David Hollingsworth gets to grips with the HyperX FPS Alloy keyboard for eSports News UK’s very first hardware review.
I don’t really like change – it scares me. I like the way I cook lasagna and don’t really want to add what you think will make it better. I like the games I play and I especially don’t like to change the hardware I use without the previous one breaking. Because if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
That all changed three weeks ago when I was sent the HyperX to review. I was skeptical at first, I write perfectly fine with my current keyboard, it works well and is showing no sign of failure. I don’t use any of its external macro keys or ‘cool’ functions but it works for me.
So I was intending to use this new keyboard for review, then return to the daily driver that had not let me down so far.
The day the UPS man turned up at my door with the keyboard would change my gaming and writing life forever (or at least the next year or two, anyway).
Switch: Cherry MX Blue
Backlight: Single colour, 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)
Polling rate: 1000Hz > Anti-ghosting: 100% anti-ghosting
Key Rollover: 6-key / N-key modes
Media control: Yes
Game Mode: Yes
Price: Around £99.99
More specs and info on the HyperX website
“The HyperX Alloy shines the brightest within the FPG genre; the fast response and audible clicks bring your actions to life in a way a standard membrane keyboard just can’t.”
The most important test for any gaming keyboard is obviously going to be how it performs in actual games. The HyperX Alloy, for example, is targeting the FPS space as its main go-to-audience, but can it perform across the board?
The HyperX Alloy shines the brightest within the FPG genre; the fast response and audible clicks bring your actions to life in a way a standard membrane keyboard just can’t.
It was never going to be a surprise that the HyperX excels at the game it was marketed at. CSGO feels perfect for the HyperX Alloy – the sharp movement and split-second decision make the HyperX and CSGO (or any FPS game) a match made in gaming heaven.
The only drawback that hangs over the keyboard is how it gets used in pro play, I found a number of pro player using it at tournaments but with their teams being sponsored by HyperX, that might explain its use by them and its absence from others. But for the level at which I will use the keyboard, it does exactly what I want it to do.
As mentioned in the CSGO comments, the keyboard feels great for my casual play style, although I imagine the necessary weight you put behind each press might see pro players go for a key that requires a lighter touch. For what I need it for, however, the keyboard was perfect.
League of Legends
The feedback behind each click adds a real sense of weight to each cast. Be it in a clutch Nami Q to save your ADC or pulling off a lighting fast Rengar combo, the key clicks add to the feeling of control over the opposing team.
League of Legends might not be the target game genre that HyperX had gone for, though maybe it’s the perfect home for the mechanical hell-raiser.
World of Warcraft
I run a Mythic raiding guild in WoW so figured it would be a nice test for the keyboard. World of Warcraft played much like League of Legends did when using the keyboard; I am not a major user of key bindings on World of Warcraft, or any game, to be honest. So the Hyper X felt like the perfect keyboard for me.
During the course of one of our raids, the HyperX never got in my way, which is a huge compliment. I liked the keyboard so much, as the adoption period to get used to it was basically a matter of minutes. This is coming from someone who does not use a mechanical keyboard on a regular basis. After over four hours of raiding, the only issue I ever had was people hearing my frantic tanking style clacking against the keys.
Typing and daily use
Before I got the keyboard and was preparing to use it for review, I was not intending to use it to write the review, my intention was to get the most out of the keyboard and test it over the course of multiple play sessions. But after using it for a number of days, I actually found my typing experience with the much smaller HyperX to be a pleasure.
The HyperX holds up perfectly fine as a daily driver as well. The keyboard is small and never gets in the way, it actually freed up a large amount of space on my desk (something I am not used to with my previous keyboard). This allowed my mouse to finally get its fair share of the desk.
“HyperX has given you a solid gaming keyboard that gets the basics right, while adding just enough flash for it to stand out from the crowd.”
HyperX doesn’t make any claims that the Alloy will change the world, for example that it’s going to change your life or at least what you get from a keyboard. The HyperX does, however, give you what you want from a keyboard as a gamer: a solid design, light and simple to use.
Without all the fancy macro keys and bindings, HyperX has given you a solid gaming keyboard that gets the basics right, while adding just enough flash for it to stand out from the crowd.
For example, it has really nice light settings and the textured red keys over WASD and 1 to 4 make it stand out, while also making sure your fingers are always on the correct keys regardless of what game takes your fancy. I personally found the red keys extra helpful when jumping from a game of League of Legends, then going into a game of CSGO. You may be reading this and not think it’s a plus, but once you get to used to the Hyper X, it may become a muscle memory you won’t want to live without.
From the point of view of someone who not only plays a lot of games, but also spends a significant amount of time writing, the HyperX has been a joy to use, save for a few minor cramping issues early on.
Typing on the keyboard has been easy to get the hang of after the initial separation phase from a former keyboard. I have found my typing speed improving with the feedback I get for each key.
While using my previous keyboard I had moments where my fingers would slip over to another key if I was typing too fast, meaning I would have to purposely slow myself down to avoid making too many mistakes.
Of course, the HyperX is not without its faults. The keys have a small amount of feedback after each keystroke. Over a short period of time it’s not noticeable, but over the course of writing this review or during particularly hectic moments on my World of Warcraft raiding, my left wrist started to ache ever so slightly.
At first, I thought it was just the wearing-in period for the new keyboard as my hands got used to pushing harder on the keys, but I eventually changed my desk setup slightly to allow for the way the Alloy keyboard sits (with a much sharper drop-off from the space bar than I am used to normally).
The long-term solution to this was to keep my desk as it was before, but get a small wrist support for the bottom of the keyboard. I think I have got so used to the way my previous keyboard slanted at the end, that my wrist naturally just hovers over the edge of the keyboard. So, it’s less the keyboard and more my awful writing posture.
“If, like me, you need a keyboard that can meet your daily needs online, while still being able to perform at a top level in any gaming environment, then the Hyper X Alloy comes with a seal of approval from me.”
I have been using this for three weeks as my daily driver, that means it’s had to handle a number of different areas of solid use. From writing articles and daily internet browsing for research – or just need to know information about how totally destroyed the future is for our children, to raiding in World of Warcraft, climbing Flex on League of Legends (albeit slowly) and playing CSGO (badly) with friends.
The Hyper X has never given me a problem, in fact, it has become my new keyboard going forward after this review. It’s a big change for me as I’m going from a SteelSeries Apex Raw, this has been a monumental change in a keyboard for me, both in my writing speed (after breaking it in) and key miss-pressing due to touch typing on the Apex never feeling like it was on purpose. That’s not to say the Apex is bad, or a worse option than the Hyper X Alloy, they just both seem to have their purpose and right now, the Hyper X fits the bill for me.
It’s not perfect, but it does what I need it to do and it does that really well. If, like me, you need a keyboard that can meet your daily needs online, while still being able to perform at a top level in any gaming environment, then the Hyper X Alloy comes with a seal of approval from me.
As a bonus for reading this review, I would like to present to you what happened when I got the keyboard and decided to send my friend on Facebook.
If any movie producers want to work with me on any future project, just send me a DM on Twitter.
Note from the editor and disclaimer: Despite David’s admirable enthusiasm, this was not a paid-for article. HyperX sent us a keyboard for review. We hope you enjoyed our first hardware review! Feel free to send us feedback in the comments section below or on Twitter.