iBuyPower MEK Mechanical Keyboard Review

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The story of the iBuyPower MEK/Gamdias Hermes Lite is a surprising one. At first glance, it seems to be an attractive budget mechanical keyboard offering. It has a few perks, such as backlighting, not to mention the multi-faceted (if quirky) Hera software. And boy, the price is right: One way or another, you can snag this keyboard for around sixty bucks.

You would think that the sticking point would be the quality, or lack thereof, of the TTC Red switches. It smacks of cheapness and is a potential red flag. However, I found nothing at all to complain about regarding these switches. Based on my subjective experience with this one keyboard, they are on par with the quality you see from any Red switch.

No, the cheapness and quality issues are inside the chassis. The PCB is single-layer, and there were several holes in the welds as well as some other messy soldering. That appears to have affected the KRO performance, which I found to be in complete disarray.

For those reasons, I would not recommend purchasing this keyboard. There are other budget options available that do not have these quality issues, including the Nixeus Moda V2, which has a couple of issues of its own but costs $70 or $80, depending on the switch type. Even Razer has a keyboard now for $60.

Update, 5/11/16, 2:35pm PT: Updated pricing information.

Seth Colaner is the News Director for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.