It has been a while since we first took a look at the Hexgears brand with the Impulse, and things have been busy for yours truly to where we only now get to take a look at what the US/China brand has been up to. Hexgears is an enthusiast-driven keyboard brand that works closely with Kailh and Input Club to bring out premium offerings with customization and open-source firmware in mind. Soon after the Impulse was released, the brand put out a twin series aptly named Gemini Dawn and Dusk, with the Dawn in white and the Dusk in black. Thanks again to Hexgears for sending TechPowerUp a review sample!
Color aside, the Gemini keyboard twins are otherwise identical, so this review can also be taken for the Gemini Dawn. Seen above is the Gemini Dusk in black, and this is a TKL (tenkeyless) form factor keyboard in the US ANSI layout. At first glance, we also notice what appears to be per-key RGB lighting, but not much else. This is one of the best examples of not judging a book by its cover, or a review sample by the title image. Grab a drink, relax, and enjoy the ride as we cover the Hexgears Gemini Dusk over seven pages in this review that begins with a look at the specifications in the table below.
Hexgears Gemini Dusk Keyboard
87-key form factor in a US ANSI layout
Metal case and plate, PBT plastic keycaps
1.1 kg / 2.42 lbs.
Full N-Key rollover USB
Available as a secondary function
140 (L) x 368 (W) x 36 (H) mm
6 ft / 1.8 m
Kailh BOX Red, Brown, or White RGB mechanical switch
Yes, per-key 16.8 M RGB backlighting
Packaging and Accessories
Hexgears does not operate a web shop, but I got the Gemini Dusk as part of a larger parcel from Input Club, so we begin with the product packaging itself which is.. surprisingly bare? The cardboard box is all black and completely barren aside from a sticker on the side confirming you do have the Gemini Dusk inside, and with the Kailh BOX Brown switches, too. A double flap on the side keeps this box closed, and opening it reveals the true nature of the product packaging inside a thin foam wrap.
Remember the Input Club Kira? It was and still is a fantastic 95% keyboard that shipped inside a premium carry case. Clearly, both strongly influenced Hexgears, and we see the same case adopted here. In fact, the same manufacturer likely made both cases given how similar the design is with the stitched Hexgears logo in the bottom-right corner over the fabric base on either side of the zippered case. It is durable and with a soft touch at the same time, and opening it reveals the keyboard right away.
The underlining is supple too, with foam protrusions applying pressure on the keyboard to keep it firmly in place and protected on its way to you. The accessories all come inside a plastic bag folded inside a foam cover, so the keyboard is not accidentally scratched or bumped by these. The first accessory is the USB Type-A to Type-C keyboard cable, which points towards the adoption of USB Type-C connectivity on the keyboard itself.
Here is where I did feel let down given everything so far has a higher standard. Hexgears includes the basic minimum when it comes to the keycap puller and switch remover, with a plastic ring-style keycap puller that works alright but can scratch the sides of keycaps. The switch remover is a similarly cheap piece of bent metal. I would have rather seen one of the combo pullers included instead. We also get two replacement keycaps for Scroll Lock and Pause, which are probably replaced by something else on the keyboard itself. These are extremely thick Cherry profile PBT plastic keycaps (wall thickness ~1.5 mm) with doubleshot injected legends for high durability.
Underneath the keyboard is more of the same packaging, and in a recess lies the final set of accessories. Hexgears includes a note about where to find the product manual, which leads you to something far more than just a manual we will cover in more detail soon enough. Then there is what Hexgears calls a magnetic angle adjustment bar/foot. This is a metal piece that has two protruding magnets on the side mating with the keyboard. The underside has rubber pads for friction against the resting surface and to prevent scratches to the matte metal finish.