Update: We've gone hands-on with the Apex M800 for a full review. Check it out!
The SteelSeries Apex M800 is the newest mechanical keyboard from the popular peripheral company, and, significantly, features a brand new, non-Cherry mechanical switch.
Working in partnership with switch-maker Kailh, SteelSeries produced the QS1 switch, which has been designed specifically to enable faster and more precise gaming input. Specifically, SteelSeries is boasting of the "25% faster actuation" of their switch compared to standard models. What that actually means is that their switch actuates at the 1.5 millimeter mark, rather than the 2 millimeter actuation found in many Cherry MX switches.
When I asked SteelSeries what they're going to tell their fans out there, many of whom might also be die-hard Cherry-switch loyalists, the company said they're looking at the Cherry switch shortage as an opportunity, rather than a crisis. While they have enjoyed their partnership with Cherry in the past, the limited supply of the Cherry MX switches means the company had to look for another solution, and so they took the chance to construct a switch of their own designed specifically with gaming in mind. They're pleased with the results, and they are confident that gamers who try out the Apex M800 will feel the same way.
Aside from the new switches, the keyboard supports macros, custom profiles, and deep lighting customization options (taking advantage of the up to 16.8 million colors its LEDs are capable of displaying). It also features a low-profile design and dual processors built into the keyboard to eliminate lag.
The Apex 800 is targeted for release in the near future and will sell for $199.99. For more information, visit the SteelSeries website.