Gaming Keyboards

Durgod Hades 68 Review : A New Champion Has Arrived

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    Here we go again, more fun with keyboards. I know, I know… Some of you think that I’d be tired of keyboards by now. The honest answer is NO, Not really, At all. I get tons of emails, messages in Discord, Facebook, Twitter and A large number of those people wants to know about keyboards. Another thing that keeps me interested in keyboards are the fantastic new models like the Durgod Hades 68 that I’ll be reviewing today.

     If you’re not elbows deep into the mechanical keyboard scene like we are the chances are that you’ve never heard of Durgod. I reviewed the Durgod Taurus K320 here about a month ago. At that time I stated that the Taurus was one of the best keyboards that I’d ever used and it’s still true. Durgod isn’t a household name yet, but neither is Ducky or Glorious PC Gaming Race. What I’m saying is don’t let the Durgod name scare you away from their fantastic, well built, full-featured keyboards.

    Important: This keyboard was sent to us for review, this, however, does NOT affect our review. These thoughts are our own and are not submitted for pre-review.

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Photo: TLR Technology

    This is the keyboard for all of you that requested that I review a keyboard that has the arrow keys, no need to look any farther. Your search has ended!

    As always, let’s start with the packaging. Again this is an area that Durgod doesn’t skimp. The box is the same awesome blue thick quality cardboard that we saw with the Taurus but Durgod took it a step further with a beautiful glossy picture of the Hades68. I’d put the packaging on par with large companies such as Logitech and Corsair.

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Photo: TLR Technology

    What Durgod does better than Logitech and Corsair is the accessories that are included. Just like the Taurus K320 the Hades 68 comes with 2… Yes, I said 2 USB cables one USB -C to USB-C and your typical USB-C to USB type A. Durgod also throws in a nice wire keycap puller, a velcro strap to keep your cables in check, the instruction/guide, and a sticker. It was a bit of a let down that Durgod didn’t include a plastic dust cover like the one included with the Taurus, it was one of the thicker plastic nicest dust covers that I’ve seen.

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Photo: TLR Technology

    The keyboard itself is heavy!!! I can’t begin to express how heavy this keyboard is… it’s nuts. The Hades 68 probably weighs about as much as my, GMMK, GK61, and Anne Pro 2 TOGETHER. Don’t take this as a bad thing. Sure its a bit to tote around as I typically take one of my keyboards to my 9-5, but it’s not so heavy that I’ve ever decided not to bring it. The weight also adds to the overall quality feel of the keyboard, and this keyboard is definitely quality. The case is black aluminum that is rock solid, I couldn’t twist or flex the Hades 68 even if I wanted and if that wasn’t enough the backing plate feels like steel. The USB cable is type C and is detachable, which is what you should expect from a premium keyboard in 2019.

     In true Durgod fashion, once we dig a little deeper we have choices. Durgod has 10 different key switch options. You read that right, 10 different switches from 3 different companies. You have the main 3 from Cherry, MX Red, Blue, and Brown. Kailh brings it normal box switches to the party, Box Red, Brown, and the clicky Whites ( which is what I have.) Last and certainly not least are the Gateron switches which come in 4 flavors, Blue, Red, Brown, and Silent Brown. For those that are keeping score that’s more switch options than the Ducky, Poker and Anne Pro, that’s saying a lot… Durgod isn’t messing around.

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Photo: TLR Technology

    Before we move on let’s not forget the keycaps. The keycaps are ABS double shot shine through. They aren’t earth-shattering by any means but they are nicer than most of the ABS keycaps that I’ve seen thrown in from other manufacturers.

    I know our readers are wondering what sets the Hades 68 apart from others in the sea of gaming keyboards.

    The first thing is the build quality, the quality far exceeds the cost. Let me prove it. check this out. This is a link to zfrontier a partnership with Durgod, that keyboard retails for $249 and has only 3 additional keys… yes its $130 more than the Hades68 and only has 3 keys more. Now, do you see what I mean, this keyboard could and basically does sell for much more than the asking price. It’s probably the best deal for a keyboard of this quality.

    The second thing that sets the Hades68 apart is the switch selection. I know I just talked about it but it’s true. Boutique switches aside, you can get just about any key feel that you’d want. If you are a fan of the classic Cherry click get the cherry Blue if you want a butter-smooth keypress get the Gateron Reds, and if you want the firmest tactile feel get the Kailh Box Browns. You really can’t get that much variety unless you spend more on a keyboard that’s hot-swappable or build your own.

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Photo: TLR Technology

    The last thing that truly sets the Hades 68 apart from the crowd is the Hera Compiler, the tool used to program the keyboard. It’s a powerful tool and offers much more customizability when compared to practically everything. The only other keyboard that has software this robust is probably the Ergodox and that keyboard easily cost $200 more than the Hades68. You can even change when the indicator L.E.D illuminates and why they illuminate. I’ve never seen that option before, and it’s awesome.

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Photo: TLR Technology

    I think that it should go without saying that the Hades 68 has RGB per-key lighting along with N-key rollover. You can adjust the colors easily from the Hera Compiler software and save them directly to the keyboard. It’s also worth noting the Hades 68 comes with multiple RGB animations and lighting patterns preinstalled. Inside the software, you’ll find 10 different lighting animations and the option to create your own. This truly is one of the most robust Keyboard programs that I’ve ever used.

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Photo: TLR Technology

    My Thoughts

    I’ve been using the Hades 68 for the last week or so and in that time I’ve had one problem with it. The Home key next to the backspace drove me nuts for a day or 2. This was largely due to the way that I type when I hit the backspace key I normally hit on the outside edge. I do this because on most keyboards it’s an easy way to index my hand and safe as there really aren’t any keys to hit on accident. This is not the case with the Hades. The home key is right there and you will hit it more than once until you get used to it. Like I said though after a day or so this was no longer an issue and that’s it, my only issue…lol  Not much of an issue right.

    The typing experience will vary depending on the key switches that you choose and what you like. Everything felt good and in the right places other than the aforementioned home button. The Hades 68 is overall a fantastic value for those that want more desk space and that want to retain the arrow keys. I’d go out on a limb and say this is the keyboard for anyone that wants a fantastic keyboard, doesn’t need a Numpad and wants a keyboard smaller than a 10 keyless. There isn’t any keyboard from one of the big box brands that begin to rival the Hades68 when you look at the build quality and switch options.

    The Hades68 like other smaller keyboards gives you the missing keys on other layers that can be accessed very easily.  I mentioned it above but you can completely customize each layer including adding mouse keys. (Keys that move or click the mouse) I can’t express how powerful the Hera Compiler truly is.

    If you’d like to get a Hades68 for yourself and you’d also like to support us please consider using our link that can be found here and throughout the Article. TLR may get a small kickback that will allow us to continue to bring you great content. Thanks

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