As mentioned in my Pulsefire Surge RGB mouse review, HyperX has built a reputation around top-tier gaming headsets, which are often the number one pick by professionals as to the go-to choice for competitive use. Recently, the company has been making a push to bring its other gaming peripheral offerings up to the same level. With the Pulsefire Surge RGB, I appreciated the light show that all RGB addicts will love, which were combined with high-quality components. The Alloy Elite RGB keyboard compliments the mouse well, especially if lighting up the room is your primary goal.
Alloy Elite RGB Review: The Unique Selling Point
That RGB lighting is what makes this keyboard stand out. Even in a brightly lit room, the RGB still catches the eye with their level of brightness and vibrancy. While competing flagships come close to matching the lighting seen beneath the Alloy Elite RGB’s keycaps, this product goes one step further with the inclusion of an equally bright and vibrant light strip. Effects are enhanced by this light bar, in a much more significant way than I was expecting. Is that worth the price premium over the standard Alloy Elite, which boasts the same features minus the RGB and software customization? Well, that’s down to just how desperate you are for the best RGB implementation. If you’re crazy for color customization and making your setup look flashy, HyperX has hit it out of the park. RGB lighting doesn’t get much better than this!
While other keyboards struggle to merge backlight colors together seamlessly, the Alloy Elite RGB is pretty much flawless, providing a very convincing look. The light strip on top has its own 18 RGB zones, all of which can all be customized individually within the NGenuity software.
Alloy Elite RGB Review: Nails the Flagship Essentials
The Alloy Elite RGB is essentially the RGB-evolved form of the Alloy Elite, and so comes with most flagship essential boxes checked, including 100 percent anti-ghosting and N-Key Rollover functionality. As soon I pulled it out of the box, the solid steel frame offered the kind of heft I associate with quality. This keyboard doesn’t flex and should stand the test of time. Genuine Cherry MX RGB switches are the next thing I noticed, with HyperX providing me with the Red variant, an ideal choice for gamers, though Blue and Brown are also available. The silver-colored media function keys and scroll wheel were great to see, and worked immediately with my music app of choice. The ability to adjust volume with a scroll is something that I wish all full-sized keyboards offered. On the opposite side of the board are three buttons dedicated to changing the RGB light brightness, the different lighting effect profiles, and activating and disabling “Game Mode.” The latter allows the user to quickly disable Windows functions that may otherwise interfere with the gaming experience, like Alt+Tab and Alt+F4.
Though their absence makes for a narrower footprint on my desk, I have to say the lack of dedicated macro keys will be disappointing to some potential buyers. If you need your macros, and can’t afford to sacrifice the functionality of a different key, then you will need to look elsewhere. Also on my list of gripes is the implementation of USB pass-through, which is limited to just USB 2.0. If you were planning to combine this with a mouse, as many do, then this won’t be an issue. However, those hoping to charge devices or take advantage of data transfer, will be stuck with low power and speeds. It would have been nice to see USB 3.0 at this price point.
As for the keyboard’s own USB cable, it’s thick and braided, outputting to two separate USB Type-As. This won’t be a problem for desktops, but laptop users will want to note the need for two available ports.
In addition to the keyboard itself, the Alloy Elite RGB’s box includes a detachable wrist rest with a soft-touch coating. This does feel nice and compliments the overall look of the product. Buyers will also find an included set of replacement silver textured WASD keycaps, as well as some non-textured 1234 buttons. I don’t usually like the alternate colored keycaps, but these suit the style, offering the same contrast as the silver media keys and volume wheel. The keycaps raised position means an effective compressed air clean can be done without actually removing them. Though, if you do feel the need to pull them off, the included keycap removal tool makes it easy. Also worth noting is the ability to swap out the keycaps for higher-quality variants further down the line. Finger grease is a thing, and will make an impact after a year or two of use. HyperX’s use of a standard bottom row means it should be easy to find replacements for the entire set. This is a big win for long-term use!
Alloy Elite RGB Review: Simple Software
The hardware is undoubtedly solid, but great software is also needed for the Alloy Elite RGB to shine its brightest. Upon first impressions, I was a little worried that “NGenuity” wouldn’t offer enough features. However, after spending more time with the software, and working my way through the initially confusing options, I finally found most of what I wanted.
Colors can be assigned to different zones, with various effects ready to be used and customized. The ability to type in specific RGB values stands out here, with HyperX really looking to make the lighting personalization as comprehensive as possible. No matter your theme of choice, there’s a lot to love here. Whether you settle for the defaults, or go in-depth with the per-key and light bar zone tweaking, you’re sure to come away with some dazzling results.
Though there aren’t any dedicated macro keys, NGenuity does allow users to swap the function of any existing key to a range of other uses, including: keyboard or mouse buttons, shortcuts to applications or websites, and Windows inputs. There is an impressive variety of options here, further enhanced by the ability to record complicated macros.
Overall, the software could use some tidying up, as key options are buried and tough to find, but it ultimately gets the job done. Spend an extra 10 minutes figuring everything out, and you’ll be fine.
Alloy Elite RGB Review: One to Watch
The Alloy Elite RGB keyboard, like the Pulsefire Surge RGB that I tested alongside it, absolutely succeeds in the RGB department. This product is designed to look damn good and stand out from the crowd. When it comes to lighting, it rises above the rest, and when assessing its other flagship features, it manages to stay competitive.
Unfortunately, pricing does seem a little wacky at the moment. At time of writing, the standard Alloy Elite with red LEDs is currently available for $79.99 from HyperX’s own store. This is a superb price for a high-quality mechanical keyboard, albeit crippled slightly by only offering red lighting. The Alloy Elite RGB is priced at a whopping $90 more, coming in at $169.99. While the RGB lighting is definitely worth an extra bit of cash, the $90 is pretty damn extreme. Even when looking at other third-party sites like Amazon US, the pricing seems a little confused. If you do end up finding and buying this keyboard for a sensible price, know that the two-year limited warranty should cover you for any faulty internals.
If it isn’t already on your list of key gaming peripheral makers that are worth keeping an eye on, HyperX definitely now deserves a place. I can’t wait to see what’s next with the company’s future keyboards, mice, and other peripherals. What was once a brand mostly known for creating the best gaming headsets around, HyperX can now be seen as a provider for all types of top-tier PC peripherals, and the Alloy Elite RGB is going to make a lot of enthusiasts happy.
Alloy Elite RGB review unit was provided by HyperX.