TL;DRA sleek and stylish keyboard with a choice of Cherry MX switches upon purchase. Attractive red backlighting with varied settings and a strong metal housing combine for a minimalist aesthetic. The keyboard has a detachable USB and comes with a soft carry case for easy transport but is more robust than other portable designed keyboards.
Before we get into the the nitty gritty i just want to take a moment to highlight some of the added extras that help the HyperX Alloy Fps really stand out. The USB cable is made of good quality braid and is detachable, this allows for convenient travel which is further aided by the soft carrying case, the keyboard does require two usb ports but in exchange for that you get a USB charging port built onto the back side the keyboard, perfect for keeping your phone charged while you pull up a walkthrough.
As i mentioned before you also get the option to swap out your WASD keys for red textured substitutes adding increased grip and a welcome tactile element to your keystrokes, this is made as easy as possible with the included key swap tool, you can also swap out the 1, 2, 3, and 4 keys for red metal coloured ones as well, unfortunately they aren't textured meaning they add a nice ascetic but regrettably little of much else.
So with that part out of the way let's get down to the good stuff, we begin with the most important aspect of any mechanical keyboard, the keys. The HyperX Alloy FPS gives you the choice of Cherry MX Red, Blue or Brown switches, each one adding a certain something to help mold the keyboard to your own personal preference, let's start with the ones I actually got my hands on, the reds. Cherry MX Red switches were only introduced in 2008 and are the most recent switch to be developed. They have a low actuation force of 45 cN, to put that in English for the less technically savvy amongst you it has to do with the activation point of the key, the activation Point (or Operating Position) is the amount of distance the key has to travel before its recognised as a keystroke. Actuation force is the force required to reach the activation point. Put simply, it's how hard you have to press the key for it to be recognised. Red switches are regarded mostly as a gaming switch, with the light weighting allowing for more rapid actuation, and have become an increasingly common feature for a mechanical keyboard, this means gamers who need to rapidly double-tap or triple-tap keys will be confident that every keystroke will be registered, this does however mean it can be easy to accidentally press a key if you're not used to the sensitivity.
If that’s the case you may wish to try either the blue or brown switches, the brown switches have the same actuation force as the Cherry MX Reds but have a small tactile bump as you press the key, this gives you instant tactile feedback when the key is registered, they are preferred by gamers who prioritise accuracy over speed and who prefer instantly knowing if a key has been pressed. Your last option is Cherry MX Blues, the most different of the 3 switch types, Blue switches are favoured by typists due to the increased tactile bump and highly audible click, but can be less suitable for gamers as the weighting is relatively high, 50 cN, this makes it harder to double tap reliably, the release point being above the actuation point. Gamers who enjoy writing and don’t mind trading a bit of speed for definitive aural response and a tactile keypress will enjoy these switches.
The HyperX Alloy FPS clocks in at just over 1kg making it a fairly heavy by mechanical keyboard standards but in my opinion this gives you added durability and stability, the added weight can be attributed to the quality of its manufacture. A solid steel frame is complimented with an alloy face plate and rubber pads on the bottom, meaning once the keyboard’s placed, it’s difficult to dislodge regardless of how hard you're hammering your keys, and trust me this I have extensively tested.
Setup is easy and simple, the HyperX Alloy FPS is the definition of plug and play needing no software or drivers. The programmable red backlight is slightly underwhelming but has enough features to keep you entertained, it suffers from the common problem of the top side of the keys being brighter but other than that it creates an attractive aesthetic, especially when combined with the changeable red keys. You can also activate Gaming Mode which disables the start key to prevent you from accidentally minimising your game at the worst possible moment.
The simplicity of the setup does come with one downside, the lack of included software means the keys aren’t programmable, you also lose out on the ability to create game-specific settings, you can do this with third party software but it’s a shame that a keyboard of this quality is missing such a good selling point.
So would I recommend It? I would have to say yes, it does a good job of balancing a minimalist design with high-quality materials to make a keyboard that's a joy to use, although it lacks certain premium features found in other mechanical keyboards, the things that it does it does very well.