Studying is a course of, proper? It definitely has been for HyperX and its keyboards. First there was the stripped-down HyperX Alloy FPS in late 2016—a no-frills funds keyboard that, as I wrote on the time, “centered on the basics.”
The brand new HyperX Alloy Elite RGB ($170 on Amazon) is the other finish of the spectrum, decked out with RGB lighting, media keys, a wrist relaxation, and a a lot bigger footprint. It’s the flagship. So how does it fare in opposition to the competitors? We went hands-on to seek out out.
Word: This overview is a part of our best gaming keyboards roundup. Go there for particulars about competing merchandise and the way we examined them.
It truly is massive. That’s not extraordinary on this area—Corsair’s K95 Platinum has an outsized footprint too, for example. However I feel it’s extra noticeable on the Alloy Elite as a result of lots of that area is simply empty. There’s a traditional keyboard, positive, after which above it’s an inch-deep strip of nothing.
Okay, not fairly nothing. That strip homes the media keys within the top-right nook, together with HyperX’s tackle a quantity wheel, nonetheless essentially the most intuitive management technique I’ve seen. It additionally contains three keys within the top-left: Brightness, Profile Switching, and Sport Mode. These are often double-mapped to the Perform keys on most boards, which ensures I’ll virtually by no means use them. Having them simply accessible right here has modified that.
It’s a fairly big brow although, and the vast majority of it’s wasted area. I want HyperX had discovered a greater strategy to combine all these controls in-line with the remainder of the Alloy Elite, as a result of it’s chunky trying in its present kind. The polar reverse of the Alloy FPS, which is likely one of the smallest full-sized keyboards I’ve used. There’s a big HyperX emblem within the high proper of the keyboard correct, and I can’t assist considering that area may’ve been higher used for controls.
That mentioned, the Alloy Elite is in any other case enticing (if unremarkable). Uncovered backplate, elevated keys, RGB lighting—it’s proper on development. There’s a correct USB passthrough this time as a substitute of a charging port, which I respect. And it even has an RGB ribbon between the keyboard correct and that vacant strip. Not fairly as eye-catching because the Okay95’s edge lighting or the Razer Huntsman Elite’s underglow impact, nevertheless it’s distinctive and likewise not as distracting to the individual typing.
Lighting is vibrant and even too, as I’d count on from any board operating Cherry MX switches lately. In order for you Corsair-level lighting for a less expensive value, the Alloy Elite’s not a nasty strategy to get it. There’s one side I haven’t gotten used to, nevertheless: To compensate for the offset LEDs below the keys, HyperX pushes each main and secondary features to the highest of every key. For example, each “four” and “$” are aligned to the highest edge. It’s a bit cramped trying.
The wrist relaxation is the Alloy Elite’s actual weak spot although. On this age of the Logitech G513 and the Razer BlackWidow Final, HyperX’s thin-piece-of-coated-plastic wrist relaxation appears outdated—and HyperX runs with the identical kind of design right here. It’s soft-touch coated and never precisely disagreeable to kind on, nevertheless it’s a far cry from the premium wrist rests we’re seeing from the competitors these days. Mine additionally flexes within the center, not fairly mendacity flat on my desk. A minor annoyance, however testomony to its flimsiness.
Let’s discuss software program as a result of, effectively, HyperX has by no means had any earlier than. Earlier units have been among the final holdouts of the outdated software-free strategy. HyperX’s Pulsefire mouse, for example, used the getting old Pixart 3310 sensor, the place DPI switching is usually completed by means of a button.
And to some extent that strategy continues right here. The Alloy Elite is, I’d say, “software program optionally available.” Nothing will ever pop up urging you to put in HyperX’s NGenuity software program. You’ll be able to plug iin the keyboard and by no means suppose twice.
I went forward and put in NGenuity although, and first let me say: It’s heavy. The obtain off HyperX’s web site got here in over 300MB, and the ultimate set up? In some way it fills 1.1GB of area. Sure, gigabytes… for a utility that helps me management the lighting on a keyboard. For comparability, Logitech’s Gaming Software program is 310MB after set up, as is Razer’s Synapse.
So yeah, HyperX desperately must slim this down. I plan to uninstall it instantly. My poor little SSD.
Extra to the purpose, I don’t perceive why it’s so rattling big. It’s not a nasty piece of software program, nevertheless it’s precisely the identical kind of lighting controls as all the opposite utilities on the market. You both assign a preset sample (Wave, Respiration, and many others.) or a game-specific lighting scheme ( Future 2 for example) or you possibly can regulate the colour of every key individually. Fundamental stuff. Nothing that, a minimum of on the floor, warrants HyperX’s model being thrice the scale of the competitors’s software program. Possibly it’s good HyperX went with this “software-optional” strategy in any case.
As with the Alloy FPS, I’ll shut out by reminding you that HyperX is likely one of the few firms nonetheless utilizing correct Cherry MX keys. That alone makes the Alloy Elite value a glance, in my view. Off the highest of my head it’s Corsair, G.Ability, Cougar, Fnatic, and HyperX. That’s it.
I’m nonetheless a fan. There are 1,000,000 Cherry knock-offs, however for my cash, correct Cherry keys are essentially the most dependable and constant. The Alloy Elite that HyperX despatched over was loaded with Cherry MX Blues, my all-time favourite for typing—tactile, clicky, and with a average quantity of resistance. It’s also possible to seize it with commonplace Cherry MX Reds or Browns although. (Nonetheless no MX Blacks, for some cause.)
Just like the Alloy FPS, HyperX’s Alloy Elite RGB is a superbly high-quality keyboard. The one actual situation is that it’s a superbly high-quality keyboard in an ever-more-crowded market. It doesn’t undercut the competitors on value the way in which G.Ability has, nor does it have a standout function just like the G513’s wrist relaxation or Corsair’s over-the-top lighting. It does use correct Cherry keys, in order that’s a begin, and the value isn’t unhealthy. At $169 record, it’s just about in step with the competitors.
However on the finish of the day, the Alloy Elite is only a stable different to different boards in the identical area of interest. Given how persistently HyperX has pushed the headset market ahead, I want we noticed some extra of that ingenuity come via in its different peripherals. That’s all.
PS: Please, please slim down that software program utility. I can’t even consider it’s 1.1 gigabytes. Woof.