Are you on the hunt for a new gaming keyboard? Well, if you’ve been looking around for a while now, a lot of forums and sites will be telling you to either go mechanical or go home. The satisfying feel of a mechanical switch is hard to get over.
PRODUCT INFO HyperX Alloy Core RGB Gaming Keyboard Manufacture HyperX Available at View at Amazon
Sure, you can even a find a great cheap mechanical keyboard at times. But that will require a lot of research, and even then we can’t comment on the long-term durability aspect. If you’re on a tight budget, a good robust membrane keyboard could be a good choice. Don’t worry, not all membrane keyboards are created equal. The HyperX Alloy Core RGB is a prime example of that.
Hyper X is a brand that, in all honesty, does not need any sort of introduction at this point in time. They have definitely cemented their legacy as one of the most dignified brands respected by almost every gamer out there. So all things considered, the Alloy Core RGB shouldn’t disappoint.
This new budget membrane keyboard from HyperX stands out from the crowd. it rocks a unique design aesthetic not seen in this price range, along with a lot of other premium features. But is it really the conquerer of budget keyboards? Let’s find out.
The Unboxing Experience
As I’ve already mentioned above, the HyperX Alloy Core RGB is a budget or entry-level membrane keyboard. Due to which there’s nothing out of the ordinary for the unboxing experience itself. Despite that, a clean and frustration-free unboxing experience is always good, and HyperX delivers on that part.
The keyboard arrives in the usual packaging we’ve grown to admire from HyperX. They use the same red and white cardboard box seen on many of their other products. It’s not much, but it’s definitely refreshing from the usual boring brown box ordeal.
The front of the box has an image of the keyboard itself, the branding on the bottom right, and a bit of text describing the keyboard’s features. There’s also a colourful RGB logo on the box, and it’s already a major plus seeing RGB backlighting on a budget keyboard. The box includes just the keyboard itself, with the cable tucked behind a small compartment. There’s also a card and some paperwork from HyperX.
Design and Build Quality
Right off the bat, the first impression is definitely quite strong. While it’s nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to gaming keyboards, it definitely doesn’t look like a boring membrane keyboard you’d find in an office or in schools. It’s definitely got a bit of flair to it and it doesn’t feel cheap in any way either.
While the keys are housed inside a basic plastic frame, it’s actually put together quite well and doesn’t feel flimsy in any way. I wouldn’t say it’s the most robust keyboard out there, but it does appear to be durable. As for the design, it definitely has a bit of personality to it.
Compared to other membrane gaming keyboards, such as the Razer Cynosa Chroma, it looks a bit more sleek and polished. The matte finish definitely looks clean, and the bright RGB lighting accentuates it quite well. There’s also a very subtle ridge pattern on the lower part of the keyboard, where you would put your wrists.
Even though the design is a bit flashier than your normal membrane keyboard, I think it can fit in just fine in an office environment as well, with the RGB turned off obviously. On the back, we have the usual feet which you can use to prop up the keyboard at an angle. On the far left side, we also have dedicated buttons to control the lighting and a button that locks the Windows key.
Before I move on, it’s important to mention the inclusion of dedicated media keys as well. We have individual buttons for volume control and skipping, pausing, and playing tracks. It’s a small gesture, but something I always appreciate on any keyboard. It’s annoying when high-end keyboards skip this simple addition, so seeing this on an entry-level option is definitely pleasing.
I wouldn’t expect a lower-end keyboard like this to have water resistance, but this one surprisingly has that attribute. Any keyboard that can sustain any sort of water spill deserves a huge plus in my book. This budget keyboard can withstand a splash of up to 120ml of liquid. That’s definitely a sizeable volume, and it’s good to see that HyperX is not just all talk. It can definitely withstand an accidental spill.
The target demographic for this keyboard definitely includes people new to gaming. A lot of those people might be looking to show off their new setup and their flashy RGB peripherals. Good backlighting does not come cheap, but this keyboard is an appealing exception to that.
Truth be told, even if you’re not a fan of RGB, it’s hard not to appreciate what HyperX has done here. The RGB backlighting here is very bright and shines quite well through the keycaps. There’s even a small light bar running across the top of the keyboard, which actually gives it a unique look. As for the effects, there’s not a whole lot here but you can cycle through them with the dedicated backlight control buttons. You can switch between breathing, wave and pulsing effects.
If you want to change the speed of the lighting effects, hold down the Fn Key and use the left/right arrow keys to speed up or slow down the effect. The same rule applies for the brightness control, hold down the Fn key and use the up/down arrow keys to tune the brightness.
Although the lighting here is quite delightful, some people are going to want that extra control which can only be provided through software. Sadly, you can’t change the backlighting on every single key, as the keyboard offers 5 zone illumination rather than per-key backlighting. Honestly, that’s not a major deal for a lot of people. In my opinion, most people will be pleased with the backlighting here.
How Do The Switches Feel?
If we’re going to get technical, I wouldn’t exactly say a membrane keyboard has “switches”. Instead, a membrane keyboard uses a rubber dome membrane, which should feel quite familiar to most people. It’s quiet, doesn’t have a tactile bump, and can be defined as “mushy” overall.
This membrane keyboard definitely feels a bit spongey overall. But that’s coming from someone who is used to mechanical switches. If you’re coming from an absolutely basic keyboard, this should still feel comfortable. However, if you are typing or gaming on this keyboard for an extended period, you are going to start and feel fatigue in your fingers, which is common with all the membrane keyboards.
The keycaps are smooth and each individual key is easy to distinguish. They actually feel very similar to the keycaps used on other HyperX keyboards, like the Alloy FPS. A major problem you might notice on cheaper keyboards is that fingers can easily slide off from one key to another. This is not an issue on this keyboard, so it does stand out from the budget crowd.
You might be wondering how it feels for long sessions of typing. Well, it’s going to feel very familiar to a lot of people. I prefer mechanical switches at this point, so it took a while getting used to the membrane feel. But once I got the feel of it, it didn’t feel uncomfortable in any way. I definitely wasn’t expecting this. Sure, I still prefer mechanical switches, but most people won’t have a problem here.
Now if you’re purely looking at the best typing experience you can possibly have, this is definitely not it. Then again, you won’t be doing this keyboard justice asking that sort of performance at this price. It uses the usual layout, and nothing is out of the ordinary here. As I mentioned before, I didn’t notice my fingers slipping from one key to another. As I kept up with my usual fast typing speed, the keyboard remained responsive to my touch.
Overall, this keyboard is decent enough for typing. It’s not exactly the most mind-blowing experience but it gets the job done. For the price, I really couldn’t ask for more.
The gaming experience is about as good as you can expect from a membrane keyboard. Again, it’s going to feel very familiar to a lot of people who are used to membrane keyboards. Gaming on this keyboard is not exactly something mind-blowing, but it feels decent enough that most people really won’t have a problem in-game.
If you’re the type of person who plays casual games, that don’t require fast and accurate movements, this keyboard should be fine for you. However, if you play competitive games where every single second count and every button press has to be accurate, this is definitely not that keyboard. For the price, it’s not even aiming to be that sort of keyboard.
If you absolutely need that sort of performance, you’re going to be forking over a decent amount of cash. That could be double or even triple the cost of this keyboard. So considering how this keyboard performs well for the price, I don’t think a lot of people will have many complaints.
Overall, the HyperX Alloy Core RGB is definitely a solid entry-level keyboard. For $50, it definitely brings a lot to the table. A unique design aesthetic, RGB lighting, dedicated media buttons and even spill resistance. These are definitely enticing features for a keyboard at this price range.
I’m fully aware that a lot of people do not like membrane keyboards, but there are some out there who don’t like mechanical keyboards as well. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like the loud sound mechanical switches produce, this is a great budget option. Or maybe you’re just getting into PC gaming, and don’t have a lot to spend on peripherals. In that scenario, this is a great keyboard to get you started.
However, keep in mind that there are a few mechanical keyboards out there at this price range as well. They’re not really the best quality, and definitely won’t last you a long while, but they will scratch your itch for a mechanical feel. It all really comes down to preference. For people who want a great entry-level membrane keyboard, this one deserves a strong recommendation.
Best Membrane Gaming Keyboard Weight: 1130g | Backlighting: RGB | Key Switches: Rubber Dome Membrane | Spill Resistant: Yes | Media Controls: Dedicated buttons | Keyboard Rollover: N-Key Rollover VERDICT:The HyperX Alloy Core RGB definitely isn't a keyboard for everyone. If you prefer mechanical switches, its hard getting used to a membrane keyboard. However, for newcomers to gaming, this keyboard is an incredibly great value with tons of premium features
HyperX Alloy Core RGB
Best Membrane Gaming Keyboard
Weight: 1130g | Backlighting: RGB | Key Switches: Rubber Dome Membrane | Spill Resistant: Yes | Media Controls: Dedicated buttons | Keyboard Rollover: N-Key Rollover
VERDICT:The HyperX Alloy Core RGB definitely isn't a keyboard for everyone. If you prefer mechanical switches, its hard getting used to a membrane keyboard. However, for newcomers to gaming, this keyboard is an incredibly great value with tons of premium features