Review: HERMES Ultimate Black Mechanical Keyboard

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Previously we did a review on GAMDIAS’s Laser Gaming Mouse. This time we are going to present our review on the GAMDIAS HERMES Ultimate Black Mechanical Keyboard. We would have given it a double thumbs up if not for the arm rest that takes up a substantial amount of space on the table. So how does the Hermes fair among well established competitors in the market?

The Hermes was designed to cater to both left and right-handed gamers. The keys are made from Cherry MX Blue mechanical switches with 13 programmable macro keys. Four macro keys are located at the left side of the keyboard, six are located below the keyboard and the other two are located at the sides of the arrow keys. The mechanical switch on this keyboard has been dampened to reduce noise pollution. Noise is not greatly reduced but better than the obvious “clickety-clack” on non-dampened mechanical keyboards. Located at the top of the keyboard is a USB port and audio jack.

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The keyboard is powered up by two gold-plated USB connectors with military grade braided cable. The Hermes weighs and measures 474.85 x 310.83 x 39mm in dimension (arm rest included). The keyboard is quite sturdy in terms of build quality with its matte surface for easy cleaning and dusting.

The Hermes comes with a magnetic arm rest that snaps onto the keyboard when in-use and doubles up as a dust cover for the keyboard when not in use. The arm rest actually takes up quite an amount of space on the table when its snapped on which can be an annoyance if your table is not very big and not clutter free. Just turn it around 180 degrees and place it above the keyboard. However, I realised the arm rest don’t really cover up every key on the keyboard as the six macro keys below the keyboard are sticking out. Nevertheless, its a good idea to have an arm rest that functions as the keyboard’s dust cover compared to competitor models.

Powering this machine is a 32-bit ARM Cortex premium micro-processor. Backed up with 512kb of memory which stores up to 10 profile settings, unlimited on-the fly macro key settings and voice recorded keys. It also has the usual anti-ghosting features with full N-key roll over such as those from competitor brands. A Windows key lock is also included to be used during game play purposes.

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The Hermes keys has backlit features with six levels of illumination. However I really don’t like the yellow orange light that emits from the keyboard as I find the light glaring back at my eyes. But then again, this is a personal preference. It would of course be good if the colours can change via the HERA software. We talked about HERA in the previous review. All profile settings and changes on the keyboard can be made using HERA.

I personally find the keyboard to be too big to begin with. Upon setting up the keyboard for a test run, I find that using the keyboard would not be comfortable without the arm rest. I elevated the keyboard with the tilted legs located under the keyboard and still found it uncomfortable to use without the arm rest. The arm rest makes a big difference. It really allows your hands and fingers to rest at a comfortable angle. Plus, with the arm rest you will not accidentally hit the six macro keys located below the keyboard. There is just one issue where you will accidentally press on the macro keys located near the arrow keys when using the Hermes for day work.

I tested out the Hermes playing Batman Arkham City GOTY. Even though I was not quite fond of how my hands are elevated during game play, I still manage to manoeuvre through the scenes and complete missions. It was quite easy to program the Hermes using the HERA software. Again, we hope graphic details on the HERA would be toned down for ease of use. Other than that, the Hermes functions as a great keyboard for work and play, if you don’t mind the keyboard taking up most of your workspace.