Mechanical keyboards occupy an interesting space in the PC peripherals market. They’re primarily sold to those keen on highly competitive PC gaming, but they can also have application for those who are just a bit too brutal on regular keyboards, because their mechanical switches are usually more durable than those found on regular butterfly style keyboards, or those who need longer key travel for ergonomic reasons.
It’s immediately clear that the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is aimed more solidly at that gaming market, but that doesn’t preclude it from being used for other, more pedestrian purposes. Gaming keyboards, however, are where a lot of the competition in the mechanical keyboard space is, so any new entrant needs to really stand out.
Most mechanical gaming keyboard are huge monstrosities designed to be visually intimidating as well as give off an air of indestructibility. That's debatable, but what isn't is that they're generally very heavy affairs that are tough if you travel with your keyboard for competitive gaming purposes. The HyperX Alloy doesn't waste a single millimetre, offering up a flat platter on which its mechanical switches sit. That means it's lighter than many comparable keyboards, but also that it takes up a lot less desk space. If you're low on desk space it's a great fit.
While it's gaming-centric without a doubt, if you disable the backlighting there's little that betrays the HyperX Alloy's roots. Instead, it just looks like a simple, no-fuss keyboard. You can see every switch in detail at ease, which also means that further down the track, keeping the HyperX ALLOY clean should be a breeze.
Solid Cherry MX Blue switches
It's very noisy
This is totally a subjective call, and the odds are that if you know what Cherry MX Blue switches are, you already know if you prefer their more solid actuation feel or not. We really like having that hearty click that comes with each keystroke, and in our testing we never missed a beat, shot, or for that matter a word while typing.
The downside of those gloriously noisy switches is that if you throw a rapid fire gamer, or for that matter a decent touch typist at it, it sounds like an explosion in a machine gun factory. That's great for intimidating opponents, but less endearing in a busy office where your co-workers may glare at you.
Comes with custom keys
Range of backlighting options
USB Phone charging port
Some backlighting modes are useless
For most gamers, the WASD pairing is vital. The HyperX Alloy comes with optional bright red keys to pop in place so you never need miss a run, slide or dive while playing, but you're not forced to use them if you want a more traditional looking keyboard layout.
The HyperX Alloy's backlighting intensity can be dialled down, switched off, used to highlight the WASD configuration, or set to light individual keys, or even have an explosion effect run on the keyboard from each pressed key. Some of these modes are more for showing off than improving your game or productivity, but they're easy to access, and you can always disable backlighting entirely, or set it for your own choice of keys.
There's a couple of lighting modes on the HyperX Alloy which are arguably more about looking good on a sales floor or web page than in actual use. Trying to game or type with the Wave function, which washes over the keyboard with colour is an exercise in frustration and distraction.
If you're heavily into the eSports scene, you need to keep connected while you play. The sole external USB port on the HyperX Alloy is designed for connecting up a phone charging cable to keep you communicating once you've finished playing.
Connecting up the HyperX Alloy will cost you two USB ports on your PC of choice. That's not unusual in the mechanical keyboard gaming space, but for most of those keyboards there will be one or more daisy chained USB ports to make up the difference. This can be a huge boon if you use a cabled mouse, or just if you want to drop a USB Flash drive into your PC at a moment's notice. The USB port on the HyperX Alloy is charge-only, however, so it won't allow your PC to recognise any peripherals.
The HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is, as its name suggests, still best suited for gamers, and most notably gamers who favour mechanical keyboards but aren’t always doing so from the comfort of their own gaming zones. It’s built for portability, and within that space it’s a very decent option, although you’re awash with many choices in the mechanical keyboard space. If you have more desk space and want more features you're spoiled for choice, but if you want something that's no fuss and relatively compact while still being very durable, the HyperX Alloy FPS is a great choice.
Pricing and availability
HyperX sells the Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard directly through its web site for $169 outright.
HyperX Alloy FPS mechanical keyboard from Amazon
Designed for first-person shooters, the HyperX Alloy FPS mechanical keyboard features a compact design to allow for more mousepad space and to make travel with the board easier. Grab it now from Amazon Australia.
Alex Kidman was the tech and telco editor at Finder and is now a freelance technology writer. He's been a technology writer with experience spanning more than 20 years, writing and editing at Gizmodo, CNET, PC Magazine, Kotaku and many more. Alex has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New England and a serious passion for retro gaming.
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