HyperX Alloy FPS RGB review: God is in the detail

The HyperX Alloy FPS RGB is a mechanical gaming keyboard that should appeal to a lot of people. It has a full-size 104/105-key layout, pretty RGB illumination, a well-considered design and light, linear Speed Silver switches. Here are my thoughts after testing the keyboard for four weeks.

Clean, thoughtful design

The Alloy FPS RGB uses a “floating keys” design, which exposes the switches to more dust and debris but makes cleaning slightly easier – and looks fantastic. The keyboard feels well-built, with a metal top-plate and no flex evident when I gave the board a good twist. There is a subtle chamfer along the keyboard’s edges, which looks good and is comfier to rest your fingers on than a boxier design.

The Alloy FPS is a wide keyboard, thanks to its inclusion of all 100+ keys, but the chassis at least keeps its dimensions to a reasonable 442 x 130 x 36mm. I personally don’t use the numpad with any great regularity, so I prefer the space savings and more ergonomic hand position afforded by keyboards that omit the numpad such as the (non-RGB) Alloy FPS Pro.

The layout is also completely standard, with ISO (UK, Europe) and ANSI (US, China) variants available. That means you can pick up after-market keycap sets (including HyperX’s own pudding caps) from anywhere and customise the look and feel of the keyboard to your liking – something not possible with many Razer and Corsair keyboards, which use different key sizes on the bottom row. You may not want to swap out the keycaps now, but having the option down the road is great.

The Alloy FPS doesn’t include dedicated media keys, but it does allow you to skip songs and adjust the volume using Fn + F6 through F11; Fn + F12 is the gaming mode that disables the Windows key. If you prefer dedicated media keys, you could check out the only slightly more expensive HyperX Alloy Elite RGB.

Finally, the keyboard uses a removable Mini USB cable rather than the usual Micro-B or USB-C, as the older standard is slightly cheaper and users are less likely to plug in their own (potentially subpar) cables.

RGB lighting, keycaps & software

The standard Alloy FPS comes with red backlighting, but the Alloy FPS RGB model I’m testing comes with full per-key RGB support. By default you get the standard rainbow wave, and you can press Fn + F1 through F3 to check out two more included defaults: red with a breathing effect or all blue with WASD and 1234 in white.

The backlighting looks good, with both the primary and secondary legends on each key fully visible. The legends are also nicely inscribed, with consistent ALL CAPS in a clean and readable font. Too often gaming companies go for a trashy sci-fi or stencil-style font, so I’m glad to see HyperX opted for a classy option here.

You can set up your own lighting schemes in the terribly named but functional NGenuity software, including synchronising with other HyperX peripherals such as the Pulsefire FPS Pro mouse. The software isn’t great, with an interface that is simultaneously feature-light and over-complicated, but it gets the job done.

Kailh Silver Speed Switches

The light short-throw switches make double-tapping keys (e.g. dodging in FPS games or counter-strafing in CS:GO) a breeze. The lack of a tactile bump or added click mean that this keyboard is relatively quiet as well, although still louder than cheaper membrane keyboards.

While these switches work well in gaming, I prefer a heavier switch with a tactile bump (and potentially an audible click) for typing as I feel less likely to make mistakes. However, as with many things, this is a matter of preference; it’s worth testing the keyboard out in a store (or ordering a switch tester) rather than taking my word on it.

The switches are made by Kailh, using the usual Cherry MX designs. Kailh is one of the most popular and well-respected switch makers, so this is a sensible choice even though some purists insist on OG Cherry switches. I personally can’t feel a massive difference between speed switches made by the two companies.

Wrapping up

The Alloy FPS RGB is an excellent keyboard that distinguishes itself through the careful implementation of a thoughtful design; there are so many small touches that HyperX got exactly right here. I would love to see a software redesign and an RGB version of the tenkeyless Alloy FPS Pro model, but other than that it’s hard to find fault. Other keyboards may boast a longer list of features at a lower price, but by nailing the details HyperX have created something special with the Alloy FPS RGB.

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