HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Keyboard + Doubleshot PBT Keycaps Review 8

HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Keyboard + Doubleshot PBT Keycaps Review

(8 User Comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The HyperX Alloy FPS RGB keyboard costs $109.99 from the HyperX web shop as well as other retailers, including Amazon.com for customers in the USA, as of the date of this review. The replacement keycaps cost an additional $24.99, if you were looking for a 1st-party option.
  • Well priced relative to the mainstream options
  • Full programmability and software profiles via the driver allow for the use of different OS/typing/language layouts
  • Per-key 16.8 M RGB backlighting
  • USB pass-through port available even though it is only for power instead of data as well
  • Good value for replacement keycap set, which offers longevity and an arguably better lighting and typing experience
  • Loss of accessories compared to the older, non-RGB version, and wrist rest is an optional purchase too
  • Stock keycaps are average at best and will show signs of wear and tear sooner rather than later
  • The software driver needs to be better laid out and packed more efficiently
  • Only has two years of warranty
It is easy to dismiss the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB as a minor update to the older Alloy FPS; the addition of RGB LEDs compared to single-color red backlighting seems like it at first glance. However, there are more changes that make it a different enough user experience, especially when we consider the overall package of hardware, accessories, and software. The biggest change, I would argue, is the move away from Cherry to Kailh with the use of the newer Kailh Silver Speed switches marketing it more to gamers. Having no switch choice does hurt, but other things add up to this marketed application well. Take the detachable cable, for example, making it easier to transport the keyboard to events or even customize the cable to show off at said events. The smaller footprint compared to the average "gaming keyboard" also means it is easier to move and use on desks, although this is not necessarily for gaming alone. The software driver, and especially it being a unified driver, is a new addition as well and allows for more customization over functionality and lighting than before.

The driver implementation is not perfect, however, with a massive 1.2 GB of space required even before other devices come into play. The various options should be organized better to prevent a case of too much, too soon for the average end user. HyperX does help out with the use of help cues on every single page, and a bug-free experience is still precious even in 2018. The minimalist design of the keyboard combined with the ability to store profiles onboard, change key assignment completely, and turn off lighting allows for a stealth keyboard customized to your desires, one capable of fitting into any environment. Build quality is decent enough to where that is not an issue in my books.

If I had to describe the Alloy FPS RGB in one word, it would be compromise. There are things added and/or retained from the non-RGB version that are not perfect, but good enough for many. I think I would have rather seen HyperX add data pass-through over USB, and perhaps use the replacement keycaps out of the box even if it would make for an increased price point, if only to better distinguish it from the usual mainstream offerings. As it stands, it is in a confused spot even among HyperX's own peripheral options and does just enough because of its lower price point in direct comparisons to merit a recommendation.
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