And then there were three--mechanical keyboards, that is--in HyperX’s growing lineup. The company has added two new SKUs, both bearing the “Alloy” branding: the Alloy Elite and the Alloy FPS Pro. The previous model was the sharp-looking Alloy FPS; the Alloy RGB (a fourth model) is slated to debut later this year.
The Alloy FPS and FPS Pro share quite a bit of design language, and indeed, the FPS Pro is essentially just a TKL version of the original FPS. Both have compact chassis with virtually no front bezel and a top plate design. Both feature a removable red-and-black braided cable. Whereas the Alloy FPS gives you the choice of Cherry MX Red, Brown, or Blue switches, the Alloy FPS Pro is currently limited to Cherry MX Reds. (We expect that to change.)
Unfortunately, the two FPS models also share red-only LED backlighting, although both do give you a handful of lighting effects you can employ.
The Alloy Elite is essentially a mono color variant of the Alloy RGB. Both are full-size keyboards with four dedicated buttons (plus a volume roller) on the upper right side and three on the upper left for media and lighting functions, and both come with a detachable wrist rest and feature a light bar running across their top edge. They also offer USB passthrough.
The new Alloy Elite comes with eight titanium-colored key caps, four of which are textured (for the WASD cluster). These are basically the same as the metallic red-colored caps you get with the original FPS Alloy.
Prices for the new keyboards are certainly reasonable. The new Alloy FPS Pro bears an MSRP of $80, but the original, the Alloy FPS, is currently going for as little as $85 on Amazon, and its MSRP was $100. Eighty bucks for a good mechanical keyboard, especially one with a little backlighting, is not a bad deal, and if street prices end up lower than that, the FPS Pro will be a terrific deal.
The Alloy Elite costs $110. Considering that, we’re a little surprised that the forthcoming Alloy RGB (which is due out later this year) will still cost the expected $150. Now that we know how much the former costs, we would have pegged the latter at perhaps closer to $130, but you may be paying for the additional software there, too.
Assuming we’re close on that estimation, all of the HyperX keyboards are priced well, although the Alloy RGB is maybe a bit too pricey for what it offers. Keeping those costs low, though, is going to reap rewards for HyperX in a terribly crowded market.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Alloy FPS||Alloy FPS pro||Alloy Elite||Alloy RGB|
|Type||Full size||TKL||Full size|
|Switch||Cherry MX Red, Brown, or Blue||Cherry MX Red||Cherry MX Red, Brown, or Blue|
|Cable||1.8M, braided, removable||1.8M braided|
|Additional Ports||USB (charging only)||USB passthrough|
|Dimensions||441.65 x 129.38 x 35.59mm||359 x 130 x 34.5mm||444 x 226.80 x 36.30mm||Unknown|
|Misc.||-6 LED modes, 5 levels brightness-Game Mode-Windows 7/8/8.1/10-8 metallic red keycaps||-6 LED modes, 5 levels brightness-Game Mode-Windows 7/8/8.1/10||-6 LED modes, 4 levels brightness-Game Mode-Windows 7/8/8.1/10-Detachable wrist rest-8 extra “titanium” keycaps-Dedicated media and lighting buttons||-Detachable wrist rest-Dedicated media and lighting buttons-Will have software|
|Availability||Now||Aug 21||Aug 21||Later this year|
|Price||$100 (street prices lower)||$80||$110||$150 (expected)|
When will the 'gaming' peripheral makers catch on that pain is no fun?
PAIN IS CLEANSING.
I kid, I kid.
You won't catch bigger companies like Kingston/HyperX trying out those ideas. They all keep it pretty conservative. Fortunately, there are tons of small outfits (and even individuals) making really cool keyboard stuff. Including split designs and the like.
We wrote about this one a bit ago, for example: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/kinesis-gaming-freestyle-edge-split-design-gaming-keyboard,33860.html