Product Provided By: SteelSeries
Platform : PC
Editor: Carrie Crockett
Before going into the internal specs of this mouse, I would first like to mention the outside. The Rival 100 is quite lightweight and seems to fit rather well in hand when using. It has comfortable to grip due to slightly curved sides that seem to come standard with many higher end mice. This mouse is also easy to grip due to a thin rubber coating on the outside that prevents the hand from slipping. I will also say that I tend to be a sucker for LED lighting on my computer components, and this mouse is no exception. I found myself having fun with the changing RGB illumination before I started even using the mouse.
Now we turn from the outside and aesthetics to the more important aspects, the internal features. Like gaming mice before it, the Rival 100 features fully programmable buttons allowing you to have more options at your disposal. These programmable buttons use a special in house proprietary switches, making the buttons harder to accidentally press. We found this feature was especially useful when playing MOBA's like League of Legends, or MMORPG's like Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft. Overall, these programmable buttons manage to offer a more optimized experience anyone can enjoy.
When looking for a mouse to purchase, you have to make sure the laser speed is up to snuff. Fortunately the Rival 100 features the S3059-SS Custom Sensor. Not only is this sensor top of the line, this baby guarantees 1:1 optical tracking. At the small price point of $39.99 this addition is more than welcome. While the original Laser speed is set at 2000 CPI, you're more than welcomed to bump it up to 4,000 CPI. We recommend that only experienced gamers use this function though, as you may have some trouble with control if you're unfamiliar with such speed.
Our only negative with the Rival 100 was a slightly delicate scroll wheel. At no time during use did it ever malfunction, nor does it seem like it was cheaply made. However, we can't deny the wheel does feel flimsy or delicate at times. I suppose this may be nitpicking, considering the overall value you receive. As of right now, there is no better mouse out there for gamers on a budget. If you're considering an upgrade the Rival 100 may be just what you're looking for.
We here at Game Rampage give the SteelSeries Rival 100 Mouse an 8/10
The Apex M500 doesn't try any fancy (and ultimately useless) designs for their keyboard, like curving the board or key placement. A true believer in the don't fix it if it ain't broken philosophy, this keyboard keeps the standard layout. This seems to be the only thing standard however when it comes to comparing this with a more conventional keyboard.
The M500's Cherry MX Switches are an excellent example of how SteelSeries improved upon the basic keyboard design. These tactile switches allow you to really feel when a key is pressed down. This small change may seem minimal at first, but after continued use you feel as if accuracy never presented itself better. If you want 100% keyboard accuracy when typing or gaming , the choice is simply a no-brainer.
Have you ever tried to press multiple keys on your keyboard at the same time? What happens next is a simple formula. The keyboard will register the last key you touch, possibly skipping out on the others before it. If you have ever experienced lag in an online game, imagine having an a similar experience when trying to input keyboard commands. This is where the M500's anti-ghosting technology shines. With the simple press of a key, each key is fully registered, no matter how quick or how many keys are entered. This is especially useful in fast moving games like Starcraft II.
If you're familiar with building a computer, you already know cable management can be a pain. Time after time my computer desk is cluttered by unwanted wires. The M500 handles this nicely by offering a unique cable management system. Three grooves on the keyboards backside let you choose where the wire exits your keyboard. This means, no matter where you decide to have your PC placement, there won't be an excess of wire snaking left and right around your work space.
For those gamers making the most of their experience by playing in a darkened room, the M500 also offers back lit keys. Like most higher end keyboards on the market, this LED back lighting allows you to use your keyboard no matter what the light level in the room is. You can even customize the brightness to your own personal preference. The only disappointment we had with this back lighting though was that it only came in blue. It does seem a small price to pay though for such a responsive and durable piece of equipment that is sure to get a lot of use.
Overall, the SteelSeries Apex M500 is built like a tank with plenty of utility. This keyboard is perfect for somebody looking to switch to a mechanical keyboard or if you simply want an upgrade.
We here at Game Rampage give the SteelSeries Apex M500 Mechanical Keyboard a 9/10.