In late 2016, HyperX unleashed their first wave of gaming keyboards with the Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This is HyperX's first foray into the keyboard market, and with specs like Cherry MX blue switches, N-Key rollover, and a USB charging port so you can easily charge your phone while you game, they definitely have it right on paper. But have they done it justice.
Unboxing this keyboard for the first time you are greeted with a keyboard bag, which may seem strange as someone who is using this on their battlestation at home, but you have to remember this keyboard is made for a pro gaming audience, so it needs to portable. How do you make a keyboard more portable you may ask? Well you give it removable keys, a non-bulky frame, and a carry bag, all things that this keyboard has. The cable itself is 1.8 meters long and braided for strength, has a bulky, square mini USB connector on one end that fits perfectly into the back of the keyboard to prevent it wiggling back and forth and damaging the port, and has 2 USB A on the other end to feed extra power so you can charge your USB powered device from your keyboard.
Diving in a bit further, you have the keyboard itself. A very striking black aluminum plate sits with a traditional 104 key arrangement on top that have black doubleshot key caps to highlight the red LED back lighting on the blue switches. Eight extra key caps are also provided as well as a key cap remover—four red keys for the 1-4 numerical keys on the top row and four red and textured keys for WASD, both meant to highlight the main gaming keys. The texture on the WASD keys not only provide a ton of grip for longer, more sweaty sessions, it also provides a tactile way to find WASD without having to find the F or caps lock key and finding your way from there. Before even using the keyboard, HyperX have definitely put in the leg work creating the Alloy FPS with a no-nonsense approach, but this is all for naught if the keyboard itself doesn't live up to the standard set by the design. Thankfully, this is not the case.
Plugging this keyboard in for the first time, you notice how striking the red LEDs look reflecting off the steel top plate of the Alloy FPS; it's a faint blurry glow that really does a lot to the design of the keyboard. Typing on this keyboard for the first time is not quite like typing on other Cherry MX based keyboards; the solid steel frame really adds a study base so when you hit the keys down, the keyboard does not bounce or move around—it's quite unlike anything I have personally used before. The lack of rebound from the keyboard makes it feel like the keys are embedded in my desk to provide a supremely comfortable typing experience.
For gaming, this is also a major boon. The included textured keys for WASD feel quite nice under the fingers and are also very nice to look at and easy to return to swiftly once you've had to use keys elsewhere. My only recommendation with these textured keys is if you do any kind of typing on this keyboard for any longer period of time, switch them out. The way it feels typing on them is strange and off putting to say the least, as the WASD don't provide any kind of relevance to your fingers while writing your next novella.
While gaming, a game mode can be activated from the keyboard, disabling the windows key, and activating N-key rollover and anti ghosting features. This is a great feature, especially for someone like me who ends up removing the windows keys while gaming to avoid accidentally tabbing out. This is included along side your normal media keys and volume control keys, as well as the ability to change the lighting effects from a fully lit keyboard, to a sweeping light, to a "gaming" WASD 1234 Space and Ctrl light. My personal favorite is the effect that will emanate a light outwards from the key you press. On other keyboards I have tested with this feature, the lights actually become laggy with multiple keypresses, which doesn't seem to be the case with the Alloy FPS.
The only issues I have found with this keyboard are the flip out legs and the USB charging port. While they are very study and have a nice sized rubber grip on the bottom, they don't do a lot of lifting, and the bottom plastic plate feels a bit weak, especially when you compare it to the sturdy metal plate that graces the top of the board. As for the charging port, it only seems to put out around 2A of power, but these are all extremely minor in the grand scheme of things and don't do a lot to detract from this keyboard.
All-in-all, it is incredibly hard to find a reason to not buy the Alloy FPS. It's a well-priced mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX keys, which means not only great key feel but changeable key caps if the bold-typed keys included aren't your style. The steel top plate is sturdy and makes the keys feel incredible under your fingers, and the back lighting is gorgeous, especially shining off the plate underneath but can be turned off if you aren't a fan of it. The only reason I can see is if you prefer other style of Cherry keys, in which case you should wait for the Alloy FPS red, which should be released soon.
This keyboard was provided by HyperX for the purposes of reviewing. This review was also very happily written on this keyboard.