Usage & Final Thoughts
The best part about testing a gaming product is we get to play games! For the Apex M500 since it is designed for eSports and competitive play I decided to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Unreal Tournament, and Star Wars Battlefront. All of these are fast-paced shooters and will give us a good idea of how the keyboard will perform during tournament play.
The Cherry MX red switches are very responsive and because they are fast I was blasting through enemies in no time. For the games that I played I do not need any extra keys, and if you really do you can always remap keys for macros or other functions. The number pad would be perfect for this. The Apex M500 has the performance you would expect from a keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches and its smaller size (no extras or wrist rest) make it great for taking to events.
There are a ton of gaming keyboards out there to choose from, and many have every feature in the book, but not everyone wants all of those features or is prepared to shell out the cash that those keyboards cost. For SteelSeries the Apex M500 is designed as a no-frills gaming keyboard designed for the eSports scene and I think they’ve done a great job accomplishing that.
You have a basic design, Cherry MX Red mechanical key switches, and simple backlighting. This keyboard is more about function than flash and I think that is something that we see looked over when it comes to gaming keyboards. If you are serious about gaming this is a keyboard that you are definitely going want to consider.
The only real downfall of this keyboard is that it is limited to Cherry MX Red key switches. No other Cherry MX flavors are available, which is a little disappointing. And I guess if I’m nitpicking having a braided USB cable over the rubber one would have been nice.
At the end of the day you are getting a great value with the Apex M500, since it is selling at our favorite online retailer for $99. It is a keyboard that is definitely going to last a long time. Overall ThinkComputers give the SteelSeries Apex M500 keyboard an 8 out of 10 score.
– Simple design
– Cherry MX Red switches
– Cable management on the bottom of the keyboard
– Great performance
– Nice illumination
– Only available with Cherry MX Red switches
– USB cable not braided