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Do not act surprised: after a first rather successful test in 2017, it was obvious that HyperX would expand its range of keyboards. The Alloy Elite RGB (Check on Amazon.com) is a rather high-end model equipped with mechanical Cherry MX switches that make it stand out in the market.
In fact, by using original Cherry MX switches (Red, Brown or Blue) rather than proprietary ones the company ensures top-notch durability and consistent feel and performance across devices. (Of course, competitive gamers will scoff at the lack of an MX Speed version)
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB – Design
The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB has a steel frame around the keys, which grants it with a greater weight than most similar keyboards, and stability that is very reassuring.
Key arrangement of the keys is relatively sober, outside of the multimedia keys and extra functions, located at the top. The multimedia keys are quite large, and the volume wheel is particularly useful. The Game button simply deactivates the Windows key and other system combinations, so they don’t get in the way while you play.
Among the included accessories we find a textured wrist rest of good size that is rather comfortable. It is recommended if your desk has the necessary space. If you don’t use the wrist rest, the size of the keyboard is relatively compact and no bigger than a generic office or basic multimedia keyboard. Of course, it doesn’t have dedicated macro keys or additional functions.
One of its main attractions is obviously RGB lighting. This can be adjusted via two dedicated keys, or via the NGenuity software, although the latter is not really necessary. The light effects are quite colorful and are perfectly visible both during day and night.
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB – Switches
The Alloy Elite RGB’s switches are mounted on a steel plate. Plate-mounted switches are inherently more resistant than PCB-mounted switches because sideways impacts will not dislodge their solder joints. The plate also contributes to a firm bottom-out feel. Keyboards with PCB-mount switches, which are less common in the gaming industry, tend to flex more than plate-mounted models when you bottom out key presses.
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB – RGB
HyperX did a fine job implementing the Alloy Elite RGB’s lighting. You can’t discern individual LEDs, which makes color transitions visually seamless. The keyboard offers configurable per-key lighting. You can also configure each of the 18 individual LED zones, as well as the LEDs in the cluster of dedicated media keys. The Alloy Elite RGB’s white indicator LEDs (Caps Lock, etc.) aren’t configurable, but at least they’re color neutral. Some RGB keyboards use blue indicator lights, for example, which can throw off RGB color schemes.
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB – Software
Let’s start by clarifying that the use of this software is entirely optional. The keyboard does not necessarily require it, nor does it come with drivers that must be installed. If you want to fully customize the keyboard, you can download the Ngeniuty software for free from Hyper X’s website. This software allows you to change the lighting effects and configure macros. These settings can be stored in the keyboard’s internal memory in case you want to transport it.
However, the software is not easy to use. It is not as straightforward as other suits (Razer’s Synapse, Corsair’s Cue). Of course, the customization options are very thorough and if you take your time to learn to use it then you will be able to do virtually anything.
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB – Performance
Gaming performance is extremely good. In shooters like PUBG, Fortnite, and Counter-Strike I have never pressed the wrong key. It certainly helped me the fact that I changed the WASD keys to the textured versions that are included in the box. These feel great to the touch, and help you clearly delineate the work area of the left hand.
All my keystrokes have been registered and I didn’t have to put a lot of pressure since the Cherry MX Red switches are quite sensitive.
This extra sensitivity did complicate things a bit when writing a long text. More than once I have had keystrokes that were recorded twice, and therefore, repeated letters and characters. It is possible to get used to it pretty fast, but it can be annoying during the first week. If I were to buy my own HyperX Alloy Elite RGB I would choose the Brown switches.
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB – Verdict
The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB (Check on Amazon.com) mechanical keyboard is a good option for most gamers looking for a mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting. It is robust and stable, with excellent performance.
You could also consider the Alloy Elite version with the basic red lighting (no RGB) as a more cost-effective option.