GALAX (formerly GALAXY) is a brand known for their quality gaming graphics cards, but this time, they tried to enter another market which is gaming peripherals and came out with a white & black-only Hall of Fame (HoF) Black Edition mechanical keyboard which we are going to review right now.
The GALAX HoF Black Edition mechanical keyboard is GALAX’s first-ever mechanical keyboard – this is a high-end product that comes along with a high-end price tag as well, but sadly, it is not appropriate for the year 2017, if you know what I mean.
Oh, if you want one – you can buy it through this link here: LINK
Features and Specs
Kidding aside, let’s go to Features and Specs of this keyboard.
|White-Only Per-Key Illumination||Key Switches: Cherry MX Brown key switches|
|Multiple variations and programmable lighting effect||Key Layout: 104-key US ANSI layout + 2 buttons (audio and lighting controls)|
|Dedicated Audio/Lighting controls||Cable Line length: 1.8M|
|Programmable Macros||Port(s): 2 USB, 3.5mm (for Audio jack pass-through)|
|100% Advanced Anti-Ghosting||Dimensions: (With wrist rest): 465.8 x 190.2 x 44.5mm|
|USB and Audio pass-through ports||Keyboard weight: 900g|
|Detachable soft-touch wrist rest||Wrist rest weight: 120g|
|Anodized Aluminum Frame||Compatibility:
Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
MacOS 10.0 – 10.9 and better
The GALAX HoF Black Edition mechanical keyboard comes only with a single key switch option which is Cherry MX Brown key switches.
It also has white-only individually back-lit LEDs (though they had released the RGB variant of this recently – which is exactly the same keyboard but with RGB sparkles). It also has programmable backlight effects that you can find on every high-end and even low-end keyboards (except RGB lighting) as well.
It also has a dedicated die-cast lighting/volume roller switch which controls both the lighting brightness and system volume as well as media and other functions that can be accessed using the function keys. You can also program macro keys using the GALAX’s XtremeTuner Plus proprietary software (which we’ll discuss later).
The keyboard also sports 2 USB 2.0 ports which is great especially for those who are concerned with messy cables lying out on their table, or ones who are lazy to stand up and plug something into the back of their computer.
However, there’s no cable routing holes beneath the keyboard for much better cable management.
For the keycaps, GALAX didn’t specify it on their packaging but we’re seeing that it might be ABS (though it’s not double-shot printed, though) with a matte black finish and has good-looking and decent fonts printed on it. They’re very light, and its thickness measures only 1.3mm.
It also comes with a detachable wrist rest which is good, but I wish there should be some sort of grip and not just the smooth and texturized plastic surface that we have here. Otherwise, it serves its purpose and I don’t have any other complaints – but for its price, I think we deserve much better.
Packaging and Bundled Accessories
Like the other HoF peripherals, GALAX has its dark-themed box along with that shady-looking man wearing hoodie on the left side, along with the HoF branding and Cherry MX Brown switches logo.
Skipping that out, on the back is a quick view of the keyboard and some highlighted features, as well as quick product specifications and feature round-up. The box seems durable, so let’s give it a point for that.
Inside the box reveals the keyboard itself – wrapped on a black micro-fiber cover with the GALAX logo etched on it via heat press. It also comes with a little quick start guide / manual and beneath it is the detachable wrist rest itself – no other unnecessary stuff that will ruin the unboxing experience (another point for that).
However, there’s no keycap puller, and other accessory that might help us clean the keyboard or replace the keycaps easily. And for this price, that should be considered a must – so let’s revert that point we gave earlier.
Design & Build Quality
The body of the keyboard has an anodized aluminum black finish, making it an eye candy for black and white theme lovers. The keycaps are ABS and seems sturdy enough to last day-to-day use till you demand a replacement – they are also well printed, decent looking that even professionals and creative people can use this keyboard as their companion on their office aside from gaming.
And since the frame/body is well-built, there isn’t any notable flex present on the keyboard – although there is on the wrist rest since its body is made of plastic.
The shiny GALAX branding was placed in the right position, beside the Num Lock, Caps Lock, Scroll Lock and Gaming Mode light indicators, and both the right and left sides of the keyboard has the Hall of Fame logo etched on it. There is also one GALAX logo on the detachable wrist rest, if you aren’t tired of seeing it on your precious keyboard.
On the bottom part, there’s no cable routing holes like what we’ve said before. The keyboard has rubber pads to prevent surface slipping, as well as on their risers so that even if used, surface slipping would be minimized – even the detachable wrist rest itself, sports six (6) rubber pads that helps the keyboard to maintain its position on the surface / table.
Switches and Miscellaneous
The switches used on the keyboard (the one and only option available so far) are Cherry MX Brown Switches. These switches are known for having the quiet sound and tactile feedback, though they aren’t linear switches. It only requires 45g of actuation force – means less force exerted to invoke a keypress (you can refer to the table below for MX switches comparison)
|KEY SWITCH||ACTUATION (cN)||LINEAR
|TACTILE?||MAX KEY TRAVEL||MIN KEY TRAVEL|
|Cherry MX Blue||50cN||No||Yes||4.0 mm||2.2 ± 0.6 mm|
|Cherry MX Red||45cN||Yes||No||4.0 mm||2.2 ± 0.6 mm|
|Cherry MX Brown||45cN||No||Yes||4.0 mm||2.2 ± 0.6 mm|
|Cherry MX Black||60cN||Yes||No||4.0 mm||2.2 ± 0.6 mm|
Unlike blue switches, these switches don’t have the clicky sound that informs you if you actuate the key or made a keypress.
To enjoy the keyboard functionalities even more, download the GALAX XtremeTuner Plus. It has several options for your keyboard including programming of macro keys, per-key programming / remapping, polling rate adjustment, de-bounce time of the switches, as well as per-key lighting customization (though it isn’t required to get the software to enable its built-in lighting effects).
There are several built-in backlit lighting effects such as Wave, Breathing, Ripple, Starry, Scanning & Fireworks as well as separate key light effects such as Ripple, Arrow, and Tracks.
And there is also an EQ effect, making your mechanical keyboard a visual equalizer synced with the audio output on your computer.
User Experience and Feeling
Since all Cherry MX Brown key switch-equipped keyboards have ALMOST the same profile – we can say that this keyboard is actually great on typing jobs, as with any good mechanical keyboard (in fact, I’m typing this whole review using the keyboard). Also, having the MX Brown switches (which I personally prefer) eliminates the clicky sound (ideal for silent typing), and hand and finger strains that usually come from typing on a keyboard that requires high actuation force and has poor ergonomics. The wrist rest does its job well (no complaints aside from the one I’ve mentioned earlier), the lighting is great – not to mention its customization options. And lastly, the macro programming is seamless that it makes a great companion for people who love using macros to make their work faster and easier.
Conclusion and Recommendations
To wrap this up, GALAX did a pretty good job on its first mechanical keyboard – definitely a premium one that comes with a premium price. My only recommendations are to change the type of material they used on the surface of the wrist rest, just like what I’ve mentioned, and the thick USB cable which makes cable management hard. Other than that, no other complaints and I would say that this is a good pick if you don’t mind the premium price of PhP4,850 – PhP5,550 (depending on the seller) and the cons I’ve mentioned.
|Ergonomic / Comfortable||Thick USB cable (makes cable management hard)|
|Aluminum Frame / Body||Price|
|Uses MX Switches||Not double shot keycaps|
|Fully programmable and re-mappable (per-key)||Non-textured surface on the wrist rest|
|Magnetic wrist rest included|
|Great Build Quality|
And because of our findings, we’ll give it our SnowTechStuff.com Bronze Seal of Recommendation award.