Alienware products have been around since 1996 when the company was founded by two friends who were (and probably still are) big fans of the X-Files.
Their gaming PCs and laptops are some of the best in the world…even if they are eye-wateringly expensive.
But how do their gaming keyboards compare to everything else on the market?
Let’s take a look.
When did Dell acquire Alienware?
Dell acquired Alienware on March 22, 2006 for an unspecified amount of money.
But the acquisition appears to have paid off because Dell now claims that gaming is a $3 billion per year market for the company.
Why did Dell acquire Alienware?
Dell acquired Alienware because it provided them with a gateway into the rapidly expanding PC gaming market.
Their XPS range was fine but they just didn’t have the coolness factor (or specs) that came with Alienware rigs.
Basically, Dell PCs had a reputation for being reliable…but boring. Alienware PCs were – at the time – at the cutting edge of everything from CPU and GPU cooling to systems built specifically for overclockers.
Are Alienware keyboards good?
Yes, Alienware keyboards are good.
When it comes to gaming keyboards, there are a lot of factors to consider, such as build quality, key switches, and design.
And, to be honest, Alienware seems to have nailed their keyboard designs almost across the board i.e. their keyboards get a lot more praise than criticism.
In fact, it’s hard to find one that doesn’t have a stack of 5-star reviews attached to it.
The only real criticism is their high price point and lack of customization options when compared to other mechanical gaming keyboards in the $100 – $200 range.
Alienware keyboard options
As of right now, you can choose from 3 different Alienware keyboards.
The AW510K is a low profile keyboard available in either ‘Lunar Light’ or ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ colour schemes using Cherry MX red switches and RGB backlighting.
Then you have the AW410K, a more standard mechanical keyboard that uses Cherry MX brown switches, and also costs substantially less than the low-profile models.
And then finally you have the AW420K, which is their tenkeyless gaming keyboard. This uses Cherry MX red switches and is their flagship gaming keyboard in terms of price.
Alienware keyboards have a futuristic and other-worldly look with an emphasis on RGB lighting. The keys are well-spaced and have a good amount of key travel, providing a satisfying typing experience.
These keyboards aren’t built for ergonomic comfort at all. They’re gaming keyboards so there’s no built-in wrist rest or anything of the sort.
So if you want to keep your wrists comfortable you should consider getting a separate wrist rest like the ones from Razer – this is one I’ve used myself in the past.
Most Alienware keyboards also include either dedicated macro keys, a set of customizable macro shortcut keys, or just basic shortcut keys for whatever function you want to assign to it.
But there aren’t a lot of these keys on any of the models we looked at, unlike dedicated professional gaming keyboards.
The Alienware Command Center software helps users create and customize macros for their individual gaming requirements.
Although the software itself is kinda fiddly and takes a little bit of getting used to.
Alienware keyboards come with customizable RGB lighting that allows users to personalize their keyboards to their liking. Users can choose from a wide range of colors and lighting effects, including static, wave, and breathing effects.
So there’s nothing groundbreaking here in terms of tech but more than enough options to keep you entertained and your PC colour schemed all synced up nicely.
Alienware keyboards are made with high-quality materials and feel sturdy and durable, even though none of them are made from aluminum or other metals – just good old plastic.
These keyboards also use either Cherry MX red or brown switches, you know you’re getting quality there and a keyboard that will last for 1 million key presses, at the very least.
There have been a few reported cases of key caps coming loose from Alienware keyboards but a lot of these reports appear to come from users who don’t understand that the key caps on a mechanical keyboard are designed to be removed.
How much do Alienware keyboards cost?
Alienware keyboards tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum. The Alienware AW420K (the tenkeyless model) retails for around $200.99.
These prices may be a bit steep for some, especially when compared to other gaming keyboards on the market. But you’re also paying for the prestige of the brand name as much as you’re paying for anything else.
For those on a budget, Alienware does offer more affordable options. The Alienware AW410K, for example, retails for around $100 and still offers features such as per-key RGB lighting and those sleek Alienware looks.
Warranty and Customer Support
Alienware keyboards come with a standard 2-year limited warranty, which is in line with the industry standard for gaming peripherals.
This warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship but does not cover wear and tear or accidental damage.
Dell, as the parent company of Alienware, handles customer support for Alienware products. Their customer support has a solid reputation for providing helpful assistance, troubleshooting, and warranty claim services.
Are Alienware keyboards hot-swappable?
Yes, Alienware keyboards are hot-swappable because they’re USB devices so aren’t dependent on individual drivers.
In fact, I can’t think of a USB device that isn’t hot-swappable unless you’re using a much older version of Windows (95 or 98) and an antiquated USB device.
But neither of the above applies to Alienware keyboards or modern USB connectivity standards.