Review of SteelSeries Apex M800
Posted: Nov 3, 2015 Written by: profi

I'm a fan of mechanical keyboards. Despite the fact that I wrote a pretty big number of reviews for keyboards, I'm not losing a chance to write another one. All this time I thought that “mechanical keyboard" and “low-profile" are incompatible concepts, but SteelSeries brought to market Apex M800.

Luckily, I got an opportunity to put my hands on it.


Switchers: QS1

Individually illuminated RGB keys: 16.8m colors

Anti-ghosting: 256 keys at once

Additional dedicated buttons: 6

All keys programmable

Weight: 1390 g

Dimensions: 510 x 174 x 41 mm

Cable: USB braided 2m


The box is pretty big with branded colored design. There is a special hole for 3 buttons and you can test the tactile feedback through it. Considering that keyboard uses special QS1 switchers, this option is pretty handy.

On backside of the box, we can find detailed description of the main features on English, French and German languages.

Inside the box, there is one more box which plays kind of protection capsule role.

Finally, here is the keyboard. Matte and stylish.

Besides the keyboard, there are stands for adjusting angle of keyboard, caps for Apple PC, Quick User Guide and stickers.

The eye-catching thing is a spacebar. It's just huge and makes APEX M800's design significantly different in comparison with other gaming keyboards. The practice will show that working with such spacebar is comfortable, but I'll describe it later.

Keyboard has 6 additional buttons and all of them are located on the left.

The backlit and media controls are merged with F5-F12 keys and can be activated by holding FN-button.

The height of the keyboard is almost the same as any other mechanical keyboard, but, as mentioned earlier, buttons are low-profile.

In front side there is a USB-hub with two ports. It's a smart decision to put some distance between the ports, because attached devices will not interfere with each other due to dimensions.

Let's turn over the keyboard. There are four rubber zones for making sure that keyboard will not slide here and there. Also, there is a deepened zone in the middle for better cable-management. You can drop your headset's cable through it.

The keyboard's angle could be adjusted by replacing the caps to a taller one. This solution guarantees that you will not break the stand's mechanism, but at the same time, there is a risk to lose the other caps. Make sure that you're keeping them in some safe place.

Detachable USB-cable is braided and has two connectors. Obviously, for providing enough power to all attached external devices.


For many manufacturers, the software is the weakest part in their product – complicated interface, slow response, different software for each device and even for each model.

Same time, I heard a lot of positive stuff about SteelSeries' software.

I'll tell in advance, that software surprised me a lot in a positive way. Despite to huge number of features, it's very simple to understand how the things are working. The interface is very fast and recording the config back to device is almost instant.

The main advantage is centralization. You can manage all your SteelSeries devices from one application. It's kind of handy eco-system.

The main window has 3 tabs. In My Gear tab you will find the list of all your devices. Just click on one of them, and you can start editing its functions. In Library tab you can set the applications and games, which will automatically apply the respective profile upon launching.

The Gamesense tab will show you all advantages of individual RGB-backlit. The possibilities just countless. For example, you can show the life and armor bars of CSGO game right on your keyboard. Same goes to mana bar in MOBA game, etc. I'm suggesting you to check official SteelSeries website for videos related to this functionality. It's hard to describe by words, better to see it.

It's time to switch to the settings of Apex M800. And again, countless possibilities. Globally, settings' tab has two modes for adjusting keys and illumination respectively. Let's start from bind settings. You can reprogram each and every button of the keyboard.

Certainly, you can record macro-combination and assign it too. The macro-recording tool is beautiful and functional. By clicking on rectangles, you can edit the figure or delay time. You can assign delay time for all at once.

The same number of variations, combinations, etc.., goes to illumination functionality. Only your mind can set the borders. Also, the illumination settings can be different for active and idle modes.

The same number of variations, combinations, etc.., goes to illumination functionality. Only your mind can set the borders. Also, the illumination settings can be different for active and idle modes.


Some of my friends and colleagues didn't switch to mechanical keyboard only because they are love to work/play on low-profile keyboards. Now they lost their last bastion.

I've tested this keyboard for almost one month and my opinion about it is very positive. Honestly, I thought that tactile feedback will not be that great, but good that I was wrong. Of course, it's different, but typing and playing with it is a pure pleasure.

According to manufacturer, anti-ghosting feature can handle 256 pressed buttons at once. I don't have such number of fingers (and buttons on keyboard are less), but all my tests related to this are completed successfully.

Take a note that you can disable/enable Win button by pressing FN+Win simultaneously.

I know that for many it's important to know that this keyboard is pretty silent in comparison with other mechanical keyboards. You will not disturb your colleagues and family members anymore.

The huge spacebar doesn't bother at all. Moreover, it's very handy! You can press in any part of it and key is perfectly register the push.

I liked the distance between the USB ports and deepened area in the middle for better cable-management.

The backlit of the keyboard – holiday for eyes. You are free to adjust it in any way – from full disable to the disco mode:

Few levels of brightness and there is no dimmed areas at all. The side backlit makes the keyboard more stylish and sexy:

The software is deserved the dedicated paragraph. To be honest, it's a best software of gaming device which I've ever seen. It's beautiful, intuitive, extremely fast. I'm sure, that you will be happy to adjust keyboard's settings here and there just because of software. Definitely developers and designers are not overpaid.

Let's talk about disadvantages. I didn't like the lack of dedicated media buttons. Of course, I could re-assign some dedicated keys or use FN combo, but in my opinion it's always better to have a special keys for such purposes. Especially if we are talking about full-size keyboard.

It is a little bit inconvenient that USB cable is detachable. For those visiting LAN-parties a lot, this factor could add some discomfort.

If the above said disadvantages are not important for you, then definitely you can go ahead with it.


+ Unique low-profile mechanical keyboard

+ Great build materials

+ Individual RGB-backlit

+ Countless possibilities of buttons and backlit settings

+ Low level of click noise

+ Embedded USB-hub

+ Fantastic software


- Lack of dedicated media-buttons

- Detachable USB-cable

Latest Comments