HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Street Date:
- October 24th, 2016
- Reviewed by:
- Brian Hoss
- Review Date:1
- December 29th, 2016
- Game Release Year:
HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard reviewed using a variety of Windows-based PCs (Winodws 7 & 10).
As Kingston's HyperX continues to make waves in the gaming market with both well-rounded headsets and performance internals like SSDs, it's only natural that the ever important keyboard would become a target product. And of course, for HyperX to make a keyboard worth noticing, it would have to be a mechanical design. The HyperX Alloy FPS is a mechanical keyboard built using Cherry MX Blue switches and a solid-steel frame, but more than that, this is a keyboard with a full layout but a minimal footprint. And being a HyperX product, the Alloy FPS includes a nice assortment of accessories as well as a detachable cable.
HyperX Alloy FPS
Right off the bat, I have to say that while not perfect, the Hyper Alloy FPS is not only an excellent mechanical keyboard, but easily one of the best products I have ever reviewed. With the Alloy FPS, what HyperX has done is boil down a mechanical keyboard to its essence and then carefully added some features in to make a stand-out.
The most obvious thing to look at on this keyboard or any other, is how the keys feel. The plastic keys here with their translucent lettering are exactly matched to the Cherry MX Blue switches. When pressed, these keys have the slightest amount of give before they click, and instantly pop back for more. With the steel frame and composite shell that HyperX is using, these switches have a solid base (coming from a focused, balanced weight in the frame), and are otherwise exposed right down to the switch housing. The overall effect is a wonderful, mechanical feel that takes the classic mechanical keyboard feel to a svelte extreme. There is nowhere for the keys to go, but down to the accentuation point.
Rolling into a keyboard centric game like 'Battlefield 1' with the Alloy FPS, and there is nothing but love and smooth action. Each keystroke, whether by press or by hold, has a tactile accuracy and satisfaction that can be hard to find elsewhere in life. The left Ctrl key, for example, clicks in and out without any flex or hiccup. The only thing to worry about is the sound of keys getting picked up by an open mic.
Looking at the keyboard, the spacing of all the keys in the 104 key-layout is luxurious, and yet this keyboard is small. The braided mini USB cable detaches easily, which helps mobility, and the included carry/slip case makes travelling with the Alloy FPS very attractive. The keyboard has lost the fat without losing the function.
The Alloy FPS features red backlighting which make the keys pop and the keyboard face have a nice red luster. There are six different lighting patterns to choose from, including a custom pattern where is each lit key can be picked by the user. There are also four levels of brightness, and all the lighting can be done though the keyboard itself without any software. There is none of the RGB nonsense here, and the standard full red is great for all lighting conditions.
No Software Required
This brings me to another great aspect of the Alloy FPS. No special software is needed or required. This is a real plug and play product. In addition to the lighting controls, there are media keys (used via the Fn key and the F6 through F11 keys) and a Gaming mode key (Fn + F12) which will lock the Windows key. There is no other fluff, no macros, no profiles, no bloatware, etc.
The underside of the keyboard has two feet that flip up for the typical change in keyboard angle. There are six rubber feet in all to keep the keyboard in place. There are caps lock and num lock lights, but the familiar scroll lock light is replaced here by a Gaming mode light.
The Alloy FPS uses one USB connection, but not unlike an external drive, has a second male USB connector if needed. There is female USB port on the keyboard which has a very specific function. It's a charge port. The idea is to plug both male ports into the PC, and then that charge port is available for charging a phone. It will not pass along any data is not suitable for a mouse.
This might be a feature missed by many users as it is normally convenient to connect a mouse to the keyboard, but I've known enough keyboards with questionable USB connections appreciate this design and having a charge-only connection is nice. There are no audio connection on the keyboard, which for me is another less is more way to go.
The Alloy FPS does include a set of eight keycaps and a keycap tool. The red WASD keys are textured while the 1-4 are just red. These are a nice bonus, but not at all essential for me.
Frankly, the Alloy FPS has every single important feature I look for in mechanical keyboard (for both gaming and everyday use, such as typing reviews), including a great feel, good backlighting, a nice build, and works perfectly without any junky software while adding in niceties like a detachable cable, media keys, and a carry case. On a desk, it's amazing how much extra room the Alloy FPS provides without having to cramp or lose any keys.
The keyboard is excellent outright, but it's also nice that the price point of $99.99 is right on. While the frame makes it seem like the HyperX could make for a good weapon in a dire circumstance, there really there doesn't seem to be a single wasted bit of design or production aspect. My only qualms is that I would love to see a silent version of this keyboard.
For me, a mechanical keyboard is a must, but it's hard to find options with quality switches rather than RGB fluff. The Hyper Alloy FPS takes my keyboard wants and goes further with a smart and mobile footprint, and manages to be very stylish in use and in the included soft case. Anyone looking for their first mechanical keyboard or their next mechanical keyboard should try the Alloy FPS.
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