Justin Lemme of TechtalkRadio Reviews The Steel Series APEX M800 Mechanical Keyboard
I recently got the opportunity to try out the new SteelSeries APEX M800 mechanical keyboard. This is touted as the top of the line tournament-grade gaming keyboard from one of the best mechanical keyboard manufacturers in the world, and at first glance, I don’t doubt their claims one bit.
The M800 comes in a very nice sturdy packaging to protect it and comes with a quick and simple guide to get it set up. The keyboard itself weighs about 3lbs and is a full size keyboard. It includes two USB ports on the back top for connecting any other USB device. The keyboard does require two USB ports to make it work, so it is recommended that you make sure that you have enough before buying this keyboard. Once I connected the keyboard and downloaded the SteelSeries Engine 3 software to configure it, I was ready to begin playing with it.
I have not used a mechanical keyboard for years, having never really been sold on their superiority over the electronic keyboards that are so common today; but once I started banging away on the keys, I noticed a complete difference right away. This is not your average mechanical keyboard, far from it. This keyboard was designed from the ground up based off the popular APEX series keyboards to give the user the fastest possible response time and total control over the keys with the customized shape and layout of the keyboard itself.
To do this, SteelSeries has worked closely with engineers to come up with a new type of mechanical switch, called the QS1 switch. This switch is what makes the electrical contact when you press a key. This new QS1 switch was designed to have 25% faster actuation when pressing the keys, and has only a 3mm throw depth with a 1.5mm actuation and only requires 45cN actuation force, according to the Steelseries website. The M800 also touts dual processors inside the keyboard, with one being dedicated solely to key presses. This makes for an extremely fast response time and excellent overall feel of the keyboard.
With the SteelSeries Engine 3 software, the keyboard can be configured for multiple LED configurations of its keys. Each key has its own LED light which allows for hundreds of amazing configurations for showing off this sexy keyboard. But the LEDs are not just for show, using the SteelSeries Engine 3, the software can detect what game you are playing and automatically adjust the LEDs and key bindings for that game (if the game is in its pre-defined database, which is always growing). Games such as World of Warcraft, Battlefield, and CS:GO are included in the default games and when a user fires up one of those games, the keyboard’s LEDs will change to only light up the keys that are required for that particular game. Users can also define their own game settings to have their own key bindings and LED layouts. Another cool feature of the keyboard is setting up an Active and an Inactive profile, so that they keyboard will have a light show when the user is using the keyboard or when they have stepped away for a few minutes.
I have been working with this keyboard for a couple weeks now, and I have yet to find a fault with it. I guess my only gripe with this is that I have to retrain myself to use a slightly different layout of the keys, and with the sensitivity of the keyboard, there is little room for error (You wouldn’t believe how many typos I made while typing this review, thank God for spellcheck!) But that is not the fault of SteelSeries by any means; this is just me learning how to use this keyboard after using less quality keyboards for decades. I have to say that this is by far the best keyboard I have ever tried and I have become a complete mechanical keyboard aficionado from now on! I absolutely love this keyboard and if you are a gamer, this is the best keyboard in my opinion that you can buy.
Videos of the keyboard:
Here is another video demonstrating the light options on the ApexM800 Mechanical Keyboard from SteelSeries
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