The new Alloy Elite 2 mechanical gaming keyboard from HyperX is blindingly bright. And heavy, which is probably the first thing you’ll spot. But once it’s on your desk and plugged in, you’ll definitely notice how bright the keys are. Part of the reason for that is the company’s homegrown Red linear switches with surface-mounted diode LEDs. Combined with the translucent walls of light seemingly pours from all directions.
Aside from the keycaps, the second-gen Alloy Elite essentially looks the same as the original. The $129 keyboard’s thick steel frame and attached braided cable weigh in at 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg). It’s not travel-friendly like the company’s Alloy Origins Core TKL keyboard, but between its heft and the rubber pads on its underside and on its flip-down legs, the keyboard stays put on your desk. A pass-through USB 2.0 port is available on the back if you want to hook up your mouse or wireless receiver there.
At the top left of the keyboard are three keys: LED brightness (four levels and off); switching to one of up to three custom lighting profiles; and turning on Game Mode, which shuts off the Windows key and other key combos that might accidentally take you out of your game. Oddly, they’re the only keys that don’t light up. Opposite those keys on the right side are a set of media control keys and a volume dial at the top right.
A light bar separates the main keyboard from the extra controls. The keyboard has per-key lighting so you can set everything up the way you want, including the light bar, using HyperX’s Ngenuity app. It’s pretty straightforward and can also be used for setting up macros or remapping individual keys.
The first Alloy Elite used Cherry MX switches and HyperX’s Red switches are similar to Cherry MX Reds, but with minutely shorter actuation and travel. I can’t say I can tell the difference, but the switches are smooth and fast with a pleasing clack when they bottom out. I prefer the tactile feedback of the company’s Aqua switches more for typing, but the Alloy Elite 2 is Red only at the moment.
Overall, though, the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 is a solid pick if you appreciate a good lightshow, media controls and a sturdy build that should stand up to getting slammed around in the heat of battle.
HyperX Alloy Elite 2 is a big, blindingly bright mechanical gaming keyboard
- 30 best TV shows to watch on Hulu
- 15 of the best TV shows on Amazon Prime Video
- The best meal kit delivery service for 2020: Home Chef, Freshly, Blue Apron and more
- Hyundai is spinning Ioniq off into its own subbrand
- Justice League on HBO Max: New Steppenwolf design, first teaser and more
- Microsoft’s cheaper next-gen console named Xbox Series S, leak shows
- Deal alert: These $40 noise-canceling headphones are a bargain
- Become Marty McFly with your own hover skates, now marked down to $180
- Free games at Epic this week: Wilmot’s Warehouse and an interactive sitcom