All new mechanical keyboards when they come out with have some new function that will hopefully sway the audience one way or another. A while back, CHERRY for instance with the MX Board 6.0 gave us a 1.0 millisecond response time and more recently, HyperX with their Alloy FPS keyboard gave us a unique charging USB port in the back of their product, as well as giving the community a light bar on the Hyper X Alloy ELITE. Steelseries are the latest to jump onto the proverbial bandwagon with their latest product, the Apex M750, having integrated Discord functions with its backlighting being capable of portraying real-time Discord notifications.
Steelseries themselves stated: “Streamers, gamers, and esports players can light up the new Apex M750 with customisable notifications that indicate new messages, mute status and more…” This programming can most likely be done through their own software, the Steelseries Engine, which sounds pretty much identical to the Logitech Gaming Software that is also used to program certain products in the Logitech G Range, such as the Logitech G29 Racing Wheel. Through their own software, you can program the backlighting for the keyboard, as well as setting commands for individual keys using the Steelseries Engine despite the Apex M750 not having dedicated programmable macro keys.
In terms of the product itself, the Apex M750 is made from ‘aerospace aluminium’ as said by PC Gamer as a direct quote from Steelseries I’m guessing and also features Steelseries’ own QX2 mechanical keyswitches. However, it is unsure as to which firm produces the switches on behalf of Steelseries, much like Razer have their own branded switches that are made by Kalih. A couple of firms that have been thrown around are Gateron and TTC on forums such as Reddit, but according to Tom’s Hardware, all they are are clones of the CHERRY MX RGB switch.
The QX2 switches are different to the QX1 switches found on some other SteelSeries keyboards, such as the Apex M800. The QX1 have a shallow 3mm travel and 1.5mm actuation, whereas the QX2 used here have a 4mm travel distance and 2mm actuation point. There are also tested to 50 million actuations. The 2mm actuation point is even more suggestive of the idea that these switches are MX Clones, as all CHERRY MX switches apart from the MX Speed Sliver features a 2mm actuation point as far as I’m aware.
The Steelseries Apex M750 costs £150 from various retailers.