The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

HyperX's Alloy Elite RGB features a clean and simple design, without complex shapes, granting the keyboard a subtle appearance - as long as the LED lighting is turned off, at least. It features the classic design of standard-height keycaps floating above the top aluminium cover of the keyboard. A closer look reveals that the top part of the keyboard that hosts the extra buttons and the sound volume wheel is actually plastic, but it still visually merges with the aluminum part of the keyboard perfectly.

The HyperX Alloy Elite is a design that can be easily underestimated at first sight. The floating design and height of the keycaps instantly hint that this is a classic mechanical keyboard, yet it takes an experienced eye to discern that the top cover of the keyboard is solid steel, not plastic. Meanwhile compared to past products, we can see that aside from the aesthetic design changes, the top bar of the keyboard and the several extra buttons and wheel that it hosts is the primary difference over the previously released Alloy FPS.

We received the US layout version of the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB. The main part of the keyboard is a standard 104 keys design that fully adheres to the ANSI layout, with a 6.25× space bar and seven 1.25× bottom row keys. HyperX etched their brand logo on the space bar key. The characters on the keycaps can both be found at the top half of the keycap, where the backlight LED of each switch is.

  

Aside from the standard keys, the Alloy Elite RGB features another seven low-profile buttons and a sound volume control wheel, which can be seen placed across its top side. There are three buttons to the left side, with two allowing for on-the-fly lighting adjustments and one enabling the “game mode”. By default, the “game mode” simply disables the Win keys, but its functionality can be adjusted via software. The four buttons to the right side are used for basic multimedia functions (play/pause, back, forward, and mute). There are three indicative LEDs placed under the sound volume control wheel, across the right edge of the keyboard. Two of them are the classic Caps Lock and Num Lock indicators, while the third indicates whether the “game mode” is active or not.

HyperX cleverly placed a USB 2.0 port on the rear of the keyboard. It can be found just a little to the right of where the F12 key is. This port is primarily meant for wired gaming mice. Of course, any kind of USB device can be connected to it but it will be very slow for modern storage devices.

Beneath the keyboard we can only see four large anti-skid rubber pads attached to the keyboard’s edges, as well as two legs that give the keyboard a fixed tilt. The plastic bottom of the keyboard features embossed shapes, as if the designer made an attempt to make it more attractive, even though very few people would actually see it.

Under the hood of this model, HyperX is using genuine Cherry MX RGB switches. We received our sample with Red linear switches, but HyperX offers the Alloy Elite RGB with other Cherry switch types installed as well. The RGB version of the Cherry MX switch features a clear frame that diffuses the lighting, distributing the light almost evenly around the entire keycap. Cherry’s cross-type supports can be seen beneath the larger keys.

While not the only new feature on this keyboard, the RGB lighting probably is this keyboard’s primary selling feature and HyperX is focusing their marketing efforts on it. True enough, the lighting is exceptionally applied, with vivid colors and excellent distribution. The keycap characters are clear and bright, including the lengthier etchings on the larger keys. HyperX also placed a so-called “light bar” near the top of the keyboard, right where the aluminum surface ends and just below the extra low-profile buttons. This light bar currently has no practical purpose, although it could potentially serve as a meter or some other kind of indicator for games via a future software upgrade.

The removal of the keyboard’s plastic bottom cover reveals the large PCB that is permanently joined with the aluminum top frame via the keys. Smaller secondary PCBs are being used for the extra buttons and for the USB port. The keyboard generally is very sturdy but the top plastic parts obviously are significantly weaker than the rest of the keyboard and should not be mistreated.

HyperX placed an NXP LPC11U35F microcontroller at the heart of the Alloy Elite RGB. It is a 32-bit microcontroller with a CPU frequency that can reach up to 50 MHz and 64 kB of flash memory. It may not be the fastest microcontroller that we ever found on a mechanical keyboard but, considering the features and capabilities of the Alloy Elite RGB, it certainly is up to the task.

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  • NoWayMan - Thursday, January 24, 2019 - link

    I recently ordered a third Alloy Elite, as I've been very happy with the first one I started using about six months ago. I'm an infrequent gamer, was looking for something better for typing, and based on various articles wanted to give Cherry switches a try. However, an integrated wrist rest was also high on my list, and that alone narrowed the field a hugely! The HyperX Alloy Elite is also a lot tamer in the lighting, with simple red backlighting, as I didn't want RGB configurable LED's. Having this new RGB version push down prices on the original is a plus in my book, the latest regular Alloy Elite I picked up on Amazon was only $60. Reply
  • SkyDiver - Thursday, January 24, 2019 - link

    I just got this keyboard a few months ago. It is my first mechanical keyboard since the 1990's. I was using Logitech Wave keyboards for a long time, but the the keys eventually lose their spring. I like the weight of this keyboard. When I would play games with other keyboard, I'd get a little rambunctious and the keyboard slide around and almost fall off my desk.

    I mainly use it for crunching in spreadsheets. It is nice to get back to a keyboard with real tactile feedback and heft. I forgot that it had the NGenuity software download until I saw this review.
    Reply
  • qlum - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    Owning this keyboard for about half a year I'd say its fine. However the software does have its limitations. Especialy the macro functions are rather useless as they directly replace key functionality and dont work with key combo's. There is also the matter of the caps lock light being hidden the way I use it. Reply
  • notR1CH - Sunday, January 27, 2019 - link

    Ordered one after reading this review and I'm noticing the space bar makes an annoying ringing sound from the spring. Anyone else experiencing this or did I get a dud? Reply
  • fvbounty - Sunday, January 27, 2019 - link

    I've had this keyboard with MX blues since April of last year, and its has good or better than my Corsair K90, Ducky Legend and My Ducky Shine 5....I use the software for just using static colors and its alright....get it you won't be sorry! Reply
  • sabaali - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

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    Reply
  • inmytaxi - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    I have a HyperX Alloy Red and the keyboard has started freezing up. I tried to access the firmware which is supposed to be a fix but there is nowhere I can find on their site to download it. Supposedly the possibly new possibly not firmware fixes this, but I cannot even get a response from them. this is probably user error, I am just confused why their firmware is not something I can find for a product I purchased from them. Reply
  • mikegray - Thursday, January 31, 2019 - link

    I've been using the non-RGB version of this keyboard with Cherry Blue switched for a over a year now. for the most part, it's a dream - but there is one extremely annoying aspect - and it looks like this one has the same problem: The CAPS LOCK key doesn't light up when it's on - and the little light that DOES go on is so well hidden behind the minus key on the number pad that you have to lean waaaay over the keyboard to actually see it. This is EXTREMELY ANNOYING FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO ACCIDENTALLY SHOUT ON THE INTERNET. (Oops.) Reply
  • gertas - Thursday, January 31, 2019 - link

    How it can be high-end challanger if it fails in basics?! like backligt leaking all around keys! unacceptable. Reply
  • Xenx - Thursday, January 31, 2019 - link

    That's actually a feature when it comes to RGB keyboards. The users want it to do that. That isn't to say all users, but enough. Reply

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