Even though it is in an early stage of development, the Hermes-Lite sets a new standard for price/performance ratio for a direct sampling (receive) and direct synthesis (transmit) amateur transceiver. For newly licensed General class amateur operators, there are few effective low cost options for beginning to work the HF bands. There are likewise limited low cost options for software defined radio that offer sufficiently high performance. The Hermes-Lite seems poised to change that in a very dramatic way.
In its current state (v1.21, v1.22), the Hermes Lite is a fun and simple project to build. For someone experienced with surface mount work, it takes about two hours to hand assemble. For someone not very experienced, the fine pitch components, small parts, and population on both sides of the PCB may prove to be challenging.