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SteelSeries' Apex M750 mechanical gaming keyboard reviewed


The gaming keyboard, distilled

Between my own input device addiction and what we review here at TR, a plethora of peripherals passes over my desk. I try to review the best of them, of course. The majority of the devices I see either have some gimmick of questionable value or are just plain ill-conceived. I'm happy to report that neither of those problems happen to be the case with the latest input device up for my perusal, though. Meet the SteelSeries Apex M750.

Yep, it's a keyboard. More specifically, it's a programmable mechanical gaming keyboard with an aluminum frame and highly-configurable RGB LED lighting. To be honest, there aren't many surprises here. The Apex M750 has a mostly-standard 104-key layout, save one change. The company has replaced the menu key with a SteelSeries logo key that triggers the Apex M750's media and volume controls. I don't really prefer function layers like this, but it's better than not having those functions at all. The Apex M750 supports full n-key roll-over (NKRO), too.

Underneath the board's ABS keycaps, you'll find SteelSeries' proprietary QX2 switches. These are Cherry MX-style switches manufactured in partnership with Gateron. They feel extremely similar to real Cherry MX Red switches. Like those clickers, the QX2s are linear switches with no tactile bump or auditory feedback. They require about 45 cN of force to actuate, and they have the same two-millimeter actuation point and four millimeters of total travel as the MX Reds, too. Under my fingers, these switches feel even more sensitive than the MX Reds in my Freestyle Edge, but I might chalk that up to the wildly different design between the two boards.

This is the first keyboard I've ever used with SteelSeries' switches, and I have nary a nitpick about them. I've used Gateron switches before, and these actually feel better than those that I've used in the past. They may actually be even smoother in motion than real Cherry MX switches. The action from each key is downright silky, with none of the rough or "grainy" feeling we've felt in some other mechanical keyboards.

On the bottom of the keyboard there's an odd glossy area in the middle, and rubber feet at each corner. Rather than the flip-down stands you're probably familiar with on other keyboards, the Apex M750 uses replaceable rubber feet. The flat-ish foot in the shot above comes pre-installed, while two taller feet come in the box for those who prefer more elevation. The keyboard's default angle is a little higher than I'd like, but removing the pre-installed feet doesn't really shave off any of it due to the shape of the keyboard's bottom cover. That's just a nitpick, though.