What was that we were just recently saying about mainstream gaming keyboard makers and aftermarket keycaps? HyperX, which already offered some replacement caps on one of its keyboards, is now selling the caps separately, too.
Take a deep breath: These aren’t actually metal caps, even though they really look like it in person. They’re ABS UV-coated plastic, with laser-etched legends. The tops have a texture that’s meant to evoke the diamond plate texture design you sometimes see in pickup truck beds and industrial workspaces.
There are two color options--red and “titanium”--and HyperX is marketing them as FPS or MOBA keycap sets by dint of the fact that the “upgrade kits” include eight caps in total--QWERASDF. You also get a keycap removal tool.
Wisely, perhaps, HyperX didn’t fiddle with the angle of the caps. Sometimes, these gaming-centric replacement caps have odd shapes, ostensibly to give you better grip or control in-game. However, we’ve found that style of replacement caps feels a little odd while gaming and downright uncomfortable for any other application, such as web browsing or writing articles. Instead, these HyperX models maintain the same profile as the rest of the keycaps, so you can leave them on whether gaming or typing, as long as the difference in texture doesn’t bug you.
One detail caught our eye: The caps come with a two-year warranty. For some products, what a warranty covers is fairly straightforward. A product fails or stops working, and you get a replacement. But how exactly does that work with keycaps? Barring some sensational trauma, they won’t “fail.” Instead, issue with keycaps typically come from “shine” or the wearing down of the legends.
We asked HyperX what exactly the warranty covers, and we received this in reply:
It covers mechanical damage or excessive wear. Shine is subjective, usually use related and would be considered normal wear and not under warranty. Regarding warranty questions, we welcome our customers to contact our Customer Service/Technical Support teams for assistance.
We would posit that “excessive wear” is also subjective, but we suppose you would need to take that up with HyperX’s customer service folks.
Either kit will run you just $15, though, so this is a low-risk product in terms of your investment. You can buy them directly from HyperX or through BestBuy or Amazon. (Weirdly, they're ever so slightly more expensive on Amazon, at $15.82.)