The Steelseries Apex M500 sports a more utilitarian look than its cousins, the SteelSeries Apex$109.20 at Amazon (which has dome switches) and the SteelSeries Apex M800, both of which feature an enlarged space bar, large frames, macro keys, and RGB lighting. While it does have blue LED backlighting, the M500 otherwise looks like something you might find around the typical office. It measures 1.56 by 17.3 by 5.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.7 pounds, making it both smaller and lighter than the M800 (1.6 by 20.1 by 6.8 inches, 3.1 pounds) and the Apex (1.18 by 20.5 by 8.7 inches, 2.9 pounds).
The M500 features a 10-key number pad and 104-key rollover for anti-ghosting. The mechanical switches are of the Cherry MX Red variety, which are also used in the Corsair K95 RGB and the Corsair Strafe Mechanical Gaming Keyboard$79.99 at Amazon. SteelSeries says the switches can withstand 50 million keystrokes, durability that it claims is reinforced in the M500 through a steel back plate. The rest of the keyboard is made of black plastic with a matte finish on the keys and textured finish for the remainder of the deck. While more premium keyboards, like the Corsair K95 RGB, may sport aluminum bodies, the plastic doesn’t look or feel at all flimsy. The bottom of the keyboard features large adjustable rubber feet to prevent slipping and channels for routing the keyboard cable away to the left, right, or center.