The last SteelSeries mechanical keyboard I tested was the Apex M500, and that was over a year ago. While the board had great build quality for its price, the largest complaints I had were the lack of entertainment features and its rather boring design. Those complaints are mostly rectified with the release of SteelSeries’ next iteration in their mechanical keyboard lineup, the Apex M750.
Retailing for $179.99 CAD, The Apex M750 is another addition into SteelSeries’ long legacy of high-quality keyboards. The keyboard’s frame is built with the use of aerospace aluminum alloy, which is sure to provide users with a durable and stable base on which to play their favourite games.
Unlike the rather plain design of the Apex M500, the M750 takes a futuristic approach, leaving behind hard edges for sleek curves and a raised profile. The different mixes of aluminum and plastic make a great looking keyboard that stands out in the market. My only disappointment were the rubber feet on the bottom of the board that users can switch out to increase the height. This is supposed to replace the adjustable plastic feet found on most keyboards, but the feature isn’t executed all that well. The rubber feet dislodge too easily and could potentially be lost in transit if users take the board on the go.
To compliment that powerful aluminum frame, SteelSeries has developed their third generation of house built switches, the QX2s. These RGB switches are akin to traditional Cherry MX Reds, delivering a fast and smooth linear response to users who want a precise experience. The large clear casings built around the QX2’s are also a nice touch, showcasing all of the RGB lighting effects the Apex M750 has to offer to great effect. The weirdly satisfying factor about these switches is the copper click leaves built within the switch, which make a hard click that mimics Cherry MX Blue’s.
Performance wise, these house switches are a great addition. While operating the Apex M750 felt weird at the beginning, within an hour I adjusted and warmed up to the fast response time and smooth linear key presses of the keyboard. This speed is created due to the 2mm actuation point of the switches and the miniscule amount of force needed to register an input. These two design choices make the Apex M750 appealing for competitive players who want to improve their game with faster reaction speeds.
While SteelSeries has corrected many of my previous complaints, the only one that has not been corrected is the continued absence of multimedia functionality. It just feels weird that in 2017 the user still needs to use function keys to increase the volume of their music or stop their piece of media on a premium keyboard. While this is a mild disappointment, what I’m really excited about are the three new RGB effects that the company has developed for their SteelSeries Engine software.
My personal favourite of the three new effects is how the SteelSeries Engine now works in tandem with Discord. By pairing the two applications together, users can program the keys on their Apex M750 to flash or light up when they receive new messages or notifications. Users can also control their voice chats, allowing them to mute specific users on the fly or even an entire chatroom. Those are just a few examples though because every function in Discord can be programmed into the keyboard and customized with an effect.
The last two effects are purely visual enhancers, but fun none the less. Audio Visualizer makes all of the user’s compatible SteelSeries products sync up to their music and put on a private light show, while ImageSync can convert any animated gif into a customizable lighting effect. All of these effects continue to build a better software suite of effects that a broad audience of users can enjoy.
The best-selling feature of SteelSeries’ mechanical keyboards continues to be their fantastic build quality that users can easily rely on, and the Apex M750 is no exception. The sleek new design, innovative RGB lighting effects and the ever-evolving software suite are sure to satisfy whatever user purchases it. The price tag of $179.99 CAD is a bit steep for the market considering the feature set, but the high-quality construction and materials are a welcome trade-off to ensure users possess a keyboard that is built to last for years to come.
Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out some of Cole Watson's latest reviews such as the Sound BlasterX Siege M04 and Vanguard K08 mouse and keyboard, and the Apple 2017 iMac!
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