If you’re a PC gaming enthusiast like me, or are just into peripherals you know all about Mechanical keyboards and what they bring to the table. You’ve probably been using one for the past few years and are fairly satisfied with the swift and accurate switches. At least that was the case for me. I’ve left my old rubber capped membrane keyboards in the dust and switched to the more resistive, firm and durable mechanical keyboards. So, when I got to review the HyperX Alloy Core RGB keyboard, I was skeptical of the whole ordeal since it has membrane type switches and not mechanical. But I’ve always been a fan of HyperX peripherals after and I’ve had experience using their top of the line mechanical keyboards. The Alloy Core is not one of these top of the line keyboards. It is an entry-level gaming keyboard, without mechanical switches but with the other premium features that come along with high-end mechanical keyboards.
HyperX Alloy Core RGB
Premium Budget Keyboard
- Durable & Spill Resistant Frame
- Dedicated Media Keys
- RGB Lighting
- Membrane keyboard
- No support for HyperX Ngenuity software
Switch Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Wired USB | Lighting: RGB with 16.8 Million colors
VERDICT:The HyperX Alloy Core RGB is a membrane type keyboard which gives off a premium feel and look with its vibrant aesthetics yet being easy on your wallet, Hyper X is known for producing premium products at a very sweet price tag and that is why we can't enough of the Alloy Core RGB
When I first opened the box and plugged the keyboard in, I was pleasantly surprised with all I saw. RGB lighting, dedicated media buttons, a good quality, premium looking black plastic body with a sturdy, firm base because of the weight behind it. It has a simple, neat design. All that I have come to expect from HyperX’s keyboards, but didn’t expect from one that’s available for just 50$’s.
I definitely need to give HyperX a pat on the back for the design of the Alloy Core RGB. Sometimes keyboards go with the minimalistic look, favoring simplicity over style which doesn’t do much for the aesthetics and mostly pulls focus onto the performance. That isn’t the case with the Alloy Core RGB. Instead, HyperX opts for a sleek, attractive design with some flashy features that bring a state of vibrancy to your standard workstation or even hardcore gaming setup. The design isn’t too out-there. It retains a balanced sense of modesty and style without overdoing either and providing the best of both worlds. You can easily use it in public, or in your office without looking totally out of place.
My biggest concern with most membrane keyboards is that they tend to feel cheap. Of course, they are actually cheap but the design, look and feel they have is just unsatisfactory. Sticky switches, wobbly keys, and flimsy frames have set low expectations for a membrane keyboard. However, the HyperX Alloy Core RGB doesn’t fall under these expectations. It rises above them. It feels premium. If you disregard the membrane switches, it is premium, and at just 50$. It doesn’t feel cheap at all. In fact, it matches and sometimes even goes above and beyond the look, feel and design of it’s much more expensive mechanical counterparts.
The signature light bar across the top of the board and backlit RGB keys gives the keyboard an aesthetic look. The 1.1kg weigh ensures that the keyboard doesn’t slip even during intense typing sessions. It boasts a sturdy, resilient, black plastic frame with clean corners. It isn’t one of those ten-key-less keyboards, it provides the full range of keys at your disposal. It also comes with dedicated media and volume buttons on the top right, along with other functionality buttons for the lighting and game mode on the top left of the keyboard. Another quite useful feature that HyperX has provided is that the keyboard is spill-resistant. That’s a huge plus for anyone who is a klutz like me and tends to spill their drinks on their keyboard (oops?). Accidents like that won’t be much of an issue with this keyboard since according to the company it is capable of surviving a bath in 120ml of liquid. Pretty handy if you ask me.
Connectivity is ensured with a thick, braided 1.8m long cable. You can expect this to last a long time without any issues. Speaking of, using the keyboard for long hours in a single sitting won’t be an issue either since it has a small wrist rest angled at 45 degrees, which is surprising considering it’s a HyperX keyboard. They don’t exactly have a history of offering a wrist rest in many of their mechanical boards.
As an avid gamer and PC enthusiast, performance is the most important aspect of any keyboard I intend to use. Fancy features and stylish design is just an add-on. I’m sure many of you will agree. You would also agree that if the keys aren’t responsive, accurate and punchy, the keyboard is sub-par and simply isn’t doing the job it’s supposed to do. Fortunately, the HyperX Alloy Core RGB doesn’t fail in this department. It delivers surprisingly good performance considering it’s a membrane board. In fact it resembles the performance of a proper mechanical keyboard to an extent.
The Alloy Core RGB features anti-ghosting and 6 key rollover as well. Feedback from the membrane switches is firm and forceful, ensuring you feel each and every key press. At the same time, the soft-touch keycaps allow for swift movement across the board, requiring less force than most mechanical keyboards demand. This is an advantage for those who aren’t used to mechanical keyboards and just want a comfortable experience typing and playing games casually.
The spongy feeling present in a lot of membrane keyboards is nowhere to be found, nor do any keys exhibit the frustrating wobble that sees many membrane boards fail to register key presses, especially on the space bar. The switches sound somewhat clicky. It’s halfway between mechanical switches and the average membrane switches. It isn’t as annoying and loud as mechanical switches can be, so using this at your workplace definitely won’t annoy the people around you. The responses are fast and accurate but it’s impossible to get the kind of response times a mechanical board can offer without mechanical switches. However, the Alloy Core RGB does everything it can to allay any concerns from ultra-discerning PC Master Racers. Its anti-ghosting functionality is actually quite good, cutting the response time about as low as it can go in a non-mechanical board. Game movement still feels good and it didn’t feel like I was losing much in the step down from my mechanical keyboard. All of this makes the HyperX Alloy Core RGB the perfect in-between keyboard for those that work and enjoy some casual gaming in their free time as well.
The Alloy Core RGB may not be the best in the performance aspect, but it competes with top of the line keyboards in matters of functionality and features. One of the biggest selling points is right there in the name: full RGB lighting. It’s not exactly uncommon these days but it is still a welcome feature, and a tough one to find in budget keyboards since it’s still considered a premium feature. There aren’t many high-quality RGB keyboards available under 50$’s. So for someone who is looking to add style to their setup, this is quite a good option. Due to the 16.8 million colors of the RGB spectrum that is offered, a stunning radiance is exuded. The keyboard doesn’t support HyperX’s own software. It is, however, paired with six effects presets; Color Cycle, Spectrum Wave, Breathing, Solid, 5 Zones, and Aurora which provide a somewhat customizable experience and you can choose what you like out of these options.
It also offers dedicated media buttons. You can use them to instantly control whatever media you’re playing through these easily accessible buttons placed on the top right of the keyboard, just above the number pad. I found them to be quite useful when listening to music and working side by side. I used them to play and pause my music while attending calls, skip tracks and seek forward or even rewind when I wasn’t paying the attention I felt like the song deserved.
There are also buttons to control the RGB lighting brightness, the lighting modes and one that enables the Game mode. The lighting button sets up the backlit RGB brightness and allows you to customize it for yourself up to a certain extent. The lighting mode button allows you to cycle through the six presets and choose the one of your choice. Personally, I love the Aurora setting, it just feels smooth and peaceful.
Although I’m a firm supporter of mechanical keyboards and the tactile, accurate responses they give with superior speeds, I was pleasantly surprised when reviewing the HyperX Alloy Core RGB keyboard. It is a membrane keyboard but it offers so much more than what the usual membrane boards do. It gives a premium experience and features in a budget price tag, with decently performing membrane switches. If you’re looking for an in-between keyboard that offers luxury and performance in a budget, or if you’re an individual that likes premium features but doesn’t care much about the performance, or simply if you want something for work and for play, this is one that can certainly be the choice for you.
Price at the time of review: $43
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Prices taken/valid at the time of review.