The SteelSeries Engine 3 Software

SteelSeries is a company that placed a lot of resources on the development of proper peripherals software and the results are obvious. The SteelSeries Engine 3 is a very well designed, flexible software package that can be used to program any recently released programmable device that SteelSeries currently offers.

The main window of the SteelSeries Engine 3 has only three main tabs - "My Gear", "Engine Apps", and "Library". The "My Gear" tab lists all of the compatible SteelSeries devices that the software can be used to control. Clicking at the "Engine Apps" tab brings up a list of software compatible with the SteelSeries Engine 3 and that it can be tethered to override the lighting settings of connected devices in order to display their own notifications or effects. The two most prominent examples are AudioVisualizer that will convert your keyboard into an audio spectrum visualizer, and Discord, which will produce lighting effects based on Discord events and can even control the audio input/output of compatible SteelSeries peripherals. There is also an App that allows the insertion of a GIF file to be converted into a lighting effect for the keyboard, because…why not.

Finally, the "Library" tab lists all of your installed games and can be used to tether specific profiles to specific games, automatically switching to them one the game launches.

Selecting the Apex M750 from the "My Gear" tab brings up another window that defaults into the illumination tab. Although it is not apparent at first, multiple profiles (or configs, as SteelSeries calls them) can be programmed, allowing the user to either tether each of them to a specific application or to manually switch between them if some of the keyboard's keys are reprogrammed to perform this function. These are hidden in a side bar that is revealed only when the small "configs" button at the lower left side of the window is pressed.

The illumination of the keyboard is fully customizable via the second tab, which is the tab that the UI defaults to when launching the application. From this screen, users can change both the active and the reactive lighting of the keyboard, as well as the direction and speed of the selected effect. Per-key lighting programming is also possible. Note that any programmed lighting effects will be overridden if an app from the "Engine Apps" signals the keyboard.

The first tab of the software allows for the per-key reprogramming of the entire keyboard. Users can select from simply remapping the keys to having them execute pre-programmed macro commands. It is also possible to set anything that is programmed to a single key to repeat on key press/release any number of times and even the delay between each repeat. The Macro Recorder is relatively basic, allowing the programming of simple keystroke macro commands. It can also recognize mouse clicks but not mouse movements, neither these can be inserted into the macro manually after programming it.

  

Finally, the last tab of the software is the "Settings" tab. From this tab users can only adjust the global illumination brightness of the keyboard, its polling rate, and the region (only five region options are available).

The SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Keyboard Per-Key Quality & Hands-On Testing
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  • timecop1818 - Saturday, September 8, 2018 - link

    So hold on, is menu button completely gone to be replaced with their Fn key equivalent? Reply
  • wavetrex - Saturday, September 8, 2018 - link

    Yes, there is no "menu" button.
    Which I found inconvenient as well, but resolved it quickly by remapping the right "Windows" key to be the "menu" button".
    The "Steelseries" key cannot be remapped, but every other one can.

    This is an absolutely excellent keyboard and I've been enjoying it since March 2018, and to this day nothing else to complain about it.
    It looks great, works great, easy to maintain (clean), software is awesome (and could be improved even more).
    Reply
  • timecop1818 - Sunday, September 9, 2018 - link

    Thank you. that seems like a decent compromise, I do use left winkey as well as menu (a lot), but can't recall many cases where right winkey would be in use. Reply
  • wavetrex - Saturday, September 8, 2018 - link

    @E. Fylladitakis
    Some people (that includes myself) like and want the minimalist design, which still keeps full ANSI compatibility.
    I bought this keyboard especially for this, it has the minimum size for a full-104 key keyboard and fits my desk well.
    Other mech. keyboards might have extra functions, dedicated media or macro buttons, but they are also significantly BIGGER, and that becomes a problem for many people.

    The position of the media combo-keys make it easy to distinguish between "Play/Pause - F8" and "Next - F9", since there's that gap between them, and these are basically the most useful ones.

    Volume Up/Down are also well placed, at the end of Fn row, making them easy to find blindly.
    ~~
    Finally, you seem to have missed in your article the fact that lighting can be controlled through the keyboard itself as well, not just the software.

    Pressing "SS Key" + Print screen / Scroll Lock / Insert / Home / Delete / End changes lighting modes and adjust parameters (like color, speed)
    Even without installing the software, it's possible to switch to a more "pleasant" lighting, like "Starlight" mode. The keyboard remembers the last setting event through power-off, so moving it to a computer without the software installed is nice.
    Reply
  • E.Fyll - Sunday, September 9, 2018 - link

    There is no need to try and justify your purchase to anybody. Every product has a potential market - if it didn't have any potential at all, nobody would bother reviewing it anyway. I am just highlighting what I think it is important, from my point of view. Readers are free to decide themselves whether the product fits their wants and needs.

    About this however:

    "Other mech. keyboards might have extra functions, dedicated media or macro buttons, but they are also significantly BIGGER, and that becomes a problem for many people."

    That's not even remotely true. There are at least a dozen mechanical keyboards available with dedicated media keys/volume control knobs which are not even bigger than the M750. The dead space occupied by the company's logo would be enough to host at least dedicated volume controls.

    Finally, that's a gaming keyboard and its target group is, well, gamers. I really don't think that a gamer cares about being able to switch to "starlight mode" without the software if plugging in the keyboard to another computer. I just never fathomed that someone would buy such an expensive keyboard for that feature. But thank you for pointing that out, just in case someone actually does care about that.
    Reply
  • Sarah Terra - Saturday, September 8, 2018 - link

    Sad how badly Ian Cutress has run this once great publication into the ground. Irrelevant, boring articles combined with endless keyboard reviews....ladies and gentlemen, I give you the result of liberal millennials "at work" Reply
  • m16 - Sunday, September 9, 2018 - link

    It just so happens that the majority of people happen to use keyboards and there's a lot of new offerings showing up.

    If you want to talk about drivel and politics, there's a place for you, fox is elsewhere on the internet, and it includes retirees.
    Reply
  • imemerson - Sunday, September 9, 2018 - link

    This site still does amazing work, including reviews of keyboards which are the most important peripheral for any computer. To make this site more useful to those of us that are here to learn and use it correctly, please remove yourself. I'm sure you can find plenty of low-quality "liberal millenials are ruining everything" places to spout your nonsensical drivel (try InfoWars or anything under the label of Fox News) and please stop slandering a site that actually engages in high-quality reviews and writing with a long history of excellent and truthful reporting. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Sunday, September 9, 2018 - link

    "Sad how badly Ian Cutress has run this once great publication into the ground."

    Hey, credit where credit is due. I'm the editor-in-chief, I am the one who's running it into the ground! =P

    But in all seriousness, if you have specific concerns about the site I'm more than happy to hear them.

    However as far as keyboard reviews go, I am very satisfied with them and intend to continue. They are a nice way to mix things up in terms of content, and they draw reasonable traffic and reader interest.
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    What's been irrelevant and boring recently? Lots of investigative work and new launches, as well as extensive show coverage in the past few weeks Reply

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