Mechanical keyboards have made a huge comeback in recent years. Sure, you’ve pretty much always been able to find mechanical keyboards if you were willing to look, but we’re currently in the midst of an awakening to the experience that these types of keyboards can provide. Today I’ll be talking about the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard. Now, you might be saying to yourself… “Didn’t Techaeris just review a HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard recently?” Yes, we actually did — quite recently. HyperX has also, quite recently, released additional options for the Alloy FPS, and this review will look at the version with Cherry MX Red switches. Does this keyboard maintain the same quality as its blue-switched brother? Keep reading this full review to find out.
The HyperX Alloy FPS (Red) keyboard includes the following features and specifications:
- Compact design ideal for FPS gameplay
- Solid-steel frame
- Ultra-portable design with detachable cable
- Cherry® MX Red mechanical keys (also available with Cherry MX Blue or Brown switches)
- Convenient USB charge port
- Game mode, 100-percent Anti-Ghosting, and full N-key rollover functions
- HyperX red backlit keys with dynamic lighting effects
- Additional colored, textured keycaps for FPS gameplay
- Keyboard Switch: Cherry MX
- Type: Mechanical
- Backlight: Single color, 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
- Cable Type: 1.8m detachable, braided
- Dimensions: 441.65mm x 129.38mm x 35.59mm
- Weight (keyboard and cable): 1049g
What’s in the Box
- HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- 1.8m braided cable
- Additional colored 1, 2, 3, 4 keycaps
- Additional colored & textured WASD keycaps
- Keycap puller
- Mesh travel pouch
- Quick Start Guide
This is a compact, yet very solid keyboard. It has a solid steel frame, which adds stability as well as some weight. The layout is obviously pretty standard, with the notable addition of the FN+F12 Game Lock button as well as a right-click alternate menu button next to the FN key. These disable the Windows key so you don’t accidentally knock yourself out of the game, and provide an alternate to right-click respectively.
The HyperX logo is emblazoned across the space bar, while the MicroUSB power input and USB charging output are located on the back right corner. There are two collapsible feet on the back bottom corners as one would expect, otherwise, this is a pretty standard compact keyboard design. The detachable USB power cable is quite long at 1.8m. It’s braided to add strength as well as an extra bit of style.
Each of the keys is individually lit with a red LED. By default, this is a constant red light, though there are additional lighting options available if you’d prefer. Adjusting the lighting is pretty easy using the FN + Arrow keys. Up and down adjust the brightness of the lighting while left and right scroll through the various lighting effects: Solid, Breath, Trigger, Explosion, and Wave. After Wave, a custom lighting mode is turned on. By default, some of the traditional FPS buttons (WASD, 1234, as well as space and left Ctrl) stay lit. You can also choose which keys you’d like to light in custom mode by hitting FN and right Ctrl. Then simply toggle the keys you’d like to stay lit, and hit FN + right Ctrl again to save your changes.
HyperX has included an additional set of key caps for the WASD and 1234 keys. These keys are red, and the WASD keys feature a light corrugated texture to add an additional tactile experience to these keys. I really like these alternate keys, and they definitely found a permanent home on the keyboard during my testing.
This is a compact keyboard that is meant to travel well. It’s already relatively small and includes detachable power cables. HyperX also includes a mesh travel pouch that includes a little bit of padding for when you need to take your keyboard on the road.
Jason already did a fantastic job explaining the differences between the various Cherry MX switches in his HyperX Alloy FPS (Blue) review, so I’d recommend checking that out for some additional information if you’re not familiar with the various switch types.
Ease of Use
Getting started is easy. Just plug the USB cable into an available USB port on your computer. If you’d like to use the USB charging port on the side of your keyboard, simply plug the second USB plug into a second available USB port. Your computer will recognize the keyboard right away, and with no software to install, you’ll be ready to go.
If you’re accustomed to using mechanical keyboards, particularly with red switches, you’ll be right at home on the Alloy FPS. If you’re new to mechanical keyboards there will be a slight adjustment period, but you should be up and going in no time. Red switches give you a similar key travel as blue switches, and a slightly lower actuation force, meaning you’ll get a slightly faster response. Cherry MX Red switches are also quieter than their blue counterparts, which may be a key for your use as well.
Typing on the Alloy FPS was a very pleasant experience. The key response is great, and you do still get a slightly more robust key travel than with non-mechanical keyboards. The compact size doesn’t detract from typing speed or accuracy at all.
Gaming is similarly great. With anti-ghosting and N-Key support, all of your key presses will be registered without issue. The included Game Mode also successfully prevents the Windows key from interrupting gameplay. I had no problems with anything that I played, and the compact size lets me position the keyboard however I wanted very easily.
Priced at $99.99USD, the Alloy FPS isn’t the cheapest mechanical keyboard out there, but it is also definitely not the most expensive. The compact design is pretty great if you’re packing up your computer a lot, and the included mesh bag is a great inclusion. The custom lighting effects add value if you’re into that kind of thing, and the solid construction is definitely great. It maybe would have been nice to see some additional software customization though, even if it was just an app to easily re-bind the keys or set up macros. What you’re getting is definitely solid though.
The HyperX Alloy FPS is still a very solid keyboard, in a compact and easy to transport package. Its red-switched version performs admirably, as did the blue-switched keyboard. Between the three available options — blue, brown, and red — there should be an Alloy FPS to fit your preference for a mechanical keyboard.