Mechanical Keyboard Final Thoughts
Wait, did Gamdias include a soda dispenser with the HERMES? That little button down next to the control key looks like a soda with a straw coming out doesn’t it? Well, it appears that this key functions exactly like the right click on a mouse. For example, if you select a photo, then press this button, you’ll get the same options menu has you would if you right clicked using the mouse. I have no idea why this is included, I assume anyone needing to right click would use the mouse for that purpose. Perhaps its intended for use with macros?
The Gamdias HERMES works great even without the HERA software, allowing you to control media, brightness, and assign macros using “On-the-Fly” recording straight out of the box. Of course, HERA makes the process easier, but it is PC only while the HERMES can be used on both PC and Mac. The total lack of documentation is a problem, and I had to refer to David Ramsey’s article on the HERMES Ultimate for some keys and just start pressing others to find out what they did.
The bottom macro keys are position oddly, though you could use the left trio with your thumb. The layout seems intended to keep both right-handed and left-handed gamers in mind, which is a nice touch. The HERMES certainly draws attention to itself, with it’s matte-black construction, bright red LEDs and Gamdias logo with yellow LEDs. With a sturdy construction, the Gamdias HERMES will likely serve you well for a good while.
GAMDIAS HERMES GKB2000 Conclusion
If you love macros, look no further than the Gamdias HERMES. With a total of 13 macro keys and accompanying software that offers unparalleled customization, you can’t go wrong with the HERMES. One point I would like to make is the minimal price difference between the Essential version and the HERMES Ultimate version. The HERMES Ultimate’s only differences seem to be the inclusion of the “Gamdias Elements” and the large wrist cover. It would seem Gamdias wanted a version without those extras, but the price difference is so minimal that unless you really wanted those two extras, the Essential is all you’ll really ever need. It really makes having two versions somewhat pointless.
I’m going to admit, this is the first Cherry MX keyboard I’ve used before for any longer period of time so I can’t say how the switches stack up to those on other boards, but they do feel very smooth and respond promptly to input. They aren’t any louder than the keys on other keyboards I’ve used in the past, but they might be to loud for those who prefer quieter feedback. The keyboard is well built, but large and thanks to the metal plate inside, weighs quite a bit. The HERMES has an outstanding functionality thanks to the 13 macro keys and the Hero software, but the lack of documentation means that you’ll need to figure most of features out for yourself. Value wise, for a macro gaming keyboard you can’t beat the HERMES. For a pure gaming keyboard though, cheaper options do exist, such as the Corsair K70, which also has dedicated media buttons and programmable backlighting that would likely appeal more to gamers not interested in macros. Also, I feel that the space on the back is underutilized and could fit a dedicated USB hub as opposed to just one pass-through port.
With a sturdy construction, excellent functionality, and top-notch macro programming, the Gamdias HERMES is definitely a contender in the gaming market. However, price and the utter lack of documentation hold back what could otherwise be considered a sterling product. GAMDIAS HERMES GKB2000 currently sells online for $125.99 (Amazon). The similarities between the HERMES Essential and the other HERMES keyboard (Ultimate) are absurd, and it makes no sense to have two products at at near identical price. Dropping the Essential by $15-$20 or so seems to be an appropriate choice that might also make it more competitive on the market.
+ Plenty of macros keys.
+ Excellent macro recording and editing software.
+ Sturdy construction.
+ Very attractive with multiple LED settings.
+ USB and audio ports.
– No documentation/manual at all.
– Expensive compared to other Cherry MX products such as the Corsair Vengeance series.
– Minimal price difference between this and the Ultimate makes one consider why this exists at all.