HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB is the best that HyperX has to offer at this time, lets check out why.

Published Tue, Apr 17 2018 10:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:57 PM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: HyperX

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Up till now, we have seen three mechanical keyboards from HyperX, all of which have very similar names. First comes the Alloy FPS, which is the entry product by name, but was a keyboard which sported many features we wish had been offered in the entire lineup. Then came the Alloy Elite which was the top of the line for HyperX. We then saw the Alloy FPS Pro, which is pretty much the Alloy FPS with more lighting modes. As we can see, HyperX is not against listening to their users and reworking a product to offer the masses what they want on a mechanical gaming keyboard.

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The reworking of a design is what has us here today, and we are about to look at the evolution of the Alloy Elite. With the latest incarnation, we will see that three things have changed. First of all, the new design is RGB LED backlit this time, and second, while Cherry MX Brown switches were in the Alloy Elite options, our sample shipped with red switches. The third, and likely most important to power users is that HyperX has added new software called NGenuity, and is said to work across all of their new software-enabled devices.

Today we will be having an up-close look at the newest of the lineup, the Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard from HyperX. The Alloy Elite RGB is the new pinnacle product from HyperX, and while boasting a few new things the rest of the lineup lacked, it is easy to see that HyperX has their head in the game, and is now delivering something we are sure many wanted all along.

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As it is part of the name of the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, it would only make sense if the switches were indeed mechanical. That now out in the open, there are three options of switches to choose when purchasing this keyboard as well. The model we have contains Cherry MX Brown switches, but HyperX also offers Cherry MX Reds as an option, as well as Cherry MX Blue switches. Unlike any of the previous keyboards, the Alloy Elite RGB has RGB backlighting and offers three modes along with a fully custom layout ability, and outside of turning off the LEDs, there are three levels of brightness.

The Alloy Elite RGB has default settings for the essential things, which cannot be addressed or changed through the NGenuity software. These features include anti-ghosting support, full NKRO over USB, and five multimedia buttons which are dedicated to that specific task. Visually, the Alloy FPS is black on black on black. The keyboard uses an exposed switch design, which utilized a black painted metal top panel, which is screwed down to the black plastic lower section of the frame, and is what adds stability to the product, and is also designed to eliminate vibrations. All of the buttons and keycaps are black as well, excluding the set of eight optional keycaps, which are silver but are still designed not to impede on the RGB LED lighting.

Dimensionally, the Alloy Elite RGB is 440mm wide, it is 226.8mm deep with the included wrist rest, and it stands 36.3mm tall. There is also a 1.8-meter cable with two connection at the end, which powers the keyboard as well as the additional connection supplying a way to transfer data via the USB 2.0 pass-through port. All told, with all parts included, the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB weight in at 1467 grams.

Obtaining the Alloy Elite RGB is going to cost you. While at Newegg, listings are still showing up as out of stock, but "coming soon," we did find active listings on Amazon. It is there that we saw the Alloy Elite RGB to be selling for $169.99 if you want blue switches, and at $179.99 if you're going to opt for the brown switches. We did not see any listing for the red switch variant at this time outside of used product sales. While we have seen more expensive options similar to this in the past, we need to add some perspective as well. At this time, if you wanted to go without RGB and software, we are seeing that the Alloy Elite is selling for just $109.99. Somethi8ng to consider since the products are very similar.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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The packaging is offered with this fancy outer box covering a much more rugged box on the inside. The front of which has a nearly life-sized image of the keyboard in all of its RGB LED brilliance. This panel also delivers the manufacturer and product name, along with icons at the top of features, and a notation at the bottom of its English US layout.

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One of the tin side panels of the box shows us just how widespread HyperX is in the eSports community. We can see that there are six teams which use HyperX gear to combat their enemies.

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Unlike the black end panels found on the Alloy Elite packaging, with the RGB model, the ends of the box are red. Both ends of the box are identical, and are used solely to place the company and product name in white letters to grab your attention.

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The last panel found on the sides of the box gives us the name of the product, and what sort of device it is. It is also where we see what comes inside of the box, so we know what to look for once we dig into it.

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Around to the back of the box, it is where we find four large images of features. They show off the pass-through port, show us the lighting and game lock buttons, point out the extra silver keycaps, as well as making sure we know the top plate is steel.

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Packaged inside of a clear plastic bag, the keyboard is nestled into the cardboard box, without much room to move around in transit. As far as the cable, which is at the back of the box, and the extra goodies shipped under the keyboard, everything is contained and will not damage other components.

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HyperX includes a clip-in style wrist rest with the Alloy Elite RGB. Where hands would typically rest, there is a textures surface offered so that your hands will not slide off of it. The right end is lightly textured and is where we find the HyperX name pressed into it.

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Not only do you get the set of eight silver keycaps for optional use, but HyperX also includes a generic keycap puller. While we do prefer a wire puller, using this to remove keys later in the review left no marks on the keycaps, but over time it is entirely possible that it could.

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The last bits in the box are the literature cards. The white card shows how the keyboard is to be connected to a PC, as well as pointing out what some of the buttons do. On the right, the top card gives us the support email address if we have an issue, while the bottom card is a congratulation from HyperX for joining their family.

HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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The view from the left of the Alloy Elite RGB is identical to that of the Alloy Elite, where there appears to be two separate sections, both of which are stylized with angles and irregular shapes. The switches are exposed above the steel plate, and we see that while lying flat, the keycaps are not angled for ergonomic usage.

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The main section of seventy-four keys is presented in a US QWERTY layout, where none of the keys are marked for double duty. While many of the keys do look ordinary, HyperX has used the name on the space bar rather than opting for a thin line along it.

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At the top-left corner, three additional buttons are presented. The first of which adjusts the brightness in three stages, and will also turn off the lights if needed. The second button will cycle through the three default modes of LED light presentation. The third key is the game lockout button. By default, it locks out the Windows flight keys, but via software, can also lock out a few more.

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On the right side of the keyboard, we find the remaining thirty keys layout. Again, there is no marked dual functionality for the keys, but we do see an extra set of arrows marked on the number pad.

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The top-right corner is where the multimedia keys and wheel are on the Alloy Elite RGB. Four buttons allow users to go back a track, play or pause a track, go forward a track, and mute all sound. To adjust the volume, you use the scroll style wheel. We also see the HyperX name which is painted on the steel plate, along with the three lock LEDs to the right for game lockout, the number lock, as well as the caps lock.

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The right side of the Alloy Elite RGB is a mirror image of what the left side looks like, only this time we have extended the feet under the keyboard. Doping so has delivered a much more ergonomic angle to the keycaps on top of the keyboard, and in conjunction with the use of the wrist rest, should provide hours of pain-free use.

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Moving around to the back of the keyboard, we located the USB 2.0 pass-through port. This is handy for mice and headphones to help with wire management on the desk. It is also beneficial for those not wanting to reach for the PC when the need to use USB storage use arises.

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The cable comes out of the box bundled with a wire tie and is sleeved from stem to stern. As the cable leaves the keyboard, it is thick, until it runs into the splitter cover. Once that point is reached, we are given two smaller cables, and the one with the red tag on it is for the keyboard, while the unmarked one is used to power the pass-through port.

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HyperX also ensures the bottom of the keyboard looks as good as the rest of it by using indented sections which follow the shapes seen on the sides of it. This is done more for stability and structural integrity than for style points, but we like what we see anyways. There are four rubber feet which keep the Alloy Elite RGB from moving around, and at the front edge is where the wrist rest clips into the keyboard.

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For those looking to add some height to the back of the Alloy Elite RGB, you will need to flip out the back feet. They do flip towards the back of the keyboard but go far enough as not to collapse from keyboard movement easily. We can also see that the bottom of the legs also offers a rubber pad, so you do not give up on stability by using them.

Inside the Alloy Elite RGB

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Our Alloy Elite ships with Cherry MX Brown switches, which we can see here after removing a few of the keycaps. We also noticed that the torsion bars are built into the keyboard, and the Alloy Elite RGB uses dummy switches to connect to them, rather than leaving the bars exposed with the need to use the tiny and easy to break clips.

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The keycaps all look great, and the black entirely envelops the top and sides of each cap. However, once flipped over, we can tell they are painted caps, where the legends are left exposed so that light can quickly pass through them.

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Choosing a random spot on the PCB, we can see not only that the PCB is black too, but that HyperX does a fair job of keeping things clean. There are the slightest remains of flux residue, but the solder points are clean, and there are no apparent defects in workmanship.

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HyperX went to NXP Semiconductors for the brains of this operation. The LPC11U35F/401 MCU is a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 processor, which is more than enough power to handle the features and data transmission.

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As we were about to power up the Alloy Elite RGB, we thought we would stop and take the time to show the extra keycaps in their proper positions. This arrangement is perfect for FPS players, and with the textured WASD keys, any gamer can find their way, even in complete darkness.

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Our last image is of the Alloy Elite RGB is all of its backlit glory; keep in mind, this is only one mode, and there are more options to be had. The booth lights do drown out the colors, but in normal use, the keyboard is quite bright and colorful. We have also added the wrist rest at this time so that you can get some perspective on what the entire package looks like.

NGenuity Software

Ngenuity Software

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Once installed, firmware updated, and software is running, it is this window which will get you started. You may add various profiles to the list at the left, you can search for them, and at the bottom is the customize button to start changing the way the profile will work. To the right is a real-time view of the keyboard with the apply button below it which is used to save any changed that are made.

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In the first image the RGB lighting was in wave mode, but if you are to click on the second HyperX logo box, the keyboard is then set into FPS mode. In this mode, all keys are blue by default, except for the first four numbers and the WASD keys.

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Clicking on the third HyperX logo, we get something called fire mode. At rest, all LEDs are red, but as you use the keys, you will see the LEDs change to yellow, purple, blue, and orange.

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Once a profile is selected from the list at the left, you can then click on the customize button. Doing so delivers a place to customize the lighting. Effects cover solid LEDs, breathing, wave, trigger, explosion, HyperX Flame, or you can disable them all from the drop-down menu. There are also various ways of color selection, and custom colors can be saved at the bottom for later use. Even directionality and speed can be adjusted so that things are perfect for each user.

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Game Mode addresses what happened when the game lockout button is pressed. Right out of the box the button disables the Windows keys, but it can also be allowed to kill the Atl+Tab function, Alt+F4, Shift+Tab, and Ctrl+Esc just by ticking the appropriate boxes.

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Macros will need to be pre-defined before the use of the Macro function of key assignments can be used, but the rest of the options in the drop-down box are all able to be selected. You can completely remap the keyboard, include mouse functions, add multimedia options, set then to record a Macro on-the-fly, set them as shortcuts, open anything you wish, or disable the key for that profile.

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Inside of the Macro library is where one would program a Macro they wish to use typically. To do so, you can select the Macro in the top slot, or add others just below it, and in the next slot, name the Macro. Once you have the delay set the way you want it to be, click on the record button and watch the Macro get listed in the black box to the left. Once complete, click on the word stop, and it is at that point where you can do minor edits if needed with the options below the black box.

Gaming and General Impressions


In games like Doom, we use the keyboard mainly for movement, and we cannot say we ran into anything that drew our attention to it. Having multiple keys pressed at once, like moving two directions at once while switching weapons or checking a grenade is all seen, and due to the anti-ghosting, we have not found any key combinations that did not function correctly.

In PUBG, we do tend to remap the keyboard a bit and have been known to disable a few keys as well. However, the optional keycaps centered our fingers, even when the RGB lighting is not active, ensuring we are using the right keys, so there is less need to disable anything there. All in all, while gaming, the Alloy Elite RGB is a pleasure to use and is capable of being customized to suit your gaming style and needs.

Windows and Productivity

As a daily tool for dispensing reviews, making charts, searching for products, and replying to IMs, we quickly realized that Cherry MX Brown switches are not beneficial to our style of typing. We admittedly have said before that with fat fingers, it is easy to press multiple keys at once, or accidentally add numbers into lines of text. While some may appreciate the silence of what brown switches are known for, we still prefer a stronger spring to help eliminate any issues from the day to day grind.

Outside of the switch choice, the illumination will help you find your way in the dark, show which locks are active, and also have a natural line of sight to the media keys. One thing we do wish was slightly different were the lighting keys at the top left. When in the dark, typing away, if we wanted to lower the intensity of the LEDs as our eyes get tired, we had to hunt a bit to feel for the right button to use. Illuminating them like all of the rest of the keys would have been a better way to go.

Final Thoughts

The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB is the best that HyperX has to offer at this time. Adding in RGB backlighting was the obvious next step in the evolution, but adding in a software suite for co9mplete customization was key to the success of this product. Previous samples were fine as keyboards, and while they will work with games, none of them offered the abilities that the Alloy Elite FPS delivers. Remapping, custom colors and layout options for the lighting, Macro programmability, being able to make the keyboard do just about anything conceivable, these are all factors that should be looked at when buying your next keyboard. Anti-ghosting, NKRO, and the use of a 32-bit MCU are also great additions to the package, but when you say gaming and keyboard, we expect such things to be included.

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The keyboard is solid, and even when trying to, flexing the Alloy Elite RGB is a hard thing to accomplish. Many exposed keyboard designs have a hollow sound when the keys return to their uppermost position, and that is something you will find in the Alloy Elite RGB as well, especially if you type fast and have a lot to write. In gaming, this is much less obvious, as you tend to rest on keys and press them gentler, but for keys which are considered silent, there is noise to deal with. What we did find that benefits the user is a complete lack of vibrations. This is what will lead to numb fingers and sore fingers, but with a few reviews under our belt with the Alloy Elite RGB, we feel no pain, and could type on this thing all day long if we were able to stay awake long enough to accomplish that feat.

While software development does not come free, and changing from red only LEDs to RGB LEDs does come with a cost increase as well, we are not so sure we can rightly say that the Alloy Elite RGB is an economical choice. As we mentioned, the standard Alloy Elite is half the cost of the Alloy Elite RGB, and at $69.99 to $179.99, HyperX is asking for a price which is out of many users grasp. We are not trying to downplay the options, comfort, and usability of this mechanical gaming keyboard, but we are saying that for what you get in this product, it can be had with a similar look, and less money involved.

Of course, the fact that eSports is now on TV, and many will see the HyperX brand right in their living rooms now, there is a bit of a pull to want to have what the professional use. We get that. At the same time, if on a budget, there may be products better suited to those people.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

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The Bottom Line: The Alloy Elite RGB is the best of the best from HyperX at this time, but it does come at a cost. While strong, customizable, comfortable, fully featured, and all of that, the high price of admittance will likely keep this mechanical gaming keyboards out of reach for many!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

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After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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