Steelseries Apex M800 keyboard review - A new alternative


Apex M800 is a premium mechanical keyboard, with a specific architecture and aesthetics. It's not cheap, Steelseries slapped a $199.99 / €199.99 tag on it, which is quite steep. Is it worth the asking-price? That's a complicated answer. Most mechs are not cheap, and there are definitely better built alternatives for the same price. However, M800 is unique on the market, and there are no offerings matching the features it excels at.


There are a multitude of mechanical gaming keyboards on the market. Among them, several high-end manufacturers have brought the RGB backlit models, some expanding old standards, others exploring new things. The two companies that brought new architectures and designs are Logitech and Steelseries, with the Romer-G and QS1. While the two switches might look similar, they are quite different - both in design and feel. QS1 is linear and has a very short travel distance, Romer-G has a tactile bump and a longer travel distance, though the same actuation point.

Steelseries has also worked beyond the switch-type. Apex M800 comes with two MCUs, one dedicated to configuring the mech, the other for illumination, which gives tit an impressive array of functionalities. There are somethings that could be improved. From keycap plastic (I'd love to see PBT being used instead of ABS) to the odd screetch sound heard on certain stiffer regions, to maybe even the inclusion of a wrist-rest - it's clear there are some improvements the end-user would benefit from.

How does it play? If you want a keyboard that makes no compromises for gaming - then Apex M800 is probably the best option out there. However, that's only if you don't do anything else on it. If you type, or if you work on it, it will take a while to get used to its keys. In the end, the customizability and fast-travel switches might come to your advantage, but until then, know that getting used to the M800 could be quite trying, particularly since it responds like no other mech on the market.



Pros Cons

- Every key can be assigned new commands;

- Comprehensive lighting options;
- Fast, linear switch;


- Ergonomics could be improved;
- Stiff key-regions;

Build:           8.9 8.8 Performance:      9.2
Ergonomics: 8.3 Features:            9.4
Design:        9.2
Price/Quality:     8.0




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