Judging by their name and logo, Gamdias could easily be mistaken for a power metal band. With all the flames and snakes enveloping the brand’s lightning-shaped typeface, one would think DragonForce decided to go into the gaming business. Gamdias is an up-and-coming gaming peripheral manufacturer originally founded in Taiwan in 2012. Skepticism comes easily when analyzing a newly launched company, especially one that promises to redefine electronic sports gaming, but Gamdias undoubtedly delivers with a remarkable line of new products.
Can Gamdias separate itself from an oversaturated market? In short, yes. Gamdias’ Hermes Ultimate provides unprecedented gaming and typing performance. With its sturdy build quality, the GKB2010 is one of the finest mechanical keyboards we’ve tested in a long time. Despite being around for less than two years, Gamdias is already a fierce competitor.
"With its sturdy build quality, the GKB2010 is one of the finest mechanical keyboards we’ve tested in a long time."
The Hermes Ultimate GKB2010 impressed us immediately. Sleek lines complement the attractive matte surface. It’s built like a tank, but still manages to be significantly smaller than SteelSeries’ APEX, making it a better fit on a busy gaming desk. The Hermes comes with a detachable wrist rest that doubles as a keyboard cover. While the wrist rest increases Hermes’ size, it adds comfort when typing over long periods. Hermes’ braided cord includes an extra gold-plated USB pass-through connector and a headphone and mic jack. This allows for quick access to multimedia and USB devices without having to reach for the computer case.
The Hermes includes 13 well-placed macro keys. The six macro keys underneath the spacebar and arrow buttons are particularly useful when gaming. The stylish red and black aesthetic can be adjusted between six levels of illumination. In order to make any adjustments, the free Hera software has to be installed via Gamdias’ official product page. At first, the busy interface can be overwhelming and confusing. Poor font choice and clashing colors don’t help the complete lack of documentation. It takes a while to figure out what’s what, but Hera’s flexible customization options don’t disappoint once everything starts making sense.
"Its ergonomic design and key responsiveness make typing indescribably comfortable and exciting."
For someone who spends as much time working on the PC as gaming, the ability to program other functions like media controls, Windows operations and program quick-launch actions through Hera is a godsend. Pun intended. Ten possible profile combinations can be launched with selected games, and a hot key can also be set to switch profiles on the fly. Even mouse movements can be programed to macros clicks, which is useful when playing MMOs. Hermes’ integrated 512kb memory can store all adjustments, which is great for traveling gamers who want to keep their favorite settings. There’s even a Muscle Memory menu that tracks gamer’s key usage. While it seems only designed for hardcore competitive gamers, it’s useful for tuning macros settings based on the most used area on the keyboard.
Customizability is crucial for competitive gamers, but does it trump the importance of general usability? Gaming keyboards are typically considered bad for typing. In most cases, this is true. As much as I love gaming with SteelSeries’ APEX, it’s a nightmare to type with, even when just browsing the web. The Hermes is an exception. Its ergonomic design and key responsiveness make typing indescribably comfortable and exciting. Maybe it’s the whole Greek deity wizardry at work.
"Gaming peripheral makers always advertise performance betterment, but Gamdias actually lives up to that promise."
One of Hermes’ most unique features is the Gamdias Element, a small rubber insert designed to increase key depression speed. As a result, it dampens the clacking noise commonly heard on mechanical keyboards. Some gamers actually prefer the extra clickiness of mechanical keyboards like with the Razer BlackWidow. Personally, I think the Gamdias Element is an innovative addition that makes typing more enjoyable. Most mechanical keyboards are too noisy when gaming without headphones, but Gamdias strikes the perfect balance.
Hermes’ game performance is exceptional. The snappy keys require little force to press down. My multiplayer stats in Call of Duty improved almost instantaneously, and I’m not even particularly good when gaming online. After a few matches, my hands adjusted to the keyboard’s layout and I forgot it was even there. Gaming peripheral makers always advertise performance betterment, but Gamdias actually lives up to that promise. Gamdias’ Hermes Ultimate GKB2010 still stands out as a tremendous product despite the abundance of options. For anyone cautious about investing in peripherals from such a new company, I’m happy to say that Gamdias has already proven that they have what it takes to compete, and even exceed, industry veterans.
Review by: Tin Salamunic