because without that, it would just be another mechanical keyboard, with nothing much special to offer, more or less and real budget keyboard, but the engine ui opens up what this keyboard can truly do and out performs and provides a lot more playable options for eSports gamers and gamers in general.
The Steelseries Apex 500M is a budget keyboard, with a massive bonus thanks to Steelseries Engine 3, it performs well, under pressure, looks good, designed well, constructed to last, only issue, lack of choice when it comes the MX Switches, could be a problem for Steelseries, appeasing all gamers and eSports players.
- Switch Type: Mechanical,
- Switch Name: Cherry MX Red Gaming Switches,
- Throw Depth: 4 mm,
- Actuation and Reset Depth: 2 mm,
- Actuation Force Needed: 45cN,
- 50 Million Click Lifetime Guarantee.
- Layout: Traditional,
- Full Anti-Ghosting Support,
- N-Key Roll Over: 104 Key,
- Illumination: Per-Key Blue LEDs,
- Quick Access Media Keys,
- Fully Programmable Keys,
- Cable Management System,
- Weight: 1241 g, 2.742 lbs,
- Height: 136.43 mm, 5.37 in,
- Width: 440.56 mm, 17.34 in,
- Depth: 39.52 mm, 1.56 in,
- Large Adjustable Rubber Feet,
- Cable Length: 2 m, 6.5 ft.