GAMDIAS ARES Essentials Keyboard / OUREA Mouse Combo Review

Today we’re looking at the GAMDIAS keyboard combo with their budget oriented keyboard / mouse. The big question we ask is does it deliver on its marketing hype and is it the budget combo that price conscious consumers are looking for? Let's take a look.

Reviewer Bias

I’m a big fan of mechanical keyboards, so I’m used to clicky keys and smooth strikes. I have used a mechanical keyboard for the last 20 years, except for a brief period where Microsoft made those really comfy keyboards with that split down the middle, the um Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard. So my review will be biased based on these facts.

I received the keyboard directly from the manufacturer.

General Overview

The GAMDIAS ARES Essentials Keyboard / OUREA Mouse combo is a value based high end keyboard that has all of the cool features from more expensive keyboards but in a less expensive package. You have 19-key rollover, allowing you to pretty much use any key combination a Human being could press. In addition, you have backlit keys with three colors and special thumb function keys so that you can use function keys from your thumbs either on WSAD or the arrow keys.

The mouse is your general gaming mouse. It has a few extra buttons, one on the left and one on the right. It’s a pretty standard no-frills just works out of the box gaming mouse designed to be a step up from that Dell freebie you got with your computer.

Right now it retails for $45 plus shipping from most major retailers, putting it at one of the most price competitive keyboard / mouse combos for all of the features (backlight is big).

ARES Essential Gaming Keyboard

Let’s talk about the included keyboard. The keyboard is the ARES Essential Gaming Keyboard, a keyboard designed for the budget market with high-end specs. It’s got some really neat features and a lot of them I found to actually be worthwhile, including the insanely convenient thumb keys.

I love mechanical keyboards so much everyone hates me from the loud noises they make (you don’t have to get the clicky keys but I grew up learning to type on a typewriter). However, one of the crazy insane things about this specific keyboard is the function keys on the wrist rest part of the keyboard.

They’re right below space and when your fingers are in WSAD mode they actually work really well. For lefties, there is a set of similar keys for the arrow keys or for those who don’t WSAD.

It’s got a backlight with three colors, red, green, and yellow which is cool. I like the green personally, it’s pretty soothing. You can control it with the three function keys on the side. The first controls the color, the second controls if the arrow keys work as “WSAD”, and the third is the “auto-fire” which increases the speed that it reports key presses. The WSAD switch is actually pretty neat for some MMOs that don't allow you to change the control scheme.

There is a function key which can do some neat things. The first is obviously your standard shortcuts, but it can control the brightness of the backlight and even make it rotate through the different colors.

As far as the keys go, they have some toughness to them, but I’m using it new (and typing on it right now) and I’m very much accustomed to mechanical keyboards, but at the price tag it doesn’t feel any different than your standard Logitech or Microsoft keyboard in the same bracket and most of those don’t contain any special function keys or have a backlight. With the rollover, there isn't any worry about screwing up and pressing too many keys at once.

I used it in all sorts of games and it did fine. In WoW the function keys at the bottom were a godsend. In ArcheAge it was nice to have the function keys at the bottom. In Star Trek Online it was... yeah nice to have those extra keys somewhere usable. A lot of keyboards put them on the side, but the thumb area is just awesome.

For me personally, I do enjoy the features in relation to the price. This isn’t a keyboard I would specifically pickup because I’m not into the rubber dome keys, but it’s pretty much has everything most $50 to $100 keyboards have.

Something negative I would say is that I wasn't really enjoying the software. It's UI feels a bit off for me, although it is powerful and you can do a ton of macros for various keys with it. 

If you’re wanting something more high end, I’d probably steer clear. The keys did give my hands some fatigue (but I’m at all nowhere use to dome keys) but they are actually a bit easier to press down than a Microsoft keyboard I had laying around, so it’s all good there.

OUREA Mouse

I’m not in love with this mouse, but because I use a Naga and this mouse is just sufficient. It’s got a great response rate, it runs smooth, and feels great in the hand but it’s only got one extra key on the side (two if you count the one for lefties).

I don’t have a lot to say about mice, so I’ll just be brief. It’s great, it’s usable, and it feels good. It’s not my specific cup of tea, but there isn’t any flaws I found with it. It’s feature packed with LEDs and modifiable weights, which are great.

At $25 for the mouse alone, it’s a great buy because it’s got the advanced polling, the adjustable weight, the high DPI, and all of the features you want in a gaming mouse. It’s not an upper tier mouse and doesn’t have the fancy extra keys (but GAMDIAS does offer some highly rated alternatives like the Zeus eSport Edition) but those are in the upper tier price range.

Conclusion

This is a budget set for a gamer wanting lots of features without the price. One of the big fears with something like that is the product fails to provide because you’re not paying big market prices. For this instance, I feel that the price is way less than what you’re getting and the build quality / construction and durability for the week of use I got out of it far surpassed my expectations.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive keyboard and mouse combo, I would for sure look into this. It’s one of the highest quality builds I’ve seen from the budget crowd and GAMDIAS is well known for it’s high quality specialty mice like the DEMETER and the ZEUS, so you’re getting a high end manufacturer still.

The biggest highlights for me are the thumb keys on the keyboard, which makes some games like WoW for me a bit easier because I can take some stress off the shift and ctrl and alt keys and move a few skills to the thumb row using function keys I could never imagine normally striking. The thing I didn't like the most was the software and it's interface.

This gets a huge thumbs-up from me, if you’re looking into a new mouse and keyboard and want all the fun features without the price, this is for sure the way to go.

About The Author

Get in the bush with Xerin every week for his column, Respawn, as he analyzes the hottest trends, buzz topics, and absurdities in MMO gaming. With over 10 years of working in the MMO industry and experience with games, Xerin brings his experience to the table to provide interesting thought provoking articles and helpful guides to the MMO masses.
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