The HyperX Alloy FPS is Kingston's first mechanical keyboard. The company is known more for its computer memory and flash memory products, but it has diversified into gaming peripherals in recent years.
The FPS moniker suggests that this keyboard is built for first-person shooter games. But except for its lack of macro keys, which is handy for massively multiplayer online games, the Alloy is good for all genres. It has anti-ghosting and full N-key rollover features that ensure all your key presses are registered, even when multiple keys are hit at the same time.
In fact, Kingston should have dubbed this keyboard Travel instead of FPS, because it seems like a handy keyboard to take to LAN gatherings. At around 1kg, it is relatively light for a mechanical keyboard and also has a compact design with barely any bezel at the sides.
It is sturdy, too, thanks to a metal plate covering the top of its plastic body. Kingston also bundles a meshed travel pouch to protect it.
That said, the Alloy, being a full-size keyboard, is not as portable as the tenkeyless models that do away with the number pad.
My review set comes with the clickety Cherry MX Blue switches. It is fairly noisy, but I like the audio and tactile feedback of these switches. If Blue is not your cup of tea, the Alloy is also available with Cherry MX Red or Brown switches.
SWITCHES: Cherry MX Blue (tactile and clicky, 50g actuation force)
FEATURES: Red backlighting, full N-key rollover and detachable cable
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
As well as lacking macro keys, the Alloy also does not have dedicated media buttons. While there are volume and playback controls, they are shared with the Function keys.
It comes with only a red backlight, though there are six different LED backlight modes that range from highlighting the WASD keys to having the LED backlight toggle on and off from left to right in a wave-like pattern.
There are also five levels of brightness for the backlight.
Kingston does not have any software app to tweak the keyboard settings. You cycle through the LED backlight modes via Fn keys. The Windows logo key can be disabled during gaming with a Game mode function key, to prevent accidental key taps.
Overall, the compact Alloy offers a good set of features for its price. It may lack some of the extras found on more expensive models, but it performs equally well.
•Verdict: Reasonably priced with a good set of features, the compact Alloy is a handy mechanical gaming keyboard.