Kingston’s HyperX line of products are familiar to PC builders craving new RAM modules or gaming audiophiles looking for their next headset. The products deliver consistent quality and performance that keeps consumers coming back for more. The line is evolving and branching out into one of the most flooded peripheral markets: mechanical keyboards. The HyperX Alloy FPS may be Kingston’s first sortie into this never-ending battle for key cap supremacy, but the quality of this board makes it feel like they’ve been a force to be reckoned with for years.
Inside the HyperX Alloy FPS’ box are the typical inclusions consumers have come to expect: the board itself, textured keycaps, a travelling case, and lastly, a detachable braided cable. What users will feel the moment they pick up the board is the satisfaction of heft from the solid-steel top plate. This may be designed in a minimalistic way, but damn is it ever sturdy. I believe salty Twitch streamers would do more damage to their tables than the keyboard if they were wielding this in a quick fit of frustration.
There’s a lot to love about the Alloy FPS’ minimalistic design. Stripping away any predominant bezel and multimedia functions gives the board has a unique sleekness that higher-end keyboards could never accomplish. However, I feel Kingston could have taken it one step further and made this an even better LAN keyboard by removing the number pad. What may have kept this inclusion necessary is the USB port located behind it, which is meant to be used as a convenient charge port for the user’s smartphone.
While this evaluation model of the HyperX Alloy FPS features the linear Cherry MX Red switches, users will be able to pick up a Blue or Brown switch version as well. It’s rare that a keyboard manufacturer makes an SKU for all three switches, but I always appreciate the freedom of choice. No matter what version of the board users pick up, the Alloy FPS only features Red LED illumination as well as 100% Anti-Ghosting and full N-key rollover.
What’s surprisingly missing from the HyperX Alloy FPS is a software suite to manage board profiles and key bindings. Since Kingston doesn’t have a large catalogue of keyboards or mice, the company instead opted to forgo the keybinding profiles and just let the multiple light effects be handled on-board with no drivers. It’s a rare approach seen lately with Chinese manufactured mechanical keyboards like the previously reviewed Motospeed CK108. Users have access to two varieties of pulses and waves as well as a gaming configuration that lights up the most commonly used keys in games. While these lighting effects are executed properly, the lack of RGB makes them boring and I usually stuck with the default profile so I wouldn’t see distracting flashes of red.
Retailing for $139.99 CAD, the HyperX Alloy FPS is settling into one of the more competitive price brackets as a quality candidate to consider. When companies start manufacturing new product lines it’s natural that there are going to be mistakes in quality or features because they’re still learning how to develop effective products, but this keyboard is a shining exception. I believe people will see the Alloy FPS as a stripped down version of the Corsair K70, which isn’t a negative point. Users who love local competitive events are starved for space as it is and by removing the K70’s excess features, consumers will have access to that enjoyable form factor with a lot more breathing room . At its heart the Alloy FPS was built for LAN gaming, but that doesn’t stop it from being any less enjoyable while gaming only at home.