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HyperX’s tenkeyless Alloy FPS Pro appeals to the mechanical-keyboard minimalist

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I recently wrote that you should turn down the dang DPI setting on your gaming mouse because you want the granular aiming that comes from having to move your mouse with your arm. The thing about that, however, is it means you probably want a huge mouse pad that you may have a difficult time fitting on your desk. But that’s where HyperX’s Alloy FPS Pro mechanical gaming keyboard comes in to help you annex some of your work area in the name of higher accuracy.

Above: The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is the Elite’s slimmer athlete cousin.

Image Credit: HyperX

The Alloy FPS Pro is the latest revision of HyperX’s Alloy mechanical keyboard lineup that includes the Elite and the standard Alloy FPS. It is available now with your choice of Cherry MX switches for $80, and it is going tenkeyless — meaning it doesn’t have the number pad — for an even more compact design. It’s a solid keyboard that works well and leaves you plenty of room for even the largest mouse pads.

What you’ll like

Tiny footprint

The Alloy FPS Pro doesn’t have a lot of fat. While it is tenkeyless, the rest of the layout is standard size. But its base board doesn’t spill out to the side, so you almost get the sense that the keys are floating by themselves in isolation.

This enables you to do things like turn the keyboad at a sharp angle without having to worry about the keyboard digging into your chest. That’s important for shooter players who like to turn the keyboards to ensure their thumbs rest over the space bar and C button) without having to put stress on the hand muscles.

But the biggest draw is that this keyboard will save you space without making a ton of sacrifices to functionality. It still works just fine for typing — although, I would of course prefer a numpad when I’m doing a lot of work with numbers or a calculator. But when it comes time to game, I know it’s going to give me the performance I need without getting in my way.

Sturdy build quality

I still love HyperX’s attention to detail. Yes, the Cherry MX switches this keyboard uses are famous for their longevity, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot if the rest of the components start to wear down. But this keyboard feels like HyperX engineered it with the same care as the company’s beloved Cloud headphones.

The chassis of the Alloy FPS Pro is plastic, but it isn’t hollow or brittle. It’s made of a firm and strong polymer that doesn’t seem like it could snap if you pick the board up from one side. Along the back, you’ll find the braided USB cable that connects to your computer, but here’s something I wish all electronics had: the cable is totally replaceable. HyperX built a Mini USB port into the back, so you can buy a cheap replacement if you need to for some reason.

On the underside, you’ll find two dense rubber feet near the front. These aren’t small little nubs or strips that someone haphazardly glued to the keyboard. They feel embedded and like they will probably never rub off through normal use. Also on the bottom, but near the back, you have two plastic feet that flip out. These stands have a strong hinge mechanism that keeps them in place whether they are deployed or not. And again, they aren’t just hanging into weak notches, they are lodged in with a spring mechanism that ensures they fully pop out and retract with force.

What you won’t like

Height is off

The only issue I can spot is that I think the keyboard is a bit too tall. It doesn’t have a wrist rest because that would defeat the purpose, but I have to strain the tendons through my forearm and wrist to keep my fingers on the gaming home row of WASD. It hasn’t caused any damage or anything like that, but I think I would find it more comfortable if the keys were a little shorter.

Conclusion

HyperX is a peripheral manufacturer that you can have confidence in. Its products are always exquisitely engineered, and the Alloy FPS Pro is no different. Don’t get it if you are looking for a keyboard for productivity. Don’t get it if you want a bunch of extra buttons and media controls. This isn’t for you. But if you want to maximize the space on your desk for mouse control, and you still want something sturdy enough to survive traveling or heavy, long-term use? I definitely recommend the Alloy FPS Pro.

HyperX provided GamesBeat with a sample unit for the purposes of this review. The Alloy FPS Pro is available now for $80.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.



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