HyperX Alloy Core RGB
When looking for a new keyboard, especially one built for gaming in addition to everyday typing of emails and comedic Tweets, the search usually contains the keyword ‘mechanical’. Search engine lingo aside, it’s the reliable and specific performance of mechanical switches that once gotten used to are hard to move away from. Which in turn then makes you think that the old membrane way of keystroke switching is about as old fashioned as say, using a telephone line to make a call and then somehow that phone call connects you to the internet.
Anyway, this is a roundabout way of stating that the new HyperX Alloy Core RGB is not a mechanical keyboard, nor is it one of those ‘it’s not mechanical but it sorts of feels like one’ keyboards. It’s a straight up membrane offering, one that attempts to offer the features of a more expensive mechanical offering – in an affordable package.
Look and Feel
Right, so at a glance the new HyperX Alloy Core RGB has the look of a gaming keyboard – perhaps even of one you might assume featured mechanical switches. There’s the sturdy build, the zoned RGB lighting (with added light strip, for, err, reasons), dedicated media controls and buttons, a braided and chunky USB-cable, and a weighty feel that won’t slide around a desk or feel cheap compared to a more expensive offering. The keys don’t click and have that membrane feel, but the overall quality is sound and built to last. There’s a tactile feel to each key that’s impressive for what is a budget-conscious offering from HyperX, but in limiting software support and other more in-depth tweaking like programmable macros and profiles and such – there are definite limits to the HyperX Alloy Core RGB.
Which does make it somewhat of an impersonation of a more premium gaming keyboard. But even so – the accent is close enough.
LED Color: RGB (5 Zones Multi-colour Customisation)
Cable: Wired (USB)
Dimensions: 443.20mm x 175.31mm x 35.68mm
Product Weight: 1.1kg
With membrane keys HyperX has opted for the tactile and silent approach for the HyperX Alloy Core RGB, which is enough to make it stand out from other membrane-based gaming keyboards of old. In fact, the overall quality of the feel and build is commendable for the price-point, as is the focus on pure performance and feel without too many additional flourishes. No doubt the addition of minor spill resistance and anti-ghosting mean that even as an interim choice – the HyperX Alloy Core RGB could potentially last a long time. Except you don’t get that sort of lifetime or x million presses guarantee that comes with the mechanical option. Which brings the question back to whether it’s comparable to a mechanical keyboard – for gaming.
The answer to that of course is no. That said, having a mechanical keyboard (of which HyperX do offer) doesn’t dramatically improve your chances of winning a round of, say, Apex Legends. The key difference is that mechanical switches will last longer than a membrane setup whilst retaining a more robust and tweakable feel. In our testing the HyperX Alloy Core RGB mostly performed great, but there were odd instances where keystrokes didn’t register. Not enough to be problem though. So, the rest of the story really comes down to comfort and features. And the price you’re willing to spend.
The HyperX Alloy Core RGB is a well-built gaming keyboard with decent flourishes like media controls and zoned lighting. The membrane design is a definite minus, as is the lack of full support for HyperX’s own peripheral software, but as they say in that game-show we all watched and think in our heads we’d be great at – the price is right.