The HyperX Alloy FPS is one of our favorite gaming keyboards here at TechRadar. Its simple, frame-less design and solid construction make it one of the best and most affordable gaming keyboards we’ve ever used. However, for those who want a little bit more, Kingston has introduced the HyperX Alloy Elite.
The keyboard is essentially everything the Alloy FPS was, with the addition of a few features, including media keys, a light bar and a palm rest. Despite these inclusions, it’s still reasonably priced at $109 or £119 (about AU$140).
In case the HyperX Alloy Elite looks familiar, it’s basically a non-RBG version of Kingston’s upcoming , first revealed at .
The Alloy Elite takes the clean, frameless design of the Alloy FPS gaming keyboard that came before it and adds a new row of dedicated media buttons above the main group of keys. The buttons for play/pause, mute, plus skipping forwards and backwards are large, as is the volume rocker. Thankfully, none of the controls feel mushy.
Meanwhile, there’s the integrated palm rest that features the same textured finish we loved on the .
Another notable addition this keyboard brings is a 16-zone light bar sandwiched between the keyboard’s standard keys and media buttons. It’s a new element we’ve seen come to other peripherals, like the and the .
As superfluous as a lighting bar on an already-fully-lit keyboard is, we can’t deny the illumination doesn’t look gorgeous and diffused.
The only thing we don’t like about the HyperX Alloy Elite’s design is the thickly braided cable. It’s noticeably fatter and less flexible compared to cords we’ve seen attached to the other gaming keyboards, even those featuring a USB 2.0 pass-through like the Alloy Elite.
Our HyperX Alloy Elite review unit came with Cherry MX Red switches that feel perfect for gaming. The keyboard is also available with Brown and Blue switches, the latter of which we prefer for typing. Regardless of which type of switch you prefer, the underlying solid steel frame makes for a completely stable platform.
One other nicety is HyperX includes a set of titanium-colored keys with a textured surface to replace the WASD and first four number keys. These have become a standard pack-in for most gaming keyboards, and they’re great for making your main gaming keys more distinguishable.
Like many of HyperX’s peripherals, you won’t need to install any software after plugging it in. You can switch between all the lighting modes by hitting the effects buttons. There’s also a quick access button – which sits on the left side of the keyboard, opposite of the media keys – to change the backlight brightness and a gaming mode that disables the Windows key.
While it’s nice to not have to install another application on our PCs, the HyperX Alloy Elite doesn’t offer any kind of macro support. We also wished we could customize the lighting, as the keyboard comes with only a few modes built in.
Overall, the HyperX Alloy Elite is a solidly-built gaming keyboard that’s well priced. It packs all the same features as the $119 (£104, AU$209) Logitech G610 Orion with a lower price as well as better and more media keys, a light bar gamers will appreciate, plus an included palm rest. Likewise, the HyperX Alloy Elite packs in as many features as the $119 (£119, AU$179) Corsair K70 LUX with a lower price.
That said, this keyboard has a few limitations. The lack of software comes as boon for simple setup, but robs it of any macro programing or customizable lights. If those features are important to you, other options might be more your speed.