SteelSeries Apex M500 Gaming Keyboard Overview
The SteelSeries Apex M500 is a full-size keyboard so you have a full compliment of keys and full number pad. The keyboard is all black, pretty much plain and there are no extra buttons. Picking it up it has some good weight to it, which is always a good sign when it comes to keyboards.
There is no wrist rest included with the keyboard, this is a normal thing when it comes to keyboards that are designed for eSports. At the top right of the keyboard you will find a SteelSeries logo and indication LEDs for num lock, caps lock, scroll lock, and Windows key lock.
As I mentioned there are no extra function or macro keys on the Apex M500, but you will find alternative buttons on the F5-F12 keys. These include brightness up / down for the backlighting, back, play/pause, forward, mute, volume down, and volume up.
This is a mechanical keyboard and it features Cherry MX Red mechanical key switches. Cherry MX switches are more or less the industry standard when it comes to mechanical key switches. Cherry MX Reds are a favorite choice of gamers as they have a low actuation force of 45 cN. This low actuation force allows for more rapid actuation. Reds are also a much quieter switch than browns or blues. It is weird that SteelSeries does not offer this keyboard in any other Cherry MX flavors.
Taking a look at the keyboard from the side you can see that if we start from the bottom of the keyboard the first three rows of keys are angled down, the fourth row is flat, and the last two rows angle slightly up. This is typically what we see on most gaming keyboards and should provide a great and comfortable experience. There are pull-out feet on the bottom of the keyboard which will give you more of an angle if you want.
Flipping the keyboard over we can see those two pop-out feet as well as three rubber feet on the bottom. SteelSeries has implemented a very cool cable organization design that allows you to have the USB cable come out at the center, left or right of the keyboard.
Taking a look at the USB cable it is a basic rubber cable, the USB end is designed to protect it from getting damaged. SteelSeries also includes two cable organizers.