Update, 10/20/16, 6:47am PT: Gamdias confirmed that the switches are TTC Blue. The copy has been updated accordingly.
You could say that the peripherals companies are a copycat group. If one feature strikes a chord with consumers, soon enough a new raft of devices will hit the market with that same Thing. Mechanical switches and RGB lighting are the clearest examples, but an increasing number of keyboard makers are aping Corsair’s floating-key design, too.
Gamdias is the latest to do so. Eschewing the “bowl” design of its previous keyboards, the company has a trio of devices with the keys mounted to a flat top plate, instead. Gamdias previously teased the Hermes P1, Hermes M1, and Hermes E1, but now the company has announced specs and pricing.
The three have similar features, although there are slight differences between them, primarily in terms of the lighting options.
The Hermes P1 offers full RGB lighting with 13 preset effects, whereas the M1 has seven colors and four effects. It appears that the E1 has just red backlighting and four effects. Further, the P1 has NKRO to the M1’s and E1’s 21KRO.
The other wrinkle is that the company is actually selling the E1 as a combo package with a Gamdias Demeter E2 optical mouse and an NYX E1 mouse pad.
All the keyboards feature the floating-key design on an aluminum faceplate and include a detachable wrist rest and support for the Gamdias Hera software. They all come with TTC Blue switches. We believe (although we don’t know for sure) that Gamdias bins these switches, so any bad ones should be culled before manufacturing began.
With the new design, we hope Gamdias also addressed some of the internal quality issues we discovered in our review of the iBuypower MEK keyboard, which is a rebranded Gamdias Hermes Lite. That keyboard had a single-sided PCB and some sloppy welds, which resulted in key matrix problems (essentially, it killed the KRO) and evinced a general low build quality.
Without tearing apart the new P1, M1, and E1 keyboards, we can’t know if these issues remain or not. However, given that Gamdias claimed that the new line retains “the core-design, premium materials and commitment to quality” of its previous keyboards, it’s likely that they persist.
Gamdias did say, though, that these keyboards are waterproof and have an “enhanced internal lighting controller,” so there’s that.
The prices are fairly attractive, in any case. The P1, M1, and E1 cost $120, $90, and $80, respectively. Note that the $80 price tag for the E1 includes the mouse and mouse pad. The devices do not appear to be available via Gamdias’ site yet.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Hermes P1||Hermes M1||Hermes E1|
|Microcontroller||32-bit ARM Cortex-M3|
|Lighting||RGB, 13 effects||7-color, 4 effects||Red, 4 effects|
|Misc||-Fn+G1/G2 macro-Removable wrist rest-Aluminum faceplate-Can store up to 6 profiles onboard||-Fn+G1/G2 macro-Removable wrist rest-Aluminum faceplate||-Fn+G1/G2 macro-Removable wrist rest-Aluminum faceplate-Bundled with Demeter E2 mouse and NYX E1 mouse pad|