It says a lot about a company when the mere mention of its name is synonymous with unquestionable reliability and quality. Gamdias’ product lineup could arguably be dismissed as limited, but selective would be the more accurate descriptor. The brand boasts first-class peripherals. From their superb gaming headsets and mice to their phenomenal keyboards, Gamdias is quickly gaining status as one of the leading gaming peripheral manufacturers in the industry.
Last year, I reviewed Gamdias’ Hermes GKB2010 mechanical keyboard, and it remains to this day one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used for both typing and gaming. My only criticism of this otherwise phenomenal piece of tech is its size. The GKB2010 is designed for spacious gaming setups, making it tough for those with minimal surface area. Luckily, Gamdias’ latest offering, the Gamdias Hermes Lite (GKB1000), provides the perfect solution for gamers seeking smaller alternatives.
"Luckily, Gamdias’ latest offering, the Gamdias Hermes Lite (GKB1000), provides the perfect solution for gamers seeking smaller alternatives."
Despite being labeled a Lite version of its larger brethren, the new Hermes isn’t short on features or quality. True to its name, the smaller body frame makes the Hermes Lite notably lighter, but Gamdias hasn't skimped on durability. The Hermes Lite is still constructed like a tank, albeit a smaller one. The keyboard withstands heavy-handed usage without a hitch. The slim body and slightly smaller keys make for less of an industrial build compared to the bulkier GKB2010. As a result, typing on the Lite feels similar to SteelSeries’ Apex M800 hybrid keyboard. While the Lite is still a mechanical keyboard, the keys are softer and typing is more akin to a membrane keyboard. This isn’t necessarily better or worse, just different. Personally, I’ve become accustomed to GKB2010’s clickiness, so the initial testing took some time to adjust.
"Both in its performance and build quality, the Hermes Lite is the finest mechanical keyboard in its price range."
Aesthetically, both the originally Hermes and the new Lite version share many similarities. The black matte body is accentuated by the vibrant red, backlit keys and the elegantly placed Gamdias branding near the bottom center and top right corner. While the Hermes Lite lacks the extended hand rest, the low-angled region below the spacebar provides a solid resting area for those needing the extra support. When placed side-by-side, the two keyboards are nearly indistinguishable, aside from the major size difference. This is a good thing too, because the Hermes is a beautiful gaming keyboard, and it’s nice to see the Lite version maintains the high-end look of the original.
In terms of functionality, the GKB1000 isn’t as diverse in its features as the GKB2010, but it offers plenty of extras for most gamers. There are two programmable macro keys, six customizable profiles and Play Micro via FN+G1/G2, which allows users to perform recorded macros by G1/G2 combinations. As with all Gamdias products, adjustments are made via the free HERA software. The Lite’s most impressive feature is its key response. Typing on the GKB1000 is a breeze, and the strokes register at what seems like speed of light. In fact, the keyboard is so flawlessly responsive, it may take a while before typing feels second nature. But once you get the hang of it, every other keyboard feels sluggish.
If you’re looking for a more affordable and compact alternative to high-end mechanical keyboards, Gamdias’ Hermes Lite GKB1000 is your best bet. Both in its performance and build quality, the Hermes Lite is the finest mechanical keyboard in its price range. It may not satisfy hardcore competitive gamers due to fewer macro keys and overall options, but for everyone else, the Hermes Lite offers more than enough features to justify the asking price. Now if Gamdias would only get into building speakers...sigh. I guess we can only dream, right?!
Review by: Tin Salamunic
Review by: Tin Salamunic