Welcome to T3’s HyperX Alloy Elite 2 review. HyperX is no stranger to gaming keyboards. Its original Elite mechanical gaming keyboard was an excellent all rounder with Cherry MX Red switches and a comfortable wrist rest. Now, the Alloy Elite 2 has arrived with some big changes; ditching the wrist rest and opting for HyperX’s proprietary switches.
It also uses what HyperX calls 'Pudding Keycaps' for an unrivalled RGB experience. Yes, in your quest for the best gaming keyboard you’re going to have to take it seriously every time we write the words Pudding Keycaps. Tasty, eh? Name aside, Pudding Keycaps bring a startling look to the Alloy Elite 2 with their solid black top and a translucent bottom half to let the full RGB experience shine through.
But, in a competitive world as every manufacturer arrives with their own proprietary switches and tenkeyless affairs continue to land with small footprints and deft switches, how does the full-size Alloy Elite 2 stack up against the competition?
HyperX Alloy Elite 2 review: Price
First off, the price. The Alloy Elite 2 retails for $109.99 in the US and £139.99 in the UK. This means it’s on par pricewise with something like the full-size wired competitor Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition with optical switches. It’s also slightly less than Logitech G’s G513 Carbon, but the G513 does come with a wrist rest.
This was clearly one of the Alloy Elite 2’s sacrifices to reach this price point and we’ll outline below whether the keyboard suffers for it. Overall, though, this isn’t an outlandish price for everything the Alloy Elite 2 offers for both work and play. Those hungry for dedicated number keys will be happy, and the backlit media keys are a satisfying addition.
HyperX Alloy Elite 2 review: Design & setup
The Alloy Elite 2 is a solid piece of kit. Literally. A solid steel frame means that this full-size keyboard weighs in just over a whopping 1.5kg so even the most panicked of Valheim sessions isn’t going to move it a millimetre. In terms of looks, there’s a distinct old-school word processor feel to the wide two tone keys but a handy top bar with slick rounded media buttons brings a stylish balance to proceedings.
There’s even a subtle line of LEDs at the bottom of the bar to light your way. An RGB brightness switch lives on the top left of the keyboard alongside a profile button and an option to turn on Game Mode, so it feels like everything is to hand.
Set up is a matter of plugging in the chunky braided cable and getting going. There’s a handy USB 2.0 passthrough cable here too so if you’ve got a spare USB free on your PC, a charging port is snugly hidden at the top of the keyboard. To get personalising, you’ll need to download HyperX’s Ngenuity software from the Microsoft Store. This didn’t automatically happen for us so it was just a case of heading to the HyperX site for the download link. One easy software update and we were ready to go with flames under our fingers.
HyperX Alloy Elite 2 review: Features & performance
It’s time to talk about Pudding Keycaps and why the RGB-osity of the Alloy Elite 2 is, quite frankly, off the scale. PC peripherals are largely black, and when you think about it, this means that RGBs can deliver contrast but perhaps not a full technicolour extravaganza. Not so for the Alloy Elite 2. The white lower halves of the switches mean that the colour beams through and means you can happily work or play in an ’80s neon dreamscape.
This in combination with the large font means that every key here glows like the fires of Mount Doom. The only slight disappointment is the limited pre-made options within the Ngenuity software, but it’s intuitive enough to make your own and easy to set up three onboard profiles to switch between.
But gaming keyboards don’t have to just look pretty, you have to type too and the Alloy Elite 2 is a solid clacker in that regard. Whether typing or gaming, HyperX’s Red switches are ultra responsive with a 1.8mm actuation point and only 45g of force needed for each press. There’s no exhaustion with repeated presses but where you might find tiredness is with finger positioning due to the wide nature of the keycaps.
Where plenty of TKL options such as the Roccat Vulcan Pro manage to dodge any finger gymnastics with the proximity of thinner keys, the wide keys here mean a very different hand position is required. This, in turn, can rapidly read to wrist exhaustion and a slightly awkward position for those with smaller hands. It’s going to be a personal judgement call but the lack of a wrist rest becomes all the more pronounced after an hour or two of poised gaming.
The keycaps themselves feel great to rest on with their slightly curved surface but there’s a distinct oiliness that can be seen on the keys if you have your RGBs set to anything less than full brightness.
HyperX Alloy Elite 2 review: Verdict
The wrist rest issue will be a personal decision, but the Alloy Elite 2 offers up everything else in spades. Both work and play feel great and this is a bold statement on your desk when it comes to an RGB light show. The media keys and pleasingly resistant volume wheel are icing on a satisfyingly well-designed experience meaning that the Alloy Elite 2 is a solid and reliable investment.