GALAX’s First Gaming Keyboard

On this review, we are taking a look at the GALAX HOF Black Edition Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This is GALAX’s first mech, aiming to impress us with a plate full of Cherry MX switches slapped on an Anodized aluminum frame.

The GALAX HOF Black Edition Mechanical Gaming Keyboard we got features the Cherry MX Brown Switch with a 104 key US keyboard layout. It is not RGB, but it has a nice per-key illumination.

FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS:

The GALAX HOF Black Edition Mechanical Gaming Keyboard comes with a single key switch configuration (at the moment). It weighs in at around 1.12 kilograms, and features a single color multi back-light effect in white. There are programmable macro keys and you’ll get media key functionalities via the Function keys.

  • Dedicated audio and lighting controls: HOF Keyboard not only provide full media control buttons, but also provide die-cast volume and lighting roller. No matter play game, music or video, gamer enjoy multimedia and control lighting brightness more convenient.
  • USB 2.0 hub + Audio-out and Mic-in Jack
  • Cherry MX Key Switches
  • Per-Key Illumination
  • Multiple variations light effect
  • Anodized aluminum frame
  • Dedicated audio and lighting controls
  • Programmable Macros
  • 100% Advanced Anti-Ghosting
  • USB Pass-Through Port
  • Detachable soft-touch wrist rest
  • Certificate:CE and FCC Logo

PACKAGING AND BUNDLED ACCESSORIES:

The GALAX HOF Black Edition Gaming Keyboard comes in a typical keyboard packaging. Features and specifications are at the back, while the Cherry MX switch variant is clearly labelled at the front. There’s that shady guy again. Seriously.

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The gaming keyboard comes with a user’s manual and a velvet like cover with the GALAX logo heat pressed on it. It also comes with a magnetic wrist rest. No extra keys or puller here but this is good enough for my liking.

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GALAX HOF DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY:

The GALAX HOF Black Edition is a simple, yet refreshing gaming keyboard. Design is rather neat, with a gaming oriented styling; but it is still within the realm of simplicity.

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The back of the keyboard is clean – rather basic and features a good footing. The extensions adds extra height should you require it.

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The keyboard is based on a 104 Key ANSI US layout with 2 extra keys and a wide roller that could toggle both the volume and brightness. Secondary functions are well laid out at the Function keys. I’m liking that calculator shortcut.

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The keyboard profile is contoured and is based on Cherry’s designs. At its lowest, the keyboard features a height of around ~3 cm, with a maximum height at the far end around ~3.5 cm. It can be adjusted further by a centimeter via the extended rubberized footing.

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Connectivity is provided by a 6mm thick braided cable. It terminates with 4 ports; 2 for the audio and another pair for the USB connectivity and pass-through. These are gold plated, but then again GALAX decided to use a 12 mm thick strain relief for the USB. Too thick, GALAX.

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THE CHERRY MX BROWN SWITCHES:

The Cherry MX Brown is on of the most popular switches within the realm of the industry. It features an actuation force of 45 cN across the board, with a tactile bump (no click) and a minimum to maximum travel distance to actuation of 2.2 – 4.0 mm (± 0.6 mm). Each of the switches features a White LED diode.

BRAND SWITCH ACTUATION (cN) LINEAR TACTILE MAX TRAVEL MIN TRAVEL
 Cherry MX Blue  50 cN  No Yes  4.0 mm  2.2 ± 0.6 mm
 Cherry MX Red  45 cN  Yes No  4.0 mm 2.2 ± 0.6 mm
 Cherry MX Brown  45 cN  No Yes  4.0 mm 2.2 ± 0.6 mm
 Cherry MX Black  60 cN  Yes No  4.0 mm 2.2 ± 0.6 mm

Stabilizers used are proper Cherry MX stabilizers – not Costar inspired this time. GALAX made a good choice here.

THE KEYCAPS:

The GALAX HOF Black Edition Gaming Keyboard features your typical backlit keycap from top to the bottom row. It features an uppercase sans serif style font, paired with a center to top alignment. The keycap material is most likely ABS, with a matte black coating.

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The keycaps are light and has a good thickness measured at 1.3 mm. The keycap’s printing method is not the best, but major players in the industry follows this method since it’s cheaper than double shot printing.

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SOUND PROFILE:

No two or three keyboard sounds the same, even if they feature the same keys. This is due to factors including the switch housing itself, the key-cap materials and the overall construct of the keyboard. Listen to the profile below to get an idea of the keyboard’s sound signature.

KEYBOARD ERGONOMICS:

The GALAX HOF Black Edition Gaming Keyboard is a comfortable device. Its frameless nature allows for better ergonomic together with the wrist rest.

NKRO GHOSTING AND MISCELLANEOUS:

EliteKeyboard’s Switch Hitter is an excellent freeware that anyone could utilize to test any keyboard’s key registration, KRO, and ghosting issues if there is any. It supports a wide variety of layouts, and could log your usage for extra statistics such as the actuation time it took for your keys to register and depress.  You can download the Switch Hitter here to check it out yourself.

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Testing the KRO function of the keyboard points out that the GALAX HOF Black Edition has no issues with its NKRO functionality. Ghosting is also non existent.

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For better keyboard functionality, download the GALAX Xtreme Tuner Plus. It houses several options including macro key setup, polling rate adjustment and even the de-bounce time of the switches with a minimum of 5 ms.

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This keyboard doesn’t require software to set lighting options, but you could override the settings within the keyboard itself via the Xtreme Tuner Plus. Lighting, though limited to White, has modes ranging from Wave, Ripple, Breathing, Tetris and many more. Speed and direction of these effects are also toggled on the software.

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Macro key recording is hassle free, with options to set real time delay. The Xtreme Tuner Plus is a simple software but the functionalities are there.

WRAPPING IT UP:

The GALAX HOF Black Edition Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a comfy enough gear to game on. While my favorite is still the Cherry MX Blue, gaming and typing on the MX Brown equipped GALAX HOF is not bad. A hybrid between both gaming and typing to be honest as far as experience goes.

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The build quality of the GALAX HOF Black Edition is excellent with an ergonomic frame to match. As for lighting options, you are limited with White LEDs but the number of effects are good enough for a proper personalized setup.

My gripe with this gaming keyboard are few in numbers. The thick USB strain reliefs are one of those and perhaps my main issue with the gaming keyboard itself. Cherry MX selection are also limited to Browns at the moment but we will let that one to pass this time since this is a new product after all. We might even get a White Edition in the near future based on the HOF branding alone.

Overall, the GALAX HOF Black Edition is a great mechanical gaming keyboard coming in hot at 4850 Pesos. Just a little pricey mainly due to the Cherry MX switches. It is far from perfect but an awesome one nonetheless.

  • FRAMELESS DESIGN
  • ASTOUNDING BUILD QUALITY
  • ALUMINUM PLATE REINFORCED
  • COMFORTABLE LOW PROFILE DESIGN
  • 6 LIGHTING OPTIONS
  • MAGNETIC WRIST REST
  • NON DOUBLE SHOT CAPS
  • THICK USB PORTS
  • PRICE

2016-Recommended