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GAMDIAS HERMES GKB2010 Black Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

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Gaming Keyboard Final Thoughts

I used the GAMDIAS HERMES GKB2010 Ultimate Black Mechanical Gaming Keyboard as my day-to-day keyboard for two weeks. I have to say that I don’t personally like the feel imparted by the GAMDIAS Membrane; it does reduce key travel and make the keys a lot quieter, but I prefer the travel and “crisper” feel of the un-membraned keys on the numeric pad. This is hardly a deal breaker since removing the membrane is easy: it simply lifts off once the key caps are removed. Of course it gets a little tedious since you must remove all the key caps in a given area, but you only have to do it once.

The media keys (Fn-2,3,5-8), as well as the brightness adjustment keys, work without any software support on both Mac and Windows platforms, which is convenient. In fact, with the on-the-fly macro recording feature, you can record macros, assign them to keys, and switch profiles on any system, although the excellent HERA software is Windows-only. As someone who does most of their non-gaming work on an OS X system, I really appreciate this. What I don’t appreciate is the lack of any documentation: when you buy a keyboard this expensive, there should be some documentation, even if you consider spending the better part of an afternoon trying to figure things out to be fun.

gamdias_hermes_main

The arrangement of the six macro keys at the bottom of the GKB2010 keyboard are non-optimal (for me at least): while the ones directly under the space bar are easy to reach with either thumb, the ones offset to the right require you to move your right hand a bit in order to reach them. I suppose this is the feature that GAMDIAS has in mind when they claim the keyboard is laid for “right and left handed gamers”, but I think it would work better were all six keys centered under the main alpha portion of the keyboard.

If you’re a fan of keyboard macros, you’ll love the HERMES, as it has by far the most powerful macro software I’ve ever seen on a gaming keyboard. The ability to edit complex macros without having to re-record them is wonderful. The feel of the keyboard is more of an individual thing: I prefer Cherry MX Reds for gaming, but GAMDIAS seems to only be shipping versions with MX Black keys right now, and none of the online vendors offer a choice of key switch types.

Nobody will mistake the HERMES for anything except a gaming keyboard: its massive nigrescent presence, glowing red keys, and yellow GAMDIAS logo make its rationale clear. But that will be just fine with most owners, who like to show their gaming chops. The quality of the keyboard’s construction seems to be very good, with the exception of the messy soldering of the G1-G5 macro keys.

My last comment concerns the wrist rest: it’s actually reasonably comfortable, except that its size renders it very clumsy to use. It’s so large I suspect that few HERMES owners will use it as anything except a keyboard cover.

GAMDIAS HERMES GKB2010 Conclusion

There are a lot of gaming keyboards out there these days, and some of them are very good. But if you’re a serious gamer, the HERMES Ultimate Black Mechanical Gaming Keyboard should definitely be on your radar. It’s expensive– actually, it’s very expensive at MSRP– but it’s a super-functional keyboard. In a previous keyboard review I talked about the difference between gaming keyboards without dedicated macro keys, which have the advantage of being smaller, and gaming keyboards with dedicated macro keys, which trade size for their extra functionality. If you prefer separate macro keys, the excellent editing features in the HERA software make this a standout product, and the GAMDIAS HERMES GKB2010, available for $135.99 (Amazon | Newegg), is something you should consider.

Pros:
Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award Logo (Small)

+ Lots of macro keys
+ USB and audio pass-through ports
+ Very good macro recording and editing software
+ Usable on non-Windows platforms with On-the-fly macro recording

Cons:

- Expensive enthusiast product
– No documentation. Like none whatsoever.
– Wrist rest too large to be useful for most people
– Surprisingly sloppy soldering under left macro keys

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.75
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.5
  • Functionality: 9.75
  • Value: 8.50

Final Score: 8.90 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

NewEgg.com

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1 comment

  1. David Shields

    The key with that you say looks like a “soda can with a straw in it” appears to function as a “right click” key. It kinda looks like a mouse with that little marking around the right button. When I selected an icon or such and pressed the key it brought up the same menu as right clicking would normally. This is on the GAMDIAS Hermes Essential version, and I assume it functions the same on the Ultimate.

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