Author Topic: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)  (Read 2180 times)

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Offline chyros

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Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« on: Sat, 13 August 2022, 09:04:29 »
Today we look at the Steelseries Apex M800, a kind of semi-old RGB-focused battlecruiser keyboard from the mid-2010s. Hope you enjoy the video! :)

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Offline CaesarAZealad

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 13 August 2022, 17:30:48 »
Bit of a thing chyros. People want MX compatibility for a plethora of reasons. The short list that comes to my mind is
- Interchangeability of parts
- Compatibility with multiple boards
- Keycap compatibility
Writing off having switches that are the same form factor as MX as to avoid  "confusing and enraging enthusiasts." is a bit disingenuous. I hate the r/mk crowd as much as the next guy, but we can't be building entire boards just for each new switch now can we?
Despite that it was a pretty entertaining review, though the running jokes are starting to get a bit long in the tooth. Maybe don't make an imperial units joke every time you make a review, there's only so many ways you can make it funny, you know?
Either way, can't wait to see what that 60% you were talking about is :)
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen... Yeah that seems about right.

Offline chyros

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 14 August 2022, 05:38:20 »
Bit of a thing chyros. People want MX compatibility for a plethora of reasons. The short list that comes to my mind is
- Interchangeability of parts
- Compatibility with multiple boards
- Keycap compatibility
Writing off having switches that are the same form factor as MX as to avoid  "confusing and enraging enthusiasts." is a bit disingenuous.
Then why are switches being made that have no MX parts or board compatibility that still physically resemble MX switches?
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Offline looneyperson

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 14 August 2022, 10:22:32 »
Bit of a thing chyros. People want MX compatibility for a plethora of reasons. The short list that comes to my mind is
- Interchangeability of parts
- Compatibility with multiple boards
- Keycap compatibility
Writing off having switches that are the same form factor as MX as to avoid  "confusing and enraging enthusiasts." is a bit disingenuous.
Then why are switches being made that have no MX parts or board compatibility that still physically resemble MX switches?
What switches would those be? The only ones I can think off of the top of my head are Matias/ALPS clones like APC switches, low profile switches, and topres, and some of the topre keyboards are using MX stems for better keycap compatibility. Maybe buckling springs but they don't really resemble MX switches in anyway.

Offline CaesarAZealad

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 14 August 2022, 10:36:59 »
Bit of a thing chyros. People want MX compatibility for a plethora of reasons. The short list that comes to my mind is
- Interchangeability of parts
- Compatibility with multiple boards
- Keycap compatibility
Writing off having switches that are the same form factor as MX as to avoid  "confusing and enraging enthusiasts." is a bit disingenuous.
Then why are switches being made that have no MX parts or board compatibility that still physically resemble MX switches?
What switches would those be? The only ones I can think off of the top of my head are Matias/ALPS clones like APC switches, low profile switches, and topres, and some of the topre keyboards are using MX stems for better keycap compatibility. Maybe buckling springs but they don't really resemble MX switches in anyway.
I think he's referring to stuff like bloody optical switches, analogue switches, and those snap spring clicky switches. Not trying to dismiss the argument, but those haven't really been the most successful or widespread switches, and I'm pretty sure the wooting has some people trying to make compatible PCBs so you can use the switches in other boards.
Not to say that something has to be successful for his point to be true, but at the same time if they're using the MX appearance to get easy sales from MX people then they've done a terrible job of it.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love some more out there stuff in this hobby. I love the Zeal Clickiez I'm typing on right now, and the vintage space is full of amazingly unique switches that are so fun to type on (A friend convinced me to buy a MMM board and it was surprisingly good.) but MX has established itself as the de facto "Standard" for most people, and if you want your switch to succeed then MX compatibility is a nice thing to have.
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen... Yeah that seems about right.

Offline looneyperson

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 14 August 2022, 11:14:25 »
I think he's referring to stuff like bloody optical switches, analogue switches, and those snap spring clicky switches. Not trying to dismiss the argument, but those haven't really been the most successful or widespread switches, and I'm pretty sure the wooting has some people trying to make compatible PCBs so you can use the switches in other boards.
Not to say that something has to be successful for his point to be true, but at the same time if they're using the MX appearance to get easy sales from MX people then they've done a terrible job of it.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love some more out there stuff in this hobby. I love the Zeal Clickiez I'm typing on right now, and the vintage space is full of amazingly unique switches that are so fun to type on (A friend convinced me to buy a MMM board and it was surprisingly good.) but MX has established itself as the de facto "Standard" for most people, and if you want your switch to succeed then MX compatibility is a nice thing to have.
A lot of those switches have MX mounts for keycap compatibility anyway. I don't really care what form factor a switch is in as long as it feels good to type on, but still I understand why people want MX compatibility. If I spent $200 on "premium" keycaps I would want to put them on as many boards as possible. You can still have plenty of innovation while being MX compatible like that wooting 60%. It is a really cool keyboard, shame there aren't a lot of applications that take advantage of their switches.

Offline chyros

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 14 August 2022, 13:52:55 »
Bit of a thing chyros. People want MX compatibility for a plethora of reasons. The short list that comes to my mind is
- Interchangeability of parts
- Compatibility with multiple boards
- Keycap compatibility
Writing off having switches that are the same form factor as MX as to avoid  "confusing and enraging enthusiasts." is a bit disingenuous.
Then why are switches being made that have no MX parts or board compatibility that still physically resemble MX switches?
What switches would those be? The only ones I can think off of the top of my head are Matias/ALPS clones like APC switches, low profile switches, and topres, and some of the topre keyboards are using MX stems for better keycap compatibility. Maybe buckling springs but they don't really resemble MX switches in anyway.
I think he's referring to stuff like bloody optical switches, analogue switches, and those snap spring clicky switches. Not trying to dismiss the argument, but those haven't really been the most successful or widespread switches, and I'm pretty sure the wooting has some people trying to make compatible PCBs so you can use the switches in other boards.
Not to say that something has to be successful for his point to be true, but at the same time if they're using the MX appearance to get easy sales from MX people then they've done a terrible job of it.
My point is the inverse of that argument. They're afraid their switches won't sell well if they don't make their switches look like MX switches.

And they're probably right, I've seen it happen, too. I've seen and heard people that look at switches that aren't MX and they go "but they aren't mechanical, are they?"
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline CaesarAZealad

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 15 August 2022, 14:06:02 »
I mean I'm not disputing that, all I'm saying is that they're doing a terrible job if they're just making switches that look like MX to have them sell. Plus I think people like that are still going through growing pains with the hobby. I remember about a year ago I was breaking into new territory by... buying zealios and putting them in a GMMK. People can't always just get straight into a hobby and find out everything about it, sometimes they're going to do stupid things like assume that MX is the be all end all of keyboard switches. That being said, having a switch that looks and works like an MX switch also reduces problems with disassembly and replacement. Copying the homework MX has already done is a great way to make it so the tough bits are already done for you. You don't have to worry about making your own disassembly process or tools, people already know how it works in a general way. It's like basing a pistol off of a Browning. JMB already did the work, and people know that Browning pistols are reliable and how to disassemble, repair, and maintain a system like that, so why not just copy that system and save some headache.
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen... Yeah that seems about right.

Offline chyros

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 15 August 2022, 15:54:07 »
I mean I'm not disputing that, all I'm saying is that they're doing a terrible job if they're just making switches that look like MX to have them sell.
But we KNOW that that's what they're doing; most companies aren't even taking the time to invent something new at all and are just putting out endless indistinguishable clones of the same switch and marketing them as new, perhaps with a different housing just to make it look appetising. Surely you'll have to admit that MX is a bandwagon that virtually everyone is hopping on to at least SOME level. That the customer actually benefits in some cases, I'd call an accident more than anything.

On the whole though, and this is really the point I'm trying to make by trying to cover a wider range of switches than - as far as I'm aware - any other youtuber, is that the focus on MX switches is actually a net negative. These new, genuinely innovative switches that come out occasionally are small splashes of colour in an otherwise almost completely monochromatic market. The more companies focus on MX, the smaller our actual choices become. And the results speak for themselves if you're a fan of clicky and especially tactile switches.
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Offline looneyperson

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 16 August 2022, 20:56:05 »
If you're talking about recolors then yeah I get your frustration. I find them dumb, but at the same time I understand that people treat their keyboard as a work of art and want switches that match their keycaps, or the color of their keyboard because they think it looks good, heck I'm even guilty of that. The marketing behind them is dumb since they're all the same switches anyway, but I don't consider that the majority of switches and I don't believe most companies are doing that. I do agree that there's a lot of recolors out there, but plenty of people are experimenting with different housing materials, springs, and even stem materials, which you may see as a clone but does actually change the way how a switch feels. From personal experience I know how changing a switches housing changes the way it feels so even if it may seem iterative I think its important that companies keep making switches like that. Thanks to them I was able to find a combination that to me felt nicer to type on than other switches. At the end of the day this is all personal preference anyways. No need to kink shame people for buying a recolored switch. 

Offline Surefoot

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 17 August 2022, 02:51:16 »
Despite that it was a pretty entertaining review, though the running jokes are starting to get a bit long in the tooth. Maybe don't make an imperial units joke every time you make a review, there's only so many ways you can make it funny, you know?
I'm a fan of the running jokes. It's not him if there's no "hhhhhideous", or no battlecruiser metal keyboard drop ("CLUNK"), or no fun made of those retarded imperial units. That's kind of his signature, a bit like Doug DeMuro's "THIS ! is..."

Offline chyros

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Re: Steelseries Apex M800 review (QS1 switches)
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 17 August 2022, 05:56:54 »
If you're talking about recolors then yeah I get your frustration. I find them dumb, but at the same time I understand that people treat their keyboard as a work of art and want switches that match their keycaps, or the color of their keyboard because they think it looks good, heck I'm even guilty of that. The marketing behind them is dumb since they're all the same switches anyway, but I don't consider that the majority of switches and I don't believe most companies are doing that. I do agree that there's a lot of recolors out there, but plenty of people are experimenting with different housing materials, springs, and even stem materials, which you may see as a clone but does actually change the way how a switch feels. From personal experience I know how changing a switches housing changes the way it feels so even if it may seem iterative I think its important that companies keep making switches like that. Thanks to them I was able to find a combination that to me felt nicer to type on than other switches. At the end of the day this is all personal preference anyways. No need to kink shame people for buying a recolored switch.
I'm not kinking anyone, I'm just pointing out that there's alternatives out there that will give you a lot bigger differences than housing and stem swaps of the same switch. Be adventurous, explore the possibilities!
Check my keyboard video reviews: