The SteelSeries APEX M500 is built like a tank. While we were not able to tear it apart as we usually do, the feel is solid, everything works as intended, and with this layout, it looks more professional than those with huge add-ons of a frame, or an overload of buttons which we could easily remap to unused keys while gaming. Painted key caps do not tend to last as long as the keyboards do, and while we do wish the market would move from this, we can appreciate the savings that using these brings to the end-user. The convex shape of the caps makes for a comfortable feel when attacking the keys, and for gaming, they will nestle your fingertips to help to keep them in the correct placement. The APEX M500 also brings sleek styling in a design anyone can appreciate, and the bright blue painted steel plate and blue LEDs delivers all the lighting you will need to master a game, even if in a completely darkened room.
Just on a basic level, we found that the M500 would get most users by, all within the standard QWERTY layout and 104 keys it offers. The multimedia and LED brightness adjustments are handy at the press of the function key, and again covers everything a normal user would desire. However, once we grabbed the SSE3 software and got to messing around with it, it raised the standard feel to a whole new level. Of course, we have seen such features before, but having the ability to remap the entire keyboard, down to every last key, makes things interesting, and opens the possibilities to an almost endless level.
Allowing users to set profiles based on games and programs is also handy, and we took advantage of it where we could. The Macro Manager is straightforward in its presentation, and the editing options are enough to get by, but we would have liked to see more in this aspect. Outside of just a few minor things we would have liked to have seen in this product, we feel that SteelSeries is on the right page, and you can sense that actual gamers had their hands in the development stages of this keyboard.
At the end of it all, it has been a pleasure to game on, but we still would recommend stiffer switches if you type on a keyboard more than you game on it. The APEX M500 being a Pro-Gaming mechanical keyboard tells you right in the name its true intentions, and for games, and at this price, we feel SteelSeries is on point. The fact of the matter is, after a couple of weeks on the desk, we got very comfortable with the APEX M500. Even if you have to pay the MSRP of $99.99, we feel you are getting your money's worth, and will likely enjoy this APEX M500 Pro-Gaming Mechanical Keyboard as much as we have.
Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS X99-E WS - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: KLevv Cras DDR4 3000 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Matrix Platinum - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Intel 730 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: SilverStone TJ11 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
|Quality including Design and Build||96%|
|Bundle and Packaging||94%|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||95%|
The Bottom Line: The SteelSeries APEX M500 looks simple, but there is much more to it than meets the eye. All of the built-in features, the brilliant LED lighting, and options which the SSE3 software delivers makes the investment totally worth it.
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