Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Learn more.
Kingston is adding a new pillar to its HyperX gaming brand. After introducing some of the best gaming headsets under $100, it’s taking on mechanical gaming keyboards.
- Pricing: $100
- Availability: Out now
The HyperX Alloy FPS is a new mechanical gaming keyboard that’s available now for $100. It features red lighting, a slim design, and solid-steel plating for its Cherry MX Blue switches — which are among the most in-demand keyboard switches in the world. The Alloy comes with several replaceable keycaps and a key remover to get you started customizing if you want, and HyperX packed in a protective sheathe as well.
Like with the HyperX Cloud, which was the company’s first headset, the Alloy seems like the product of a group of designers and engineers who are keyed in on what gamers are clamoring for. And also like the Cloud, the Alloy shows that HyperX can do something impressive on its first try.
What you’ll like
Full size with a minimal bezel
HyperX is making this keyboard for a specific kind of player. The FPS in the Alloy’s name is meant to indicate that this is for people who specialize in the popular military shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Blizzard’s beloved team-based shooter Overwatch.
In its efforts to appeal to those players, HyperX went with a design that is as small as possible while also maintaining full-size keys for all six rows of buttons. This gives players a full layout to work with while also maximizing the space they have free for their mouse and pad.
Keeping the Alloy’s size down required that the device have almost no outer bezel outside of the border of the keys. The result is a keyboard that looks like it was cut out of a much bigger peripheral. The absence of a bezel has other benefits for people who like to turn their keyboard to an extreme angle. It enables you to get your hand right up on top of the keys so that your thumb sits comfortably across the space bar and crouch buttons simultaneously. You need a wrist rest to get that level of comfort on many other keyboards.
Sturdy build quality and design
The size of the Alloy gives it a fragile appearance, but it’s quite rugged.
The metal plate where the switches connect to the board is tough and firm. If I pick up the Alloy by one of its edges, it doesn’t bend or warp from its own weight. Even the plastic on the bottom is well put-together. Screws aren’t visible, and it looks like one continuous piece protecting the board’s guts.
Oh, and I love that its USB cable is totally removable so that it won’t bend or break while traveling. And HyperX even included a USB charging port, so you can keep your phone or wireless gaming headsets juiced.
The keycaps are also nice — although HyperX included special texturized keycaps that you can replace using the included cap remover. If you want to go nuts, the Alloy is compatible with other MX Blue switches, so you can use your own keycaps.
MX Blue switches
And speaking of those MX Blues, that’s probably the best part of the HyperX Alloy. These clicky little buggers are exactly what I think of when I think of mechanical keyboards. They provide a nice distance for your finger to travel while also giving you audible and tactile feedback indicating that you’ve engaged the actuator.
Sure, that’s great for gaming, but I also just love the sound when I’m typing. I’ve written this review on the device, and it’s a joy to use for writing.
What you won’t like
Keys have a bit of a wobble to them
My only issue with the Alloy is one that’s common across a lot of devices that use Cherry MX switches: The keys are a bit unstable. Because the Blue switch is right in the middle of the cap, the keys are wobbly on their outer edges. It’s not the worst problem — especially considering that HyperX included decent keycaps. But that’s something to keep in mind. If you think it might bother you, you should consider Logitech’s G810 with Romer-G switches.
I’m learning to love having HyperX enter new sectors of the gaming-peripheral market. Its owning the headset space, and the Alloy indicates they could do the same here. If you’re a shooter-gamer first and foremost, this is probably one of your go-to boards under $100. If you dabble in shooters along with a lot of other games and day-to-day work, you can probably still consider other keyboards that provide more features like media controls and built-in wrist rests.
But, for me, I’m going to get back to owning face in Overwatch with this bad boy.
HyperX provided GamesBeat with a sample Alloy FPS for the purposes of this review. It is available now for $100.
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.