This year’s CES 2017 brought many new computer hardware peripherals to the forefront of the custom PC building community. Kingston’s gaming division, HyperX, made several new strides in competing within the peripheral manufacturing community with a lineup of new keyboards, mice, and headsets, with some private hands-on time being devoted to working with the new mechanical keyboard, the Alloy FPS series, which launched earlier this month at $99.99.
The Alloy FPS mechanical keyboard is a high-quality and minimalistic, all-metal frame keyboard. Featuring individually-lit red LEDs and standard Cherry MX red switches, it becomes quite a beautiful competitor against the likes of Logitech, SteelSeries, and other manufacturers. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles that include 16.8 million RGB LED combinations or a media wheel that controls the volume, it makes up for it by including just enough for the keyboard to still get its job done. For those interested in special effects, however, the FN key allows users to toggle between various lighting effects and adjustment of the LED brightness.
The Alloy includes in its package a threaded USB cable to prevent fraying, a keyboard case (a first for me!), and manuals illustrating just how quick of a setup the process is. Setting up the Alloy FPS is incredibly simple: connect the USB cable directly to the keyboard, and then to the PC. No software or extraneous work was required. HyperX did a great job in making this keyboard’s setup as painless as possible.
This keyboard comes featured with media keys that can be toggled with the FN key, which is oddly placed at the bottom right side of the keyboard, as opposed to what I usually observe, which is on the left hand side. It’s a minor gripe but not one that has impacted my workflow in any way. One of these functional keys disables the usage of the windows button, which can be a bit problematic for users who wish to use this on macOS, as the command to quit applications quickly requires the use of the Windows key and Q (you’ll have to excuse me for using macOS as part of my current workflow). The other functional keys include volume adjustment and skipping through songs.
I love the feel of the keys. The keycaps feel quite nice and smooth, and the movements are better, in my opinion, than the proprietary offerings of my main desktop keyboard that utilizes Logitech Romer G keycaps. The red LED lighting is beautiful, and the build quality is phenomenal. An RGB version of this keyboard is slated for launch later this year, and at that point, that’s the only way to go about improving this already-nice keyboard. At $99, this is a great keyboard option to consider.