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.

Massive brother

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.

IDG / Hayden Dingman

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.

HyperX Alloy Elite RGB IDG / Hayden Dingman

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.

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