HyperX Alloy FPS Keyboard Review (Cherry MX red switch)
   
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HyperX Alloy FPS Keyboard Review (Cherry MX red switch)

April 4th, 2017 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

We may have seen the HyperX Alloy FPS keyboard in the past, when it was noted that at the time of press the Alloy FPS was only available with Cherry MX blue switches, missing, among others was the ubiquitous red switch!? Well that has now been rectified as today we’ll take a look at the HyperX Alloy FPS (Cherry MX red switch).

As before the HyperX Alloy FPS is a full size mechanical keyboard featuring Cherry MX switches. Now some five months after the initial launch the Alloy FPS is now available with the following Cherry MX switch types (blue, red & brown). Feature wise the HyperX Alloy FPS features full LED back-lighting with per-key lighting. In addition to this there’s a USB pass through (charging only), media control, illumination control and volume control. All of this is also achieved without the use of software.

 

HyperX™-Logo-Full-Color ‘HyperX™ Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard features a minimalistic, compact design that’s ideal for FPS gameplay. Its space-saving layout maximises desktop space for FPS mouse movement. Ultra-portable, HyperX Alloy FPS comes complete with a high-quality mesh travel pouch to store and protect the keyboard and accessories, and the detachable, mini-USB braided power cord reduces storage bulk and potential cable damage. For high-precision, gaming-grade key contact and reliability, it features Cherry® MX mechanical keys.’

 

box

 

The HyperX Alloy FPS arrived at pcG in a small, predominately black box with a large image of the keyboard on the front, showing off its red illumination. The front of the box also highlights the use of Cherry MX Red switches as well as the ‘Compact Design Ideal For First Person Shooter Games’.

Looking at the back of the box we can see that HyperX have further highlighted the following:

  • SPACE SAVING MINIMALISTIC DESIGN FOR FPS GAMEPLAY WHILE MAINTAINING FULL FUNCTIONALITY
  • SOLID STEEL FRAME FOR LONG-LASTING DURABILITY AND STABILITY
  • CONVENIENT USB CHARGE PORT FOR MOBILE PHONES
  • DETACHABLE MINI USB BRAIDED CORD REDUCES BULK AND PROTECTS AGAINST CABLE DAMAGE
  • COLOURED, TEXTURED KEYCAPS GIVE MAXIMUM CONTROL AND ENHANCED FEEL FOR FPS GAMES
  • EASY-TO-CARRY TRAVEL POUCH PROTECTS AND STORES ACCESSORIES
  • GAME MODE DISABLES THE WINDOWS KEY TO PREVENT ACCIDENTAL GAME INTERRUPTIONS

 

hyperx-alloy-box-open

 

On opening the inner box you are immediately greeted with a carry bag/pouch, that helps form the protection for the top of the keyboard. The keyboard itself and the rest of the contents were found to be nicely packaged and presented.

 

hyperx-alloy-box-contents

 

In addition to the keyboard and the carry bag there’s also a detachable braided cable, a congratulations leaflet, Quick Start Guide and additional key-caps with key-puller.

 

At the time of writing the HyperX Alloy FPS (Cherry MX red switch) is available at Overclockers UK for approximately £90 and comes with a 2 year warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of HyperX

 

KEYBOARD

Switch: Cherry MX

Type: Mechanical

Backlight: Single color, Red

Light effects: 6 LED modes and 5 brightness levels

Connection type: USB 2.0 (2 USB connectors)

USB Passthrough:Yes (mobile phone charging only): 1000Hz

Polling rate: 1000Hz

Anti-ghosting: 100% anti-ghosting

Key rollover: 6-key / N-key modes

Media control: Yes

Game mode: Yes

Cable Type: Detachable, braided

Length: 1.8m

Dimensions

Width: 441.65mm

Depth: 129.38mm

Height: 35.59mm

Weight (keyboard and cable): 1049g

 

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

hyperx-alloy

 

First impressions of the HyperX Alloy FPS are really rather good, something I wasn’t quite prepared for to be honest. It appears that this new mechanical keyboard has been well thought out, it’s also good looking, well made and comes with a decent set of accessories. If it performs well then HyperX are likely to have a winner on their hands here…

 

hyperx-alloy-front hyperx-alloy-back

 

Looking at the front of the HyperX Alloy FPS we see what appears to be a simple, full sized mechanical keyboard. But its minimalistic design is (of course) by choice, as desk space for many Gamers, especially Pro Gamers is often somewhat restricted. This design choice also means that there’s no wrist rest. From what I can see the kep-caps themselves are laser etched and therefore should not wear easily over time.

Looking at the back of the HyperX Alloy FPS we can see there’s very little to look at. The keyboard features four dedicated rubber feet that support the keyboard when flat and the rear legs can be raised for additional keyboard rake.

 

hyperx-alloy-leg-down hyperx-alloy-leg-up

 

The back of the keyboard features two legs that can be extended to raise the back of the keyboard up. These legs flip out to the back of the keyboard and once locked into position they stay locked. Meaning that if you push the keyboard backwards, the legs don’t have a tendency to collapse. But I did find there was a tendency for the rubber feet (that seem stuck on) to come unstuck from the legs themselves.

 

hyperx-alloy-flat hyperx-alloy-raised hyperx-alloy-usb-connections-input-output

 

As you can see from the images above the legs themselves increase the incline at the back of the keyboard very little. Yet it was enough to make a difference and the keyboard was tested with the legs extended at all times, as this provided the best level of comfort.

At the back of the keyboard we find a couple of USB sockets on the left. The first USB socket is effectively a pass-through from your PC, although it only acts as a charging socket for mobile devices etc!? The second mini-USB socket is actually there to power the keyboard itself and connects to the supplied cable, that in turn connects to the PC.

 

hyperx-alloy-f6-f12 hyperx-alloy-indicators

 

Additional functionality can be accessed via the FN button found to the right of the right ALTGR key. This alters the functionality of certain Function keys (F6 through to F12). F6 through to F8 are media controls and F9 through to F11 are volume controls. F12 is Gaming Mode and simply disables the Windows key.

This is indicated as On/Off by the first of three LED indicators to the right of the HyperX logo. All indicators are red, the first being the Game Mode indicator followed by Num Lock and Caps Lock; there is no Scroll Lock.

 

hyperx-alloy-illumination-controls The keyboard’s backlighting can be controlled via the FN key and the four cursor keys, as depicted by the markings on them. The up and down keys control brightness while the left and right keys control function/mode. There are six Modes in total – Solid, Breathing, Trigger, Explosion, Wave & Custom. Custom allows you to configure the keys that you wish to be illuminated.

Worth noting that there appears to be only one custom Profile meaning that you can only setup one for a specific Game and if you want to change you’ll have to modify that one Profile, which I think is a bit of a shame.

 

Hardware Installation

 

hyperx-alloy-connections-pc hyperx-alloy-connection-keyboard

 

The HyperX Alloy FPS connects by way of its detachable 1.8m braided cable. The cable is quite nice in itself, being thin, flexible and sporting a black/red colour scheme. The two regular USB plugs plug into your PC; one powers the keyboard itself while the other provides power for the keyboard’s charging port. The other end (mini-USB) plugs directly into an offset position (something I rather like) on the back of the keyboard itself.

 

Testing Methodology/Setup

 

hyperx-alloy-additional-keycaps-puller

 

Now this time around we get to see the use of Cherry MX red switches, something that I was disappointed about when if first tested the Cherry MX red version of this keyboard. From my (Gaming) perspective red is the way to go as it’s the most responsive and quiet to boot. The HyperX Alloy is now available in both red, blue and brown Cherry MX switch types.

I was pleased to see the inclusion of some additional key-caps and a key-puller also. The additional key-caps are metallic (aluminium I think) and WASD and 1-4 keys are supplied, not sure why it’s not 1-5, but there you go…

 

Hardware Performance

 

Once plugged in the HyperX Alloy FPS comes to life, the red illumination is both vivid and bright, especially on its maximum brightness setting. There are five levels to choose from including an off mode, controlled via FN and the Up/Down Cursor keys.

Below you can also see the custom Profile that I created for Shadow Warrior 2. The various Modes (Solid, Breathing, Trigger, Explosion, Wave & Custom) that the Alloy FPS offers are accessed by using FN and the Left/Right Cursor keys. The custom Profile can be found at the end (keep pressing Right) of the six Modes offered. To program this Custom Mode you’ll need to press FN and the right CTRL key, then press the keys that you want illuminated and then press FN CTRL again to save. I have to confess to liking this custom mode and the way in which it is accessed/programmed (without the need for software) although I’m a little disappointed that there’s only one Profile.

 

hyperx-alloy-fps-illumination hyperx-alloy-fps-illumination-profile

 

The HyperX Alloy FPS was already a good Keyboard, but at launch there was only Cherry MX blue switches. This has now (somewhat obviously) been rectified and the Alloy FPS is all the better for it. The keyboard now feels even more responsive and that annoying click feedback fro the switch has gone. From a pure gaming/performance point of view it really doesn’t get much better than this, thanks to the solid aluminium chassis and those Cherry MX red switches.

 

Final Thoughts

 

As I’ve already stated the HyperX Alloy FPS was already a damn good Gaming Keyboard, but now it’s just that little bit better thanks to those new Cherry MX Red switches. I would be more than happy to use a HyperX Alloy FPS (Cherry MX red switch) as my Gaming Keyboard of choice and I think you would too…

The HyperX Alloy FPS arrived at pcG in a small compact box, with the contents within both nicely packaged and presented. It was also nice to see the inclusion of a carry bag/pouch, additional key-caps and a key puller. I also very much like the fact that the USB cable is also detachable.

First impression are very good, the Alloy FPS is a well made mechanical keyboard feeling both sturdy and strong, with its steel chassis providing a solid platform to Game from. It looks good too, sleek and elegant in fact and I very much like the compact size.

Feature wise the HyperX scores well with its red illumination that’s both vivid and bright. The fact that you can also program your own custom Profile via the keyboard is also good to see. Although it would have been nice to have the ability to program more than one Profile and I’m unsure why this restriction is there, maybe more can be added by a firmware update in the future.

From a pure performance point of view it really doesn’t get much better than this. This is down to an excellent solid aluminium chassis and of course those new Cherry MX red switches. In Game the response from the Cherry MX red switches was immediate, it’s like having your brain connected directly to the keyboard. Now, month after the initial launch the HyperX Alloy FPS is now available with blue, red and brown Cherry MX switches.

The HyperX Alloy FPS now equipped with Cherry MX red switches is a better Keyboard in my opinion, but of course this is somewhat subjective. Thankfully other switch types are available. But time has moved on since its launch and other manufacturers are catching up fast. The Alloy FPS may be a great keyboard but HyperX shouldn’t rest on their laurels as others now offer more for less money…

 

Verdict

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Overclockers UK




HyperX Alloy FPS
Cherry MX red switch

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Design/Quality pcGameware awards the HyperX Alloy FPS a Gold
Performance
Value
Overall

 

Many thanks to HyperX for providing this sample for review

 


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