There’s a lot to talk about the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 mechanical gaming keyboard but first, I need to get one thing out of the way and that’s the pudding keycaps. HyperX is shouting off the rooftops about these new ABS keycaps like it was the biggest thing since sliced bread.
But, all I can think of everytime I read pudding is Harley Quinns annoying tone as she calls out to the love of her life, the Joker – Batman’s most iconic villain.
You see, ‘Puddin’ is her term of endearment towards the iconic villain and while it’s totally bonkers that anyone could love the Joker with his twisted reality, it’s not bonkers to love the new Elite 2.
Let’s get into it.
HyperX Alloy Elite 2 Review
The Elite 2 is a full-size mechanical keyboard built on a solid steel frame that weighs a hefty 1.5 kilos. It feels extremely solid and durable and because of the weight, it won’t slide around on your desk. However, at a foot and half wide and 17.4cm deep, the keyboard feels like it takes a fair bit of space on my cramped desk.
In addition to the standard 107 keys, the Elite 2 adds a top row for some extra function and media keys. On the right side is your media buttons and volume dial, styled to look like they’re metallic but it’s all plastic.
Bit of a cheap move.
And while I love the size of the volume dial, I don’t like that it has no resistance or clickiness to its infinite spin. This makes it feel cheap but also so easy to overshoot in your volume changes.
On the top left are three special keys for adjusting the RGB brightness, lighting profile and toggling Game mode which triggers some actions depending on how you’ve configured it. Delineating these custom buttons from the rest of the keyboard is the totally unnecessary but still kinda cool Light Bar. I say unnecessary because given the height of the function keys, you can’t even see the light bar unless you are looking straight down at the keyboard.
The Elite 2 connects to your computer(and it will work with Xbox and PS4 too but with limited functionality) via a USB-A connection. It has a rather thicc braided cable which terminates in two USB-A heads, one to power the keyboard and the other for the USB passthrough. It’s nice to be able to have an extra USB port that doesn’t need any awkward contortions to access.
Overall the Elite 2 is a well built and good looking keyboard and you will look like a bawss with this on your desk. One really glaring omission is the missing wrist wrest. Literally every other keyboard in this price range(and even cheaper keyboards) ships with one and I can’t understand why HyperX doesn’t include one.
Hi ya Puddin
The ABS keycaps borrow from the look of a pudding pastry which has a light lower body and smaller darker topping. Unlike traditional keycaps that only allow light through the key legend and the gap underneath, the pudding caps allow more light through the translucent bits. As you can imagine, this makes for a significantly brighter keyboard.
The only problem with this design is that the white plastic somewhat tints the colour of the lights. I think it would have been much better if they were clear plastic or actually cut off like on the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO keyboard. That would allow an unfettered view of the backlights and look a lot cooler. As it is, the pudding caps look more dorky than cool.
As you might expect, there’s extensive control over the lighting thanks to the HyperX NGENUITY software. You can choose from several preset lighting profiles or create your own. I found the process of creating my own to be so much easier and intuitive than Razer’s overly complex Chroma Studio. The NGENUITY software also gives you several options to remap keys and create macros for easier workflow and gameplay. These are all saved to the onboard memory and accessible via the top profiles and Game mode buttons.
Aside from the looks, the keys are extremely fast actuating and accurate. The Elite 2 uses HyperX Red mechanical switches which are extremely smooth with no resistance or bump through their 3.8mm travel. This is great for gaming as you can expect an instant response to your button presses which is necessary for high stakes competitive gaming. The keys are also 100% anti-ghosting with N-key rollover.
Typing is equally fast as a result but some might prefer Brown or Tactile switches for better feedback when typing. This is because the HyperX Red switches actuate at 1.8mm, halfway their full travel but since there is no bump or click, I push them all the way through. It feels odd to see characters appear on the screen before I’ve finished bottoming out the keys.
The HyperX Alloy Elite 2 is one hell of a package. It costs about $290 which is a bit more than my favourite keyboard, the Roccat Vulcan 120. The Elite 2 can’t compete with the sheer good looks of the Roccat but the typing experience is better and it has USB passthrough. However, the Roccat also comes with a wrist wrest in the box. The Elite 2 is certainly one of the best full-size mechanical keyboards I’ve used.
The keys are wicked fast and the lighting is fantastic if that’s what you look for in a keyboard. The software is easy to use and console players can use it too. My only gripe is the lack of option to choose different key switches but hopefully, HyperX will consider that in the future. And I hope they also change those pudding caps to translucent or better still, cut them off completely.
HyperX Australia provided the Alloy Elite 2 to PowerUp! for the purpose of this review.