HyperX Alloy FPS Pro Mechanical Keyboard Review

 

 
Overview
 

Release Date: Out Now
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


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Positives


- Slim, TKL, portable, no-frills design saves quite a bit of space
- MX Cherry keyswitches feel great
- Red-LED lighting is fun

Negatives


- Missing the USB passthrough and travel case of the Alloy FPS
- Missing some other 'nice-to-have' features like headset passthrough, or full RGB lighting


Posted May 7, 2018 by

 
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Kingston’s HyperX line has been making a pretty big splash in the world of gaming peripherals and accessories, ever since the brand made the jump from merely producing RAM and components. Two years ago, Andrew reviewed their Alloy FPS, a mechanical keyboard that impressed not only as a first attempt from HyperX, but in comparison to many other keyboards on the market. Now, HyperX has released the Alloy FPS’ little brother, the Alloy FPS Pro, aimed at pro gamers and (as the name suggests) FPS games. With a smaller footprint, thanks to its tenkeyless design, you’ll find it for the same price as its older sibling at current retailers, meaning its appeal lies in its shrunken, no-frills design.

It’s true, the space you save with the design of the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is significant. Losing the number-pad on the right, combined with the already slim design strips the keyboard down to its bare essentials, and there’s a neat aesthetic to the keyboard which works. While it doesn’t feature full RGB-lighting, the keyboard is fully lit with individual red LEDs, that can behave in some amusing and cool dynamic patterns, such as fading in-and-out, lighting up in a wave from left-to-right, and reacting explosively to each key-press. You can even customise certain keys to remain lit, which is a particularly neat look if you customise it to the game you’ll be primarily using the keyboard for – such as lighting the WASD keys for a bout of CS:GO. That said, it is a common complaint among HyperX’s products that there is only one colour to choose from, and fully-customisable coloured lighting is an area where companies such as Razer still have them beat.

Nevertheless, the Alloy FPS Pro’s steel construction makes for a sturdy and surprisingly weighty keyboard, given the size of it. With an open design it’s also a cinch to clean the keyboard and remove keys, although it has seemed to attract a little bit more dust than it otherwise would have. Easier to clean then, but potentially more cleaning sessions needed. It should also be mentioned that the smaller size of the Alloy FPS Pro means you lose the charger USB port that was formerly provided on the larger Alloy FPS – again, a potentially unnecessary indulgence for the pro gamer, but worth knowing.

The Alloy FPS Pro’s greatest strength is its size, and the quality and durability it retains while remaining very portable. It’s a disappointment, then, that the travel case that was included in the regular Alloy FPS is absent here, given that travel would be the number one reason many would choose to pick up this keyboard. The plastic sleeve and box just doesn’t quite fit the bill, so if you are looking for a gaming-focused keyboard to accompany you on journeys, it’s worth remembering to match a purchase of the Alloy FPS Pro with a soft case.

As a mechanical keyboard, the Alloy FPS Pro uses MX Cherry keyswitches – the model I reviewed came in the Cherry MX Red design, at present. To the layman (like me), this may not mean a lot but for discerning keyboard purchasers, there are subtle but notable differences between the various flavours of MX Cherry switches. Red switches feature a ‘linear’ feel, making them slightly easier to press than their Blue ‘clicky’ brothers (another variant you can purchase, along with ‘Brown’) and more favourable for rapid-fire commands. To me, a man coming from the world of MacBook Pro keyboards, they’re a revelation – nicely responsive with little effort, and certainly well suited to rapid keystrokes. The texture on the keys is a pleasant, vaguely grippy matte finish, which helps your fingers stay on the relevant keys in-game.

Noise-wise, they’re not quite as loud as those Blue switches either, although certainly nowhere near as quiet as  your run-of-the-mill membrane keyboards. For regular use and typing, they’re a wee-bit noisier than you may want in an office environment, but in the keyboard’s intended gaming environment, where you’ll most likely have a pair of headphones on anyway, the trade-off in feel and responsiveness is worth it.

The Alloy FPS Pro also features a ‘Game’ mode you can activate that features 100% anti-ghosting N-key rollover functions, indicated by a little light on the keyboard next to the caps-lock.  This same feature was present on the larger Alloy FPS, and essentially turns off the Windows key, while allowing you to simultaneously press as many keys as you like on the keyboard with no fear of any keystrokes being missed, as each is individually registered.

There’s not a lot else to say about the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro. It has a pretty singular purpose – to provide a more compact, portable counterpart to the regular Alloy FPS, in a no-frills design that still retains many features that gamers would expect and enjoy. It succeeds in just about every respect here – the design is slim, but sturdy and the keys feel comfortable and pleasantly responsive. The LED-lighting is fun and the game-mode works just as you would expect. There are some small shortcomings that you should be aware of when deciding between this and its larger sibling, namely the lack of a charger USB-passthrough port and a travel case, but they’re hardly deal breakers. The Alloy FPS Pro does what it says on the tin – providing a slim, accurate, responsive and sturdy gaming keyboard at a reasonable price, and it’s hard to argue with any of that.


Adam Ghiggino

 
Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.