What’s goin on guys, Jerry Neutron here and after taking a little break from product reviews I’m back with this mechanical keyboard from a company named GAMDIAS. So, they make a bunch of PC gaming peripherals based on Greek mythology and the keyboard they’ve sent me today is called the Hermes Lite. This is more of a barbones, cheaper alternative to the other Hermes models they offer.
And with a street price of around $80 bucks US, we’re gonna take a look at this and see if its a great bargain for those not wanting to spend $100 plus on a mechanical keyboard or if you should just pay a little bit extra for something better.
Construction-wise, you get an all plastic casing which seems pretty solid for what it is. You’ll also notice a few mythological design cues but it’s not overdone which I enjoy, I’m really not a fan of aggressive styling when it comes to keyboards. Simple is better!
Fuctionality-wise, this keyboard comes with quite a few useful things. There are media controls across the F keys, 6 profile hotkeys across numbers 1-6 which allows you to switch between different configurations. You get two macro keys on the spacebar and letter B, as well as a Windows lock key so you don’t accidentally jump back to your desktop during the middle of a game. You even get brightness adjustment keys over on the numpad.
On another note, they do provide a keycap puller with the keyboard so let’s take one off and see whats underneath. As you can see, each key has a red backlight which has a 3 level adjustment, along with being able to enable a breathing mode or disable the backlight altogether. I do like the intensity of the backlighting, it’s nice and bright which is a change from most RGB keyboards which have plenty of color options but really they’re just dull in comparison. So, this keyboard does one color well and I’m okay with that.
The keycaps aren’t anything special, looks like just basic, thin ABS plastic. About what you’d expect in this price range. One thing I did notice though when inspecting them is not not all of the legends are level. Depending on the person this may or may not bother you but personally I’m not a fan. If you look at the #3 key, you can see the legend sits lower than #2 and 4 in comparison. The F6 and #7 key actually look crooked compared to their surrounding keys so I’d really like to see them improve the QC there.
As for the switches themselves, this keyboard uses TTC red switches. After coming from Cherry MX browns, I will say these feel kind of mushy in comparison. The two keyboards I was using prior to this which had Cherry MX brown and blue switches, both felt a lot firmer when pressing the keycaps which I definitely prefer. If I had to describe these, I’d say they’re like browns without the tactile feedback. So, I’d like to see GAMDIAS offer more switch options that way they’re not losing out of potential customers due to their switch choice.
Anyway, no keyboard review would be complete without a typing test so let me give you guys a little sample of what they sound like…
Let me know what you think about the sound down in the comments below.
And the last thing I wanna talk about is the included HERA software. So aside from the keyboard shortcuts, here is where you can make several changes to the keyboard functionality. So you can assign existing macros to your macro keys. You can re-assign any of the keys on the keyboard to other functions which I don’t think I’d ever use but options are good. You can switch between 6 profiles allowing you to have several keyboard configurations if you want. You can swap the Fn & Windows keys. You can change between 21 key & 6 key rollover. By the way if you have trouble getting into your BIOS and things like that with the keyboard I’d recommend switching it to 6 key rollover and trying again.
Aside from that there’s macro management where you will go to setup your macros. Keyboard luminance which is where you’ll control your backlighting. Again you can adjust the brightness levels, disable the backlighting altogether or enable a pulsating mode. You can assign sounds & a timer. Not quite sure how I’d use these but maybe if you need a reminder of when to do something during a game. I guess that’s when that’d come into play.
All in all seems like pretty solid software, I just wish it came as an installer instead of a zip file. It does appear that it works with several peripherals though so that’s nice that you can management several GAMDIAS products with just one piece of software.
But that’s about it for the Hermes Lite, its a solid keyboard for the price. Great backlighting, good build quality for its pricepoint and easy to understand software. I’d just like to see them improve on the quality control a little bit, get those legends level and straight. And offer several switch types because people have preferences and like me, they may not be a fan of these TTC reds.
So let me know what you guys think, is this a keyboard you would go for? Or do you prefer the more expensive models?
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GAMDIAS Hermes Lite mechanical keyboard: http://amzn.to/1PlbcCB
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