A focused, portable workhorse
Kingston, more known for products like memory and SSDs, is a relative newcomer to the PC gaming hardware scene. Earlier this year, Patrick reviewed the HyperX Cloud Revolver Headsetand came away fairly impressed. The company recently sent me its new HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, and I’m typing on it right now to tell you that if you travel frequently or like going to LAN parties, this thing is a badass. I’m hoping to see Kingston products like these for a long time.
HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming KeyboardManufacturer: KingstonInput: USB 2.0MSRP: $99.99
The Alloy (because I’m not typing that full name out the whole time) seems specifically built to be portable and durable. Though it’s not constructed entirely of metal as the name might imply, it has an aluminum faceplate and a rather hefty feel to it. At 1049g, you probably shouldn’t try to whack anybody with it, even if they embarrass you in your favorite game. The braided cord is detachable and easy to wrap up, and the keyboard comes with a carrying case so you don’t damage any of your keys when transporting it.
Also included are red textured keycaps for WASD and the 1234 keys just above. These are supposed to provide extra grip for your fingers, but I found that being even a little sweaty makes them slippier than normal keys. If you’re gross and have clammy hands like I do, you can also just leave the regular caps on. On the top right corner, there’s a USB port specifically for charging mobile devices. I’ve been using it to charge my wireless mouse, and it’s been quite convenient.
As far as what switches are included, for now it’s only Cherry MX Blues. Those are the type that have a really high actuation, making it easy to accidentally engage the keys, so they might be too sensitive to your tastes. Personally, they work great for me because once you get used to feeling the feedback of the switch, you can type much faster when you learn not to bottom out with every keystroke. The switch noise is rather loud (I had a few people complaining when they heard my keyboard when we played Battlefield 1), but for me, the crisp feel of quick actuation is worth it. There’s no RGB lighting here, instead sticking to a deep red. I’m a fan of the simple look, so I don’t mind the lack of rainbow under my fingers. There are the usual lighting effects like a breathy glow or a constant wave of luminescence, and one that I particularly like where hitting a key makes the light explode into adjacent keys. Nothing necessary, but still fun to impress friends with if you’re a jerk like I am.
(I didn’t do a weird hardware selfie this time, but I did leave you all a subliminal message above…)
Unlike Logitech’s G610 Orion Brown (my main keyboard I use for work and play), the Alloy doesn’t have media shortcut keys. I personally enjoy having those since I need to focus on both games and writing, but it does help to make the Alloy seem less crowded, meaner, and leaner for gaming. I’ll probably still continue to use the former keyboard while at my desktop since it’s kind of my command room at this point, but I’d much rather take the Alloy out and about with me. It’s just a solid, simple keyboard that seems crazy durable, like it could survive being dragged to and fro for a good while. If you want something specifically for gaming and travel, the Alloy is a smart choice.
[This review is based on retail hardware provided by the manufacturer.]