SteelSeries is able-bodied accepted about Apple circles for its iOS and Apple TV gaming controllers, but the aggregation specializes in added gaming-related accouterments ventures as well, such as mice, headsets and keyboards.
After browsing SteelSeries’ armpit to acquisition some advice on its accepted Nimbus controller, I stumbled aloft its keyboard line. Anyone that knows me understands that I accept a appropriate affection for automated keyboards, and that’s exactly what I begin on the SteelSeries website.
The Danish accouterments manufacturer’s covering automated keyboard, the SteelSeries Apex M800, is not your accustomed automated keyboard. It’s a absolutely customizable, gaming-centric acquaintance that lets you accredit an cutting array of functionality and colors to alone keys. While the Apex M800 ships configured for Windows, it’s absolutely accordant with the Mac, and alike comes with OS X key cap replacements.
Bells and whistles aside, the absolute accounting acquaintance trumps aggregate abroad back its comes to automated keyboards. If a keyboard isn’t any acceptable from a accounting standpoint, then nothing abroad matters.
Fortunately, I can say that the SteelSeries Apex M800 is a amusement to blazon on. It doesn’t use the accepted Cherry MX automated switches begin in abounding of today’s accepted keyboards; instead, it uses SteelSeries’ own proprietary switches. The Cherry MX amber switches are my admired automated switches, and these feel actual similar.
To be honest, it took some time for me to get acclimated to accounting on the Apex M800. That had below to do with the switches, and added to do with the six committed macro ons begin on the larboard ancillary of the chassis.
I accept a hardly beatnik accounting style, and as a result, the attendance of the macro keys threw me off a little bit. I ample out that by comatose my pinky feel amid the macro keys and the blow of the keyboard, I could achieve my accustomed accounting position. After that, it was business as accepted and the typos started to bead off considerably.
As I mentioned, the keyboard switches feel agnate to the accepted Cherry MX amber switches. SteelSeries has active its own “QS1” switches which affection a 3mm bandy depth, and 1.5mm displace and actuation with no deadline.
That ability not beggarly a lot to anyone who isn’t absolutely into automated keyboards, but let’s aloof say that the Apex M800 is adequate to blazon on and isn’t too loud. The complete of the key presses are very abundant like Cherry MX amber switches, which is a acceptable thing. It’s absolutely louder than accounting on the MacBook’s chiclet keyboard, but you’re not activity to abrade your ancestors by the beat complete of overly loud switches.
The SteelSeries Apex M800 is a customizer’s dream keyboard. It appearance an batty bulk of key bounden customization, which allows you to reassign keys, accredit OS-level functions to alone keys, actualize your own macros, barrage apps anon from a distinct keypress, and much, abundant more.
SteelSeries’ Engine 3 software, which is a claim for customizing the Apex M800, makes it all possible. Not alone can you adapt the functionality of anniversary of the six macros on the keyboard, but you can additionally adapt every key on the keyboard’s surface.
But customization doesn’t stop with functionality. The best apparent affair about this keyboard is its abutment for alone key RGB illumination. Yes, every distinct key (and alike the logo) appearance its own alone LED that rests appropriate below the centermost apparent of the keycap. This gives the Apex M800 a compatible attending back it comes to lighting.
The aforementioned software acclimated for allotment key bindings is acclimated to configure key illumination. The acquaintance of customizing the key colors is about like Photoshop, in that you can copy, paste, and alike use an eyedropper apparatus to cull backdrop from added keys to accredit to another.
You can baddest and blush alone keys, assorted keys at once, and alike the SteelSeries logo. You can again administer alone colors application a blush palette, or by application hexadecimal ethics for added exact coloration. Causeless to say, you can get acutely artistic with the abundantly abysmal blush customization action afforded by SteelSeries Engine 3.
But it doesn’t stop there. SteelSeries has included templates and furnishings that can accomplish the keyboard angle out alike more. For example, you can administer a breathe aftereffect to accomplish it attending as if the keyboard is animate as it accouterment through the acclivity of colors that you accredit to it.
All of the settings, both key bindings and illumination, can be adored to configurations and switched to on the fly. This is accessible for establishing specific templates for the apps or amateur that you play. You can alike use SteelSeries’ CloudSync affection to ensure your configurations can move fluidly amid computers.
The SteelSeries Apex M800 appearance some anxious architecture decisions. For one, the USB cable is braided for added backbone and below tangles. The keyboard additionally includes an breadth below it for acquisition cables beneath after causing causeless interference.
For those of you decidedly absorbed in its lighting effects, the M800 appearance LED emphasis lighting on its ancillary for an alike sleeker attractive setup, abnormally back application it in aphotic environments.
The Apex M800 is big. It’s about six inches added than the absolute anatomy of a 15″ MacBook Pro, and below than three inches shorter. It’s abundant too, at a little over three pounds. Coupled with the keyboard’s braided wire, which can occupy two USB ports on your Mac, it’s not absolutely a minimalistic setup. True, best bodies don’t buy automated active keyboards because they’re attractive to be minimalistic, but it’s article to accumulate in mind.
The all-embracing body affection of the Apex M800 is good, but I did appetite to acknowledgment the key caps in particular. I begin the caps, which are disposable by hand, to be a little defective back compared to added automated keyboards that I’ve approved in this amount range.
Instead of application a apparatus for removing the key caps, you artlessly pop them off by hand. The complete that’s emitted as the caps pop off didn’t absolutely brainwash aplomb in me with attention to body quality. I did apprehension that over time, the bustling complete emitted back removing key caps wasn’t as alarming. Perhaps they aloof charge to be burst in.
To be clear, the keys feel solid back installed on the switches, so this apparently isn’t a big accord for most. That said, it’s article to be acquainted of if you plan on replacing or rearranging key caps often.
The keyboard itself is all plastic, admitting solid plastic. At this amount range, however, I ambition that SteelSeries would accept active addition actual on at atomic some of the keyboard’s surface. For instance, a magnesium admixture would accept acquainted added justified at this amount range.
Lastly, the admittance of USB ports is nice, but the ports are USB 2.0 only. I won’t go as far as to characterization USB 2.0 as worthless, but it’s not absolutely article I’d apprehend on a keyboard costing about $200. That decidedly reduces the peripherals that you ability be accommodating to use with such a connection. I’m cerebration mice, bluetooth dongles, and not abundant else.
The cessation of the amount is that the Apex M800 isn’t aloof for gamers. Although it took me a day or so of accounting to get absolutely acclimated to it, I can say that I’m absolutely adequate the all-embracing accounting acquaintance on this keyboard.
The best important affair about a automated keyboard is after a agnosticism the switches and the way the key caps feel back interfacing with those switches. These aren’t the accepted Cherry MX switches, but SteelSeries’ custom QS1 switches accomplish the Apex M800 a amusement to blazon on.
Yes, this keyboard was primarily advised with gaming in mind, but the customization aspect isn’t aloof benign for gamers. I’m award that the key bindings while acclimated in affiliation with the alone LED blush assignments, accomplish for a appealing alarming acquaintance back application Mac apps like Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X. I now accept committed macros with custom key colors for recording voiceovers, creating admixture clips, applying specific effects, and more. Alike for day to day functions like demography screenshots, I acquisition this keyboard’s committed macro keys and software to be useful.
True, not anybody will like the abstraction of putting a massive keyboard on their desk, but if you accept the absolute acreage and the able use-case-scenarios, the SteelSeries Apex M800, at about $178 on Amazon is absolutely account considering.
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