Gaming keyboards are available in abundance these days. With an aim to provide a memorable experience for the breed of intense gamers, peripheral manufacturers have been offering attractive keyboards across various price points. While affordable brands usually have to resort to membrane keys while sporting RGB lighting, the premium offerings prefer to go bonkers with mechanical keys and individual LED backlit keys. Hyper-X, a company that highly caters to the gaming segment, has a keyboard aimed towards those seeking a fully-loaded gaming peripheral. Dubbed Hyper-X Alloy Elite RGB, it is priced at Rs 13,500 and offers great USPs such as mechanical keys with RGB lighting, programmable keys and more.
The Alloy Elite RGB is a flagship gaming keyboard in Hype-X’s portfolio. To make sure it feels so, Hyper-X has ensured a premium build with straight-forward aesthetics. Unlike most keyboards that sport plastic, the base here is made from aluminium which is shallow for the key housing. There’s a detachable palm rest which can also be adjusted according to the user's height preference. We found the metallic plate made it easier to clean dirt and debris with a piece of cloth — something that is important to most PC users.
The cable is well built and the cloth fibre braided coating ensures that the user has a strong and long-lasting durability. The keyboard has additional dedicated function keys such as brightness control for the key LEDs, a button for switching between lighting patterns, a Game Mode button, five buttons for media control, including the volume roller. Lastly, coming to the palm rest, it features a rubberised feel for an additional grip during typing or gaming.
Though the build quality and aesthetics are pristine, we did notice that the keycaps don't fit snugly on each key. Even a slight or gentle tug from below pop out the keys very easily. This encountered in us popping off a few keys during casual daily cleaning — especially the keys that are towards the edge.
Lastly, the keyboard is not spillproof — so ensure that if you are buying one of these, you don't have any liquids kept around your desk.
As stated, the Hyper-X Alloy Elite RGB features a mechanical setup for its keys. In line with other mechanical keyboards, they deliver immense satisfactory feedback without any loss of sensitivity. The special gaming-dedicated keys (WASD combo, and the directional keys) are contoured for aiding with extensive gaming use. However, you can choose to keep the normal keycaps for these combo keys, which are replaceable and bundled along in the package. The multimedia and the programmable buttons aren’t mechanical but have enough tactility to please the user. The metallic volume roller surely grabs attention from onlookers and also makes changing the volume levels convenient and fun. We wish that Hyper-X could have made it multifunctional, such as letting it assigning controls for scrolling, and alike.
Despite this being a gaming keyboard, the Hyper-X Alloy Elite RGB is quite at ease when used for general computing stuff such as documentation. There's comfortable feedback from the keys and they grip well. The backlight may prove to be a bit distracting for some users, which can be solved by either adjusting the brightness levels or completely turn it off.
The Hyper-X Alloy Elite RGB is incomplete without its RGB backlight. The keyboard has individual or discrete LED lights under each key to aid a great light show, but only when paired with the Hyper-X NGenuity software. Look above the keys and you will find the LED light strip making it look akin to Star Wars’ light sabres — be prepared to get distracted. The Hyper-X NGenuity software limits your light effects to a particular computer, but gives you the freedom to design your own light show, with full customisation options. You can choose from the preset light effects or make a custom theme by combining all of them, using the colours you desire. You have the ability to program macros as well.
The Alloy Elite RGB also has a provision for a discrete USB port on the rear for plugging additional USB gaming peripherals, if required. In order to power the discrete USB port, the keyboard has an additional USB connection port (similar to a Y-cable) and takes up two USB ports on the PC. This is nothing but just an extension so that you have less clutter in case you need to plug in your mouse, or make it convenient to plug in your phone, pen drive or external storage.
During our gaming sessions, we found the keyboard to help us immensely — thanks to the soft keys, the swift tactile feedbacks, convenient key spacing and the easy marking of the gaming keys. Sadly, as stated earlier, if you aren't used to a backlit gaming keyboard, especially a multicoloured one, the distraction is surely an issue. However, those who like the light show would find it favourable. We ended up switching it off to help concentrate on the games.
Using the keyboard as a standard accessory for office documentation was even better. The soft keys and the palm rest surely helps get the best out of the keyboard.
To sum it all up, the Hyper-X Alloy Elite RGB gaming keyboard is a great investment if ploughing battlefields or devouring virtual race tracks is your favourite past time or your profession. The keyboard looks spectacular and offers great feedback, bumping up the gaming experience up a few notches, while also offering pleasant typing experiences. If your budget for a gaming keyboard isn't restricted, then the Hyper-X Alloy Elite RGB at Rs 13,500 is definitely recommended. The only areas of concern are the keycaps which do not securely fit on top of the keys.