HyperX Alloy HX-KB1BR1-NA/A3 FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown was on my wishlist for a long time and I got it for a big discount Rs. 4500) on Amazon. A month back I had ordered Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L with White LED & Cherry MX Brown Switches but the original keyboard had problems with LED since 1st week and the replacement keyboard I got from Amazon also had a similar issue with multiple keys LED not turning off at all. I got my refund and since then I had HyperX Alloy HX-KB1BR1-NA/A3 FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown on my wishlist.
Unboxing and Contents
HyperX Alloy HX-KB1BR1-NA/A3 FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown keys has very good packaging and has a nice foam cushion. The keyboard comes along with a USB cable with 2 USB type A male ports attached to a single cable. One for the keyboard and another for the charging feature on the keyboard. Also, the keyboard comes with a key puller which is smaller than the one with Cooler Master and also red-colored extra keys W, A, S, D, 1, 2, 3, and 4. It also had a nice foam carrying cover with pockets so the keyboard and the cable along with the extra keys can be carried around with ease. Cooler Master lacks both cover and extra keys.
HyperX Alloy has a different design than Cooler Master MasterKey Pro L. HyperX model has an open design in which you can see the sides of all the keys as there is no sidewall on the keyboard edges. Cooler Master had a boxy construction. Looks-wise both keyboards are good looking and design liking is very subjective. I would have preferred closed design of the Cooler Master over this. The open design also makes HyperX keyboard a bit lighter in weight than the Cooler Master which is helpful for gamers/ writers who like to carry around the keyboard.
One advantage of this keyboard is that the front plate is black in color, so the LED from the keys does not reflect much off the plater and gives a subtle look. Cooler Master had a white front plate which was highly reflective of the LED light which could be distracting in the night.
HyperX comes with many lighting modes and option to reduce or increase the brightness of the LEDs. this keyboard has red LEDs and the Cooler Master MasterKey Pro L had white LED option. I would personally prefer white LED versions as they look much natural to me than red which is funky.
Lighting modes are less than the Cooler Master and also the minimum brightness seems to be less as well. LED lighting modes available are solid, breathing, trigger, explosion, wave, and custom.
The keys have letters and symbols printed side by side instead of top and down in most of the keyboard I have seen. GOod thing is that even the secondary keys are lighted with the LED but it is difficult to see and differentiate when you are looking for secondary symbols. For example, I took a couple of seconds to find out where the ” &” key was as it is printed right on the side of the number 7 key.
One additional advantage which this keyboard has it the USB port on the keyboard which can be used to charge other devices via USB cable. I do not use this feature but It could be useful for some people. To use this feature the USB cable has to be put in 2 USB ports, so it would occupy 2 ports even though you are not charging any device. I have kept only 1 part of the cable in the USB port as I don’t use the charging feature. Also, the USB port on the keyboard for connecting to the PC is a mini USB one. Cooler Master had a Micro USB one. Advantage of this mini USB port is that I do not have to struggle much every time I have to plug the keyboard into my PC but the disadvantage is that I have plenty of micro USB cables lying around which I cannot use with this keyboard. One more advantage with HyperX being that the ports are on top side of the keyboard which was on the back of the Cooler Master MasterKey. So I do not have to turn around the keyboard every time I want to plug it in.
There is also a game mode features which disables Windows Key thus causing less accidental pressing of that key.
As both the keyboard I have used are with Cherry MX brown keys, the typing experience is very similar. Typical typing experience with Cherry MX Brown keys being tactile and not as noisy as Cherry MX Blue keys.
HyperX Alloy HX-KB1BR1-NA/A3 FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown is an excellent option for someone looking for genuine Cherry MX Brown keyboard from a good brand along with detachable USB cable. The typical price of Rs. 7500 is too much according to me but if you could get it for around 5-6k than it would be value for money.