When it comes to buying a new gaming keyboard, you won’t be running out of choices with the widespread offerings from various companies such as Cooler Master, Razer, ThermalTake/Tt eSports, SteelSeries, and ROCCAT. In addition, there are many other brands which produce great gaming keyboards such as GAMDIAS.
In recent years and now, backlighting has become a popular feature in most computer hardware components including the gaming keyboards. They are improving from time to time for instance, the ability to synchronize the LED colours with the other RGB-capable hardware in your system such as the motherboard, graphics card and so on.
Among the backlighting keyboards available in the market, RGB keyboards with Cherry MX mechanical switches are usually cost higher and not everyone can afford to purchase them. That’s why we have several non-Cherry options in the market to cater for more budget saving consumers. One of the options is GAMDIAS’s Hermes RGB mechanical gaming keyboard with Kailh’s switches, which turns out to be our subject in today’s review. For record, the Hermes RGB is not really the latest offering from GAMDIAS. They’ve recently announced the new lineup of RGB gaming peripherals including the Hermes P1, Hermes M1, and Hermes E1 mechanical keyboards.
Back to the Hermes RGB that we have here today. The keyboard is currently selling for RM 399 in the local market, which is quite reasonable for a full-size RGB mechanical gaming keyboard. How does it fare against the competitions? Let’s find out now…
Product Link: http://www.gamdias.com/products-en-gb/keyboards/hermes-rgb
Suggested Retail Price: RM 399
Hermes RGB exceeds basic user demand and enriches the distinct design of the GAMDIAS Hermes Series. The Hermes RGB mechanical keyboard is small but elegant; simple yet powerful with flexibility for all types of gamers. 16.8 million-color backlighting with 13 pre-set lighting effect modes, GAMDIAS Certified Blue Switches with a 50 million actuation lifecycle, custom key lighting and function assignments, On-The-Fly Macro Recording, 2 Programmable macro keys, WASD – Arrow Keys Exchange Mode, Multimedia control function keys, Windows Key Disable, Key Lock Mode, and 6 Player Profiles, and more…
16.8 millon color and customizable lighting effects.
Play Macro via FN+G1/G2
FN+G1/G2 to easily execute your recorded macros.
32bit ARM Cortex-M3 microprocessor
Delivering higher performance and storage of up to 6 profiles on your keyboard.
Program your devices to customize your gaming experience.
The GAMDIAS Hermes RGB mechanical gaming keyboard ships in a cardboard box which is divided into black and white. The black section has a large image of the keyboard with its entire RGB backlighting turned on. Aside from a GAMDIAS logo on the upper left, you will also find an RGB badge which also tell us that the keyboard has RGB backlighting feature. The white section on the right side shows us the product name and key features of the keyboard such as the RGB backlighting, macro keys, high-end 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 microprocessor, and the HERA software.
On the back of the retail packaging, GAMDIAS lists down the features of the keyboard in eight different languages. To the right we have full specification list of the keyboard, system requirements, and the package contents. Then we also see have mailing addresses of GAMDIAS as well as their official website address. Moving down further, we have a few white stickers indicating the item number, serial number, EAN number, UPC number, and contact details of official GAMDIAS distributor in Malaysia – Nation-Tech Sdn. Bhd.
On the sides, GAMDIAS further elaborate main features of the keyboard. There are five badges indicating that the keyboard comes with GAMDIAS-certified (Kailh) blue switches, two programmable macro keys, high-end 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 microprocessor, six customizable gaming profiles, and RGB backlighting with 16.8 million colours.
Opening the lid of the box reveals the keyboard inside, which is wrapped with a soft and smooth polystyrene-type bag that protects the keyboard from scratches during transportation. It is placed on a piece of cardboard with folded sides to further enhance the protection.
In terms of accessories package, you get a multi-language quick installation guide alongside two stickers with GAMDIAS logo as well as an orange-coloured plastic keycap puller. The quick installation guide will teach you on how to configure the RGB backlighting, how to program the macro keys and setting up a user-defined profile. While the HERA software is not included in the package, GAMDIAS did emphasize that user can download the application right from their official website.’
Speaking of the keyboard itself, the first thing that caught our attention that the Hermes RGB comes with an extended wrist support which is neat and could help in preventing wrist pain after using the keyboard for long period of time. Measuring 440 x 170 x 37 mm and weighing 1.16 kg, the keyboard is noticeably smaller but slightly heftier than the Hermes 7 Color that measures at 458 x 220 x 44 mm and weighs 1.1 kg. Construction is rock solid, the keyboard is made of a hard ABS plastic, the same that is used in the other GAMDIAS products.
Coming out from the top of the keyboard is the USB 2.0 cable, which is braided but cannot be detached from the body. Measuring 1.8 meters in length, he USB connector is gold-plated to prevent corrosion thus maintaining its original looks for long period of time simply because gold does not oxidize in air or water. The ferrite bead is used to minimize unnecessary electromagnetic interference (EMI) in two directions, from the keyboard and to the keyboard. GAMDIAS specifically mentioned that the USB has a polling rate of 1,000Hz (1 ms), which is similar to other high-end gaming keyboards in the market.
The keycaps are made of hard ABS plastic, which feel very solid and doesn’t look cheap at all. The legends are laser-printed to ensure they are not easily fade off over time. If you noticed the tiny arrows on the WASD keys, it means these keys can be interchanged with the arrow/directional keys for specific applications or gaming. This function can be activated on-the-fly by simply pressing FN + F4 combo keys.
With the HERA software, GAMDIAS allows you to store your favourite settings in the keyboard. You can select the saved gaming profile by pressing FN + 1-6 (PF1-PF6) combo keys. They are located on the left side therefore easily accessible with your left hand. Besides that, the FN + F2-F8 combo keys serve as multimedia keys such as Previous Track, Next Track, Play/Pause, Mute, Decrease Volume, and Increase Volume. The FN + F9 combo keys can be used to program the G1/G2 macro keys on-the-fly, the same function also can be done via the supplied HERA software. On the other hand, the FN + F11 combo can be used to lock the entire keyboard keys for certain purpose.
The FN + Insert/Delete/Home/End combos can be used for switching among four RGB backlighting effects which are Wave, Rotation, Slide in, and Static/Light off. The FN + Page Up/Page Down combos can be used for adjusting the backlighting speed in 11 levels including stop.
Like most standard full-sized keyboards out there, the GAMDIAS Hermes RGB also features a full numeric keypad comprising of 17 keys. The FN + 8 and FN + 2 combos can be used for increasing and decreasing the brightness level of the LED backlighting, respectively. GAMDIAS has accidentally missed out describing this function in the supplied quick installation guide.
Above the numpad you can see three LEDs which indicate the status of Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Game Mode (Windows Lock). When one particular lock key is pressed, the corresponding LED will glow in red colour.
Here’s the extended body of the keyboard for wrist support. You can see a GAMDIAS logo on the middle with the Game Mode (Windows Lock) key right above it.
The Hermes RGB comes with two macro keys (FN + G1/G2) which can be programmed either via the FN + F9 combo or through the supplied HERA software. You may refer to the supplied quick installation guide for the method of macro recording. We’d say it’s pretty much straightforward. We’ve personally tried this feature and confirmed it’s working like a charm. The macro profile saved in the keyboard is transportable and can be shared with other gamers or auto backed up in your computer.
Every keycap on the keyboard can be removed easily with the supplied plastic keycap puller. To do that you just need to push the keycap in between the grippers and then pull it up. GAMDIAS has incorporated the Kailh Blue mechanical switches which are rated at 50 million actuation life cycle. Most gamers claimed that these switches are almost identical to the Cherry MX Blue switches which offer light resistance, audible clicky sound, and tactile bump feedback. Black housing is used and under the switches you can see a white plate that provides a little reflection from the RGB backlighting.
Large keys such as the Spacebar and the Enter key utilize Costar-style stabilizer that is consisted of a metal wire. These large keys tend to rattle around when pressed, and are not as solid as the other regular keys on the keyboard.
The underside of the keyboard features cable routing groves for easy cable management and better flexibility. The body is built from heavy-duty ABS plastic material for extra durability. You can find a label sticker that indicate the serial number, model number, input rating, and origin of the keyboard which is designed in Taiwan and made in China. Four extra-long rubber feet are used to keep the keyboard in place during heavy gaming session.
Two adjustable stands are provided to allow users to tilt the keyboard for better comfort during gaming sessions.
When tilted, the stands provide better gaming experience for gamers who dislike typing on a flat surface. From here you can also see that the keycaps are of DCS family featuring medium profile, cylindrical top and sculptured design.
GAMDIAS HERA Software
The Key Assignment menu allows you to customize the keys on the entire keyboard to actuate a certain function that you desired. You can choose to disable the macro keys, swap between the FN and Windows Lock key, and enable consecutive attack mode. On the right you can swap between the six different profiles.
The Macro Management menu lets you record and edit macros. You can create, rename, duplicate, and delete the macros. In addition, you can also edit the macros with specific delay time or no delay.
Keyboard Luminance menu allows you to customize the backlighting colour of each key individually, adjust its brightness level and the speed of the light effects.
The Assign Sound & Timer menu allows you to record sound and timer that you can assign it to a specific key.
The Sound File Edit menu lets you record audio file which can then be used with the macros.
The Timer Setting menu allow you to create a timer and alert you with an alarm when the timer ends.
The last menu is Update/Support, which allows you to check for the latest firmware and HERA software updates. There’s also a link that will bring you to the online support page of GAMDIAS to consult any issue that you may probably encounter.
On the bottom left of the HERA software, you can see a small Setting button (near the HERA logo) that allows you to adjust the settings of the application such as the explain language, keyboard keymap (layout), rapid archive (auto save), config notice (profile, DPI and volume changes), background theme, and the OSD settings (colour, position and font size).
Build quality is decent. Despite having an ABS plastic top plate compared to Hermes 7 Color’s metal plate, the Hermes RGB feels so sturdy and rock solid stable. Ergonomically it is well designed with an extended body for wrist support to prevent the risk of wrist pain after typing for a long period of time, there are two tilt-able stands to perfectly match your sitting position to provide the best gaming experience right on your desk.
The GAMDIAS-certified switches, which are actually the Kailh Blue switches sounded almost identical to the clickyness of Hermes 7 Color’s TTC Blues, quieter than the Outemu Blue switches, but a little louder than the Cherry MX Blue switches. Overall, the Kailh Blue switches feel soft when typing and don’t require too much force to actuate. However, larger keys such as the Spacebar and the Enter key which uses Costar-style stabilizers tend to rattle around when pressed and are not as robust as the rests.
Our gaming experience with this keyboard has been great. In games such as the Need for Speed 2016 and Battlefield 1, we found that the keyboard is very easy to use, precise in control, and extremely responsive. Key switching could be done very rapidly and accurately with this keyboard. The macros are easily accessible with my left hand and could be easily programmed to several choices of combo shortcuts on the fly or via the supplied HERA software.
Need for Speed 2016 screenshot.
Battlefield 1 screenshot.
Speaking of the HERA software, not sure if it’s just me but it took me quite some time to get used to all the features provided especially those uncommon functions such as the Assign Sound & Timer, Sound File Edit, and the Timer Setting. Other than these, the HERA software is easy to use and you can access to the LED colour customization, macros programming, keys reassignment, and many more.
Like other gaming keyboards in the market, the HERMES RGB features N-Key Rollover (NKRO) for anti-ghosting gaming experience. This feature was personally confirmed with AquaKeyTest in which we are able to get at least 30 keys registered simultaneously with our fingers. Of course, in any occasion you are not going to press all these keys at once, but it’s good to know that the feature is working as GAMDIAS’s claims.
The RGB backlighting is excellent, with the lighting well-distributed along all keys and no light leakage can be found on the keyboard. There are four levels of brightness to choose from including off to suit your needs. It’s perfect for gaming in a dark environment as well as in the daytime. Unlike some other keyboards, the keycaps are well designed with translucent legends which allow the LED backlights to shine through very well. Check out our video below for the some of the backlighting effects provided by GAMDIAS’s Hermes RGB as well as the sound testing.
Thoughts & Verdicts
The GAMDIAS Hermes RGB mechanical gaming keyboard has all the features for your gaming needs. The keyboard comes with a highly durable ABS plastic body, excellent RGB LED backlighting, high-quality keycaps, programmable macro keys, and reliable Kailh Blue switches rated at 50 million actuation lifecycle.
Build quality is rock solid, the Hermes RGB feels so sturdy and doesn’t look like it will break that easily. It is well designed with a wrist rest area that extends out from the body to prevent the risk of wrist pain after typing for a long period of time. There are also two stands that can be tilted to perfectly match your sitting position for the best gaming experience.
The Kailh Blue switches sounded almost identical to the Hermes 7 Color’s TTC Blues, quieter than the Outemu Blue switches, but a bit louder than the Cherry MX Blue switches. They feel soft when typing and you don’t need too much force to actuate them. However, larger keys such as the Spacebar and the Enter key which uses Costar-style stabilizers tend to rattle around when pressed and feel less sturdy than the regular keys.
In terms of gaming experience, we found the keyboard to be easy to use, accurate, and very responsive. Key switching could be done speedily with this keyboard. The two macro keys are easily accessible with my left hand and macro recording could be performed on the fly or via the HERA software. On the other hand, the keyboard features N-Key Rollover (NKRO) for anti-ghosting gaming experience.
The HERA software is exceptionally one of the best out there and could be the most feature-rich software we’ve ever seen for a keyboard. When I first tried out the software, it took me quite some time to get used to it but after everything is mastered you will find it very easy to use. The software allows you to access the full potential of the keyboard such as LED colour customization, macros programming, keys reassignment, timer and so on.
The RGB backlighting is bright and well-distributed along all keys with four levels of brightness to choose from including off to suit your needs. It’s perfect for gaming in a dark environment and daytime. GAMDIAS offers a total of 13 preset backlighting effect modes to bling up your gaming area.
The GAMDIAS Hermes RGB retails in the local market at RM 399, which we think is a reasonable price tag for an RGB mechanical keyboard with massive amount of features built on it. If you are planning to purchase your first mechanical keyboard, you might want to check this out.
Performance/Price Value: 4/5
- Competitively priced
- Excellent performance
- Nicely designed with good layout
- Kailh blue switches are noticeably quieter than Outemu
- Solid build quality with sturdy construction
- Laser engraved ABS keycaps for crystal-clear backlighting and long-lasting legends
- Gold-plated USB connector preventing oxidation
- RGB LED backlighting with 13 lighting modes and per-key colour customization
- Full N-Key Rollover (NKRO) for anti-ghosting gaming
- Braided USB cable
- Comes with wrist rest
- HERA software is feature rich
- Kailh blue switch is the only option
- Kailh blue switches are slightly louder than Cherry MX blues
- Only two macro keys are provided and not dedicated
- User’s manual is too simple and does not cover every feature available in the software
GAMDIAS Hermes RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard received Gold Award from OCDrift.com
Disclaimer: OCDrift.com gives out our own award based on the Hardware Performance, OverClocking Ability, Innovation, and Value as determined by the reviewer
A humble guy born in a town called "Mache", loves technologies, willing to learn new stuffs and share latest product updates to all readers in OCDrift.com
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