HyperX, a division of Kingston, is known for producing PC components and peripherals geared towards the PC gaming community. Today we are going to look at and review the HyperX Alloy Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – a full-sized keyboard built with solid steel frame, LED lighting, real Cherry MX mechanical key switches and more. However, despite the RGB craze going around, this one is limited to Red LED lightning only. And with the very saturated keyboard market, it’s quite difficult to compete with other companies. Does the Alloy Elite have it takes to compete with other mechanical gaming keyboards in the market? Are you looking for a mechanical keyboard that’s still using Cherry MX switches? Stick around and continue reading our HyperX Alloy Elite review below.
HyperX Alloy Elite Mechanical Keyboard Review
The HyperX Alloy Elite Mechanical gaming keyboard is a full-sized mechanical keyboard featuring real CHERRY MX switches (Blue, Brown or Red). The body is made of solid steel frame providing durability and stability; but it’s heavier compared to other keyboards with plastic body. It also comes with dedicated media keys like: play/pause, skip forward/backward, mute volume and a volume rocker that are very handy, specially when you want to do some quick volume adjustments.
All keys have individual red LED backlighting (with 5 pre-defined lighting effects) and each key has its own Cherry MX mechanical switch. Each switch is rated to have a lifespan of around 50 million keystrokes. With that amount of keystrokes it would last for years, provided that there is no manufacturing defect. I have tried the most common Cherry MX switches namely the Red, Blue, Brown and Black. I can say that I prefer the Blue and Brown switches. The Brown switch is just like the Blue minus the clicky feedback. The Red switch feels too soft for me; meanwhile the Black is like the Brown switch but it needs more force for it to actuate.
HyperX Alloy Elite Keyboard Specifications
|Backlight:||Single color, Red|
|Light effects:||6 LED modes and 4 brightness levels|
|Connection type:||USB 2.0 (2 USB connectors)|
|USB 2.0 Pass-through:||Yes|
|Key Rollover:||N-key mode|
|OS compatibility:||Windows® 10, 8.1, 8, 7|
|CHERRY MX Blue:||Clicky, 50cN|
|CHERRY MX Brown:||Tactile, 45cN|
|CHERRY MX Red:||Linear, 45cN|
|Weight (Keyboard and cable):||1467g|
A Closer Look at the Alloy Elite
Like most of well-made mechanical keyboards from reputable brands, the HyperX Alloy Elite comes in a well-packaged box. You can see a photo of the product on the front side and some of its features at the back side. Inside the box you get the Alloy Elite, its wrist pad, some extra keycaps and a key cap puller.
Here’s a front and bottom view of the Alloy Elite; the wrist pad is detachable and optional to use. But I find it much better to use the keyboard with its wrist pad attached, as it offers support while my hands is on the keyboard.
The HyperX Alloy Elite has a non-removable braided cable, and it’s a (really) thick cable; near or similar to a power cord or monitor cable’s thickness. The thick cable fork near the end of the line with two USB 2.0 ports. One is for the keyboard and the other is for the USB passthrough. The USB plugs are not gold platted though.
Both feets have rubber pads on them and they offer a decent elevation. It’s not too high compared to other keyboards and not too low either in my opinion. On the rear side of the keyboard is where the USB extension port is located; in between the media keys and the main chord of the keyboard. It’s only a USB 2 port though; it would be nice if it were USB 3 making it friendly for portable storage drives for those quick transfers.
All keys on the HyperX Alloy Elite are individually lit, including the media keys and a light bar. Well, except for the volume rocker, LED lighting controls and Game mode buttons; these don’t come with any backlighting. Too bad, this version only comes with Red LED, making it “less elite” in my opinion, specially that RGB lighting is pretty common these days.
Like I mentioned earlier, you also get extra key caps, there are 8 to be exact. And these extra key caps are for W, A, S, D, 1, 2, 3, and 4. These keys have silver color and the WASD key caps have embossed patterns. They don’t necessarily offer additional grip, but it makes it easier for your fingers to feel they keys. These keys are commonly used by first-person-shooter gamers.