Larger keys like the spacebar actuate perfectly without any wobble. This helps conserve space, but it can take some getting used to at first. It looks dazzling through, thanks in part to the floating keycap design. Above the function key row, there’s also a light bar that adds a nice extra touch of light. The finish on the keycaps and deck are soft-touch, and even with the legs under the board extended, the Alloy Elite RGB has a rather flat stance. The switches in the Alloy Elite RGB performed as expected, with a reassuring tactile bump on each press. There’s also a USB 2.0 port on the back of the Alloy Elite RGB, which is perfect for plugging in a USB headset or mouse. While other companies like Razer and Logitech have opted to develop their own mechanical switches with varying effectiveness, the Cherry MX name still means consistent quality and they work flawlessly with the Alloy Elite RGB.
As I mentioned in the intro, HyperX sells an Alloy Elite mechanical keyboard with a red backlight, but as the name denotes, the RGB model has full per-key lighting with the typical “16 million colors” tagline. Thankfully, the keycaps are well-made and attach securely to the switches, so key presses feel solid and reliable. As I’ll discuss further in regards to the software, setting up lighting preferences on the Alloy Elite RGB isn’t a very fun experience, but once you’ve sorted it out, the board looks excellent. Note that if you click on one of these links to buy the product, IGN may get a share of the sale. I spent 10 minutes just figuring out how to open the lighting presets. HyperX also included a set of silver, textured replacement keycaps for the WASD keys and silver keycaps for the 1, 2, 3, and 4 keys.
Compact design as it may be, there’s still a row of handy, dedicated media buttons on the top-right edge. Though this is a “new” model, it’s basically the Alloy Elite but with RGB lighting. There’s also three buttons on the top-left edge for adjusting the backlight brightness, switching lighting profiles (more on that later), and toggling “game mode.” This function (game mode) can be customized, but generally it’s used to thwart errant Windows-key presses while gaming.
Under the keycaps, HyperX has opted for the always excellent Cherry MX switches. Overall the lighting on the Alloy Elite RGB looks fantastic and puts off a very pleasant glow in a darkened room. Sure, it’s not the most important feature in the world, but it’s so much easier to adjust game and music levels on the fly using a wheel instead of a button that it’s a feature that should be on every modern keyboard. At $170, its in direct competition with other high-end mechanical decks like the Corsair K95 Platinum and Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2. But some programs like Razer Synapse are getting a tad more usable these days, while the HyperX Ngenuity program is kind of a frustrating mess. And next to that, one of my personal favorites; a metal wheel for adjusting the volume. It seems like with each new keyboard we get more features, and with its new HyperX Alloy Elite RGB (See it on Amazon) / (See it on Amazon UK) it seems like they’ve finally completed the cycle, since it has pretty much everything you’d expect in a flagship RGB keyboard. The review unit sent to me was loaded with Cherry MX Brown switches, which offer a nice tactile feel without being super clicky. There is some horrid comedic irony in HyperX naming this software Ngenuity.
The HyperX brand has branched out considerably in recent years, and most recently the company has started releasing mechanical gaming keyboards. Unlike similar high-end mechanical keyboards like the Corsair K95, there are no dedicated macro keys on this keyboard.
One of the weakest points on the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB is its software. The soft-touch finish feels great while typing, but the keycaps are also tapered a bit, so they are a bit narrower at the top.
The keyboard plugs into your PC via a thick, durable, braided cord that splits into two USB plugs. You can also pick up this keyboard with Cherry MX Red or Blue switches, depending on your preference for noise, or the lack of it. But does it have the chops to stand with the best?Design and Features
Right out of the box, the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB feels like a quality mechanical board with a nice, reassuring weight. This is a full-size keyboard to be sure, but overall it feels a bit smaller than the huge footprint of the Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2, for example. Unfortunately, that lighting upgrade also tacks on $60 to the price. Even with the removable wrist rest attached, the size feels perfect—important when your desktop is taken up by the legs of a huge monitor.
The keycaps on the Alloy Elite RGB have a comfortable, slightly concave face. Be sure to visit IGN Tech for all the latest comprehensive hands-on reviews and best-of roundups.