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iBuyPower MEK Mechanical Keyboard Review

The iBuyPower MEK is actually a rebranded Gamdias Hermes Lite. It comes with TTC Red switches, and the price is right, but this keyboard has some issues.

Our Verdict

The iBuyPower MEK/Gamdias Hermes Lite has a low price tag, thanks in part to its (probably) inexpensive, but nicely-performing TTC Red switches. Unfortunately, the overall build quality is poor, so much so that some features such as key rollover are broken.

For

  • Price
  • Full-featured software
  • High-quality stabilizers

Against

  • Poor build quality that breaks features
  • Limited and somewhat odd lighting options

Tom's Hardware Verdict

The iBuyPower MEK/Gamdias Hermes Lite has a low price tag, thanks in part to its (probably) inexpensive, but nicely-performing TTC Red switches. Unfortunately, the overall build quality is poor, so much so that some features such as key rollover are broken.

Pros

  • +

    Price

  • +

    Full-featured software

  • +

    High-quality stabilizers

Cons

  • -

    Poor build quality that breaks features

  • -

    Limited and somewhat odd lighting options

Introduction And Specifications

A trend among many companies these days is to extend their branding and overall reach by adding nicely-appointed peripherals to their other offerings. Custom system builder iBuyPower has followed suit by "making" a keyboard, although it's not really making anything; it's rebranding and selling the Gamidas Hermes Lite.

I wrote earlier about Gamdias' decision to roll with TTC switches and iBuyPower's in-house QA testing. In sum, the cost of TTC switches appears to be significantly lower than Cherry, and there were no issues with TTC filling orders as fast as the OEM needed. iBuyPower's staff of former pro and competitive gamers were apparently sufficiently satisfied with the quality and performance of the TTC Reds. And so it's come to pass.

The result is a keyboard that portends to offer the benefits of mechanical switches at a comparatively low price. Inevitably, there will be some high-end features missing from a budget keyboard like this one, but those bells and whistles might just be noise, anyway.

When we first wrote about the MEK, we noted that its $54 price tag severely undercut the Hermes Lite's $79.99. iBuyPower was effectively selling it at a loss (or perhaps at cost), recouping the value by pushing it along with one of its custom systems. Temporarily, things flipped--you could buy the Hermes Lite for just $59.99, whereas iBuyPower listed the MEK for $79. Now, iBuyPower flipped it again and is selling the keyboard for $59.

The Hermes Lite is also $59.99 on Amazon, and $79.99 on Newegg, whereas the MEK is $69.99 on Amazon and absent on Newegg.

Specifications

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