Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Final Thoughts
There are a number of positives from which to draw regarding the GAMDIAS HERMES Mechanical Gaming Keyboard; adjustable back-lighting, several well-positioned macros, a wrist rest that doubles as a dust cover, plug and play capability, on-the-fly functionality that includes profile switching and macro recording, and much more. Considering that it has yet to establish a reputation, the challenge for this new organization is to effectively market the product and price it to sell.
The wrist rest/dust cover is a great feature, but due to its extraordinarily large size, it has its limitations. More flexibility should be integrated into this feature by making it expandable. Having it fold in half or providing a portion that can be extended/retracted would work. Also, a shorter version of the magnetic wrist rest could be either provided or sold separately.
Manipulating the media keys is a bit of a hassle. For example, having to use two hands to adjust the volume is inconvenient. I have to hold down the Fn key and adjust the volume by hitting F7 or F8. My personal preference is a scroll wheel, which can be found on the Gigabyte Aivia Osmium or Corsair Vengeance K70. Sure, you can program macros to control the media keys, but why would you want to use up most of your macro keys or switch profiles for that purpose?
Many of the high-end mechanical gaming keyboards come with additional keys and a key puller. This is not a deal-breaker if it does not come with additional keys, but I think gamers are getting accustomed to receiving this benefit with a new keyboard, especially an expensive one, so it would be a nice touch. At least include a key-puller, since GAMDIAS does recommend cleaning the Element after about six months of use.
GAMDIAS HERMES Keyboard Conclusion
When it comes to the performance of a keyboard, there are two phases to consider; the gaming phase and the daily task phase. The GAMDIAS HERMES Mechanical Gaming Keyboard performed quite well while employing it for gaming purposes. The Cherry MX Blue keys with the GAMDIAS Element does help dampen the clacking noise of the keys and it shortens the keystroke. I cannot definitively determine if my gaming performance improved, but I am certain that it did not deteriorate.
One of the claims that GAMDIAS has made regarding the Element is that it increases keystroke speed by 20%. Since this is a gaming keyboard, I can assume this claim is targeted at gamers. However, plenty of us want a keyboard that can play fill both the gaming and professional roles. The HERMES can play both roles, but it would not be my first choice to do so, and that opinion is mainly due to the keys. When utilizing the HERMES for daily tasks, the 20% speed advantage was not noticed. In fact, the keys almost made typing seem a bit sluggish, since most mechanical keyboards have keys with a longer stroke. These are not the Cherry MX Blue keys that typists rave about. However, the more I use them, the more I do get accustomed to them.
Initially, the GAMDIAS HERMES looks a bit odd due to its size with the wrist rest attached. After getting past that, it is actually quite an attractive keyboard. It has some great styling; even the font on the individually back-lit keys is sharp. The matte black finish just looks good.
Not unlike the majority of gaming keyboards out there, the GAMDIAS HERMES is made of plastic. However, nothing feels loose, nothing rattles, and nothing shakes. The only discrepancy worth sharing is barely worth sharing. However, a rubber pad did fall off of the bottom of the wrist rest. I glued it back on, and all was well with the world once again.
There is plenty to appreciate about the HERMES when it comes to functionality. The plethora of well-positioned macro keys comes in extremely handy while gaming, surfing the internet, or taking care of some daily tasks. On-the-fly macro recording certainly is a benefit. The wrist rest is comfortable to use, and then it can be utilized as a dust cover. However, the lack of independent multimedia keys and having to hit the function key followed by F7 or F8 to manipulate the volume is annoying.
The GAMDIAS HERMES Mechanical Gaming Keyboard has plenty of features and is a solid device, but it is not perfect. Also, GAMDIAS has no reputation to go on. Therefore in terms of value, the high-end sticker price of $149 is a tough one to justify.
If this keyboard had a name like Logitech, Razer, or even Corsair on it, it might be easier to convince consumers to spend $149 for it. However, I can say that, for a keyboard at this price point, I have received a lot less. The GAMDIAS HERMES has what it takes to compete at this level, but more people need to get their hands on it so that a reputation can be established for this organization. A rethink on that MSRP might be in order.
+ Quantity and placement of macros
+ Attractive, individually backlit keys
+ MX Cherry Blue keys with GAMDIAS Element for gaming
+ On-the-fly macro recording and key assignment
+ Wrist rest/dust cover
+ USB & headphone jacks on board
+ Anti-ghosting with full N-key roll over
- Lack of multimedia keys
- Size of wrist rest
- No optional keys/key puller
- Cherry MX Blue keys with GAMDIAS Element for typing
- Rubber pad failure on bottom of wrist rest
- Plastic portion of USB plugs too large
- $149 MSRP
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.
Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.
COMMENT QUESTION: What keyboard do you like to use for gaming?