Not your typical Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Review of the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard


HyperX is the high performance product arm of Kingston Technology. The brand first started out with their popular top-of-the-line enthusiast grade DRAM products, and more recently diverged into gaming focused products due to the increased profitability of the market.

While HyperX managed to further their reputation in the gaming industry with their Cloud pro-gaming headsets, they found a need to expand their product range to be more all-rounded. Their goal is to be a strong household gaming brand for pro-gamers, while at the same time, to entice mainstream consumers with these high quality products.

The HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard is the brand's first entry into gaming keyboard market. We will take a closer look at this keyboard to find out if can be a good choice for gamers, and also the value that it brings to mainstream users.

On first impression, the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard looks minimal. There's no additional macro buttons, unusual fonts, or swanky RGB lighting on this keyboard. HyperX has probably thought that for their first product, they need to get back to basics and make it exceptionally great in every single basic feature. Have they done it right?

1. Great Minimal Aesthetics and Design




We were not sure why manufacturers decided to come out with flashy designs on gaming keyboards. If you do a Google search on "Gaming Keyboards", you will see a whole range of non-conventional and attention grabbing designs. If those products are truly gaming oriented, those features should not be there in the first place.

In our opinion, the main factor for determining a good gaming keyboard as compared to a bad one is its usability. That is, the keyboard must be designed in a way for the maximum comfort and natural usage. Standard designs are pretty much good enough, but additional efforts must go into the details. For example, the size of each individual key cap, the material that is used on the key cap, the spacing between the different keys and the type of switches that it uses.

Well sized and spaced keys. Large backspace and enter keys for easy access.
The HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard does well in every of these aspects. It does not overwhelm gamers with a lot of non-related features and has a conventional black theme for the whole keyboard. The keys are also well spaced, leading to increased typing accuracy and speed. This essentially means that users will not unintentionally type on the wrong key. For gamers, this could possible affect their experience in competitive gameplay.



The key caps on the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard are made with a matt and slightly rubbery plastic material. This increases the friction between the keys and the fingers, thus giving users a more firm control of their typing. Understanding that gamers use the WASD and 1234 keys frequently, textured key caps are also included for optimal gaming performance.



Honestly speaking, do gamers really need RGB keyboards? RGB LED on keyboards only increases the cost of manufacturing, and do not really bring any additional value to gamers. In fact, they do not bring any true value to any end-users at all, other than showing it off to others. Let us have a keyboard that performs well at typing, not at lighting. This is also why the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechnical Keyboard only features red LED backlit keys. They selectively used red as the choice of LED colour because it is the least "glaring" as compared to blue, green or white LEDs. These are the minor but defining details that makes this whole keyboard stand out from all the other nonsensical gaming keyboard in the market.

HyperX Alloy FPS features 6 LED effect modes and 5 brightness levels. Specifically, here are the different effects that are available. These modes can be easily changed with the use of the FN key and the arrow keys.

  • LED permanently on
  • Breathing (fade in and fade out)
  • Key response fade out (keys light up only when pressed, and then light fades out)
  • Key response wave (a wave effect is created when a single key is pressed)
  • Permanent panning effect ( the keys light up from left to right)
  • Gaming LED Mode (1,2,3,4,W,A,S,D,Left Ctrl keys are lit)

2. Great Typing Experience with Cherry MX Switches




The HyperX Alloy FPS is equipped with Cherry MX Switches. We understand that it will be available in Cherry MX Red, Blue and Brown switches, but it seems that only the blue switch version is available for purchase now.

The Cherry MX mechanical keyboard switches need no further introduction. They are used by many gaming keyboards in the market as they are well known to provide great performance, durability and feel. Perhaps, no other keyboard switch manufacturers can come close to what the Cherry MX provides.

The Cherry MX Blue is the clicky kind of switch. Blue switches gives users a tactile feedback and produces are pretty loud audible click. However, in comparison to the red and brown switches, the blue tends to be preferred by typists or programmers, as its weighting is relatively high at 50cN. This makes the blue switch a bit harder to double tap.

This brings to my point that the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is also suited for various purposes other than gaming. It is actually extremely usable for productivity work such as typing reports and computer scripting/programming. As computer software programmers by profession, we found the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard perfect for our daily work. However, it could be a little bit too noisy for my colleagues in the same office.

The Cherry MX Brown and Red switches could possibly be more suitable in gaming scenarios, as their light weighting allows more rapid actuation. The brown switch performs somewhere in between the Red and the Blue switches, which makes it ideal as a hybrid productivity and gaming equipment.

3. Great value-added features



HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming keyboard is made with gaming in its design. Therefore, as the manufacturer understands that the Windows key could cause disruptions to gaming sessions when they are accidentally pressed, the keyboard also features the "Gaming Mode" to disable the Windows key. This is enabled with the FN and F12 button.



Moreover, the keyboard also features quick access and multimedia media keys that are enables with the FN button. These keys are found from the F6 to F12 keys, and can control playback and volume.



Moreover, the keyboard also feature a unique USB charging port for your USB enabled devices. This was created in order to reduce the number of additional cables running around your desktop. You can simply plug a shorter cable from the keyboard directly to your smartphone for charging.


4. Great accessories in box




The HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming keyboard also comes included with a protective pouch, which could be extra nifty for gamers who like to bring their gear with them. There is also a key cap puller within the package for the ease of changing to the provided tactile WASD keys.

Conclusion



The HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming keyboard performs much more than a regular gaming keyboard. We have also found it to be well suited for productivity applications. Its minimalist designs and focus on getting the basics right makes it great contender as a gaming keyboard in the market. If you are looking for a new mechanical gaming keyboard for gaming and prefer something sturdy and not too crazily over decorated, the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming keyboard will be a great choice.

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