The HyperX Alloy Elite 2 is a higher-end mechanical keyboard that pours all of its efforts into performance, stand-out looks, and a host of functional features. But with tons of fantastic offerings in the high-end market, can HyperX bring something fresh to the table? Let’s find out if their upscale gaming keyboard is worth its steep price tag in this HyperX Alloy Elite 2 review.
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30 Second Review: HyperX Alloy Elite 2
Design & Build - 8.5/10
Features - 8.1/10
Ergonomics - 7.2/10
Typing Quality - 7.9/10
Total Value - 8/10
If you put a high premium on looks but want a great set of switches and tons of functionality to go along with it, then the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 is the gaming keyboard for you.
The Pudding Keycaps are just mesmerizing to look at and the HyperX Red switches ensure that you have a comfortable and precise experience for a very long time. As a nice little bonus, you can even use it with your consoles. Barring a few questionable decisions here and there, the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 is one of the finest higher-end gaming keyboards that money can buy.
✓ Pudding keycaps are gorgeous
✓ HyperX Red switches beat out the Cherry MX
✓ Compatible with both PC and consoles
✓ Rugged design
✓ Brighter RGB than its predecessor
✓ USB pass-through is always a nifty feature
✗ Ngenuity could do a better job of making key features more visible
✗ Should’ve gone with USB 3.0 pass-through
✗ Wrist rest will cost you extra
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What is the HyperX Alloy Elite 2?
HyperX’s Alloy line refers to its roster of mostly mechanical gaming keyboards and the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 is their top-of-the-line peripheral. It’s this year’s sequel to 2018’s Alloy Elite RGB and surpasses its predecessor at almost every turn thanks to superior switches, better RGB technology, and a more vibrant design. It’s arguably HyperX’s best-looking keyboard, though its look is undeniably more gamer-centric compared to the neutral-leaning designs of the other entries in the Alloy lineup.
All these cool features don’t come cheap, however. The base unit will set you back $129.99 which is what the stellar Das Keyboard X50Q goes for these days while opting for the optional wrist rest bumps up its price to just shy of $150 – the same price as the exceptional Razer Huntsman Elite. That’s some mighty tough competition right there but the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 manages to rise to the occasion.
Editor’s note: This bad boy made it onto the list of best gaming keyboards 2020!
The Alloy Elite 2 forgoes the original’s choice of Cherry MX mechanical switches for the brand’s proprietary HyperX Red ones that offer better response times and longer shelf life. You’re getting shorter actuation points at 1.8 mm compared to the Cherry’s 2.2 mm, and they’re rated for 80 million keystrokes as opposed to Cherry’s 50 million.
One of the most striking features of the Alloy Elite 2 is its Pudding Keycaps which are jet black towards its top half but translucent towards the bottom. This allows it to amplify the keyboard’s brilliant lumination to bring gamers a wonderfully unique RGB experience.
This wired keyboard utilizes a 1.8-metre long braided USB cable that cannot be detached unlike the Alloy Origins and Alloy FPS RGB. It does come with USB pass-through, though it’s oddly limited to USB 2.0 which is kind of disheartening.
While it originally didn’t come with one, nowadays you have to option of having the keyboard shipped with a low-profile cushioned wrist rest. If you don’t mind ponying up an extra 20 bucks, that is.
The HyperX Alloy Elite 2 has dedicated media keys located near both corners of its top half and allow users to manage their profiles, lighting, game mode, music playback, and volume via the media wheel.
It features the same 16.8 million colour RGB lighting that came with the original but turns it up a notch by adding an extra brightness level for an even shinier light show.
One of the keyboard’s bigger selling points is its full compatibility with the PS4 and Xbox One, making it a one-stop-shop for your PC and consoles.
Just like its older brother, the Alloy Elite 2 is compatible with HyperX’s Ngenuity software which has improved leaps and bounds beyond how it was a couple of years back. It’s a lot more technically sound nowadays and quite a bit more user friendly. It allows for some cool customization options like per-key lighting and Game Mode optimization, but a few of its more important features can be hard to find and require lots of digging.
|Dimension||444.0 x 174.0 x 37.4 mm|
|Switch lifespan||80 million keystrokes|
|Actuation point||1.8 mm|
|Dedicated media controls||Yes|
|Cable||1.8 metre-long braided cable|
|USB pass-through||USB 2.0|
|Number of keys||111|
|Accessories||Optional wrist rest|
The Alloy Elite 2’s base design looks like a lot like the original’s, sharing the same sleek jet-black colourway, snazzy lightbar, and media key positions but with more angular top corners. Its biggest departure from the previous generation comes in the form of its Pudding Keycaps which give it a delightfully striking level of contrast and plays nicely into its stellar RGB design.
It’s remarkable how much difference something like keycaps can make on the peripheral’s overall aesthetic. The two-toned look adds just the right amount of playfulness to cut the keyboard’s edginess and allows the colourful backlights to bleed into one another in a brighter, more satisfying glow. if you’re leaning towards something more radiant, the Alloy Elite 2 is one of the most dazzling keyboards around and is even easier on the eyes than the brilliant Das Keyboard X50Q.
What’s it like to use?
HyperX’s Alloy Elite 2 is a hefty piece of work that sits firmly on your desk and remains steady through intense rounds of gaming and typing. This works well with the keyboard’s sturdy frame that feels like it could take all the punches you can throw at it and keep on ticking.
While the performance increase that comes with the HyperX Red switches is hardly noticeable by the average gamer, they’re still extremely comfortable to use and have that satisfying tactile feedback and resounding click that we all look for in a quality mechanical keyboard.
Configuring the keyboard is fairly easy on account of HyperX’s Ngenuity software which, by the way, has improved immensely over the past couple of years. There’s so much to do here like creating macros, lighting profiles, key remapping, shortcut binding, and a whole lot more. Unfortunately, a lot of the good stuff isn’t made as accessible as we’d like and require quite a bit of exploring to cover – something HyperX can work on in their software’s newer iterations.
HyperX Alloy Elite 2 – One Minute Review
In our opinion, the bar set by the Huntsman Razer Elite and Das Keyboard X50Q is pretty high, but the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 manages to overcome that hurdle in spectacular fashion. The HyperX Red may not have the variety that the Cherry has, but it beats it convincingly when it comes to longevity and performance while maintaining its beloved feel and sense of comfort.
- HyperX Pudding Keycaps: Pre-installed translucent ABS pudding keycaps provide more brilliance compared to solid-color keycaps.
- HyperX Mechanical switches: These reliable key switches are a balance of responsiveness and accuracy, with a short travel time and actuation distance. They feature an exposed LED for brighter, more luminous RGB lighting.
- Signature light bar & dynamic RGB lighting effects: The signature HyperX light bar and vibrant lighting effects form a truly dazzling display.
- Dedicated media keys and large volume wheel: Have control at your fingertips with a prominent volume wheel and dedicated keys for media, profiles, and Game Mode.
Originally nixing the wrist rest that came with its predecessor then making you pay an extra $20 bucks to include one is kind of a bummer and Ngenuity really should put more effort in pointing out more useful features, but boy does the keyboard’s jaw-dropping Pudding Keycaps outshine its little flaws.
While its performance can go toe-to-toe with Razer and Das Keyboard’s finest, the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 manages to come out as the prettiest of the bunch.
Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API