Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard hero
Image: Dell.

Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard review: play the keys

Shrinking down to the 75% form factor, the Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard sacrifices little to produce a high-quality gaming peripheral for competitive players.

Keyboards are such a personal device, that it’s impossible to deliver a definitive verdict. I could opine about the inherently subjective nature of reviews, but that’s not what you’re here for. I still enjoyed using the Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard, even though it didn’t exactly align with my preferences.

It’s well-built, highly customisable, and a pleasure to type on – in spite of a couple of awkward key placements. Paired with the Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse, it makes for a potent combo.

Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard review

First impressions

I’m fussy about keyboards, which I’ve repeated ad nauseam in many of my laptop reviews in particular. My main keyboard is a Ducky One TKL with Cherry MX Brown switches. It’s a stellar keyboard in every way: well-built, responsive, comfortable to type on, and just the right amount of style.

When I try a new keyboard, the Ducky is what I compare it to, whether it be for gaming, productivity, or otherwise.

Will I be replacing my trusty keyboard of several years with the Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard? Not quite. But it’s still a very nice keyboard for both gaming and general typing.

Alienware’s new keyboard adopts a 75% form factor to free up desk space. So, it doesn’t have a number pad, but it still has most other keys you need. Even though it’s relatively compact, the keyboard still carries a satisfying heft at just over 800 grams. This gives it a premium quality that looks and feels sturdy.

On the underside is a silicon strip that helps keep the keyboard in place, even when you bump your desk. There are also a couple of feet you can flip out to raise the board to a more ergonomic angle.

Despite my affinity for the tactility of Cherry MX Brown switches, I quite liked Alienware’s in-house linear switches. Linear switches are designed to smoothly press down with minimal resistance and activate the input with minimal delay, which makes perfect sense for a keyboard promoted as a “pro” gaming accessory.

Through and through, the Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming keyboard is still mechanical in nature, which I like. Even if there’s no “bump” accompanying each key press, the linear switches still generate a pleasing sense of feedback.

Noise can also make or break your fondness of keyboard and switch technology. In this case, this keyboard’s typing sounds are lovely. Not too hollow and not too obnoxiously loud: it gets a thumbs up from me.

Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard specifications

Dimensions31.24cm x 12.70cm x 4.06cm
819.73g
Connectivity2.4GHz wireless USB-C dongle
Wired USB-C to USB-A cable
Bluetooth 5.1
SwitchesAlienware Linear Mechanical Switches
BatteryUp to 1,800 hours on Bluetooth (no RGB lighting)
Up to 798 hours on 2.4GHz (no RGB lighting)
Price (RRP)$328.90
WarrantyTwo years
Official websiteDell Australia

Design

Aesthetically understated yet stylish, the Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard is another covert gaming peripheral. If you brought it to work, no one would be the wiser. Except they might realise if you enable the RGB lighting.

Out of the box, the keyboard defaults to a nice subtle shade of blue backlighting. Pressing a pre-programmed key on the top right cycles through different RGB settings. These range from a static colour to flashier animations like a swiping rainbow animation. Alternatively, you can just disable the lighting using the function keys and save on battery life.

Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard review
Image: Chris Button

You can also turn to the Alienware Command Centre software for even further customisation. Just be warned though, the software is only for Windows PCs. It’s where most people typically game, of course, but it meant I was unable to dive deeper when working on a Mac.

The keyboard supports wired connectivity via a USB-C to USB-A cable, and can connect to multiple devices wirelessly. Both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connections are welcome here. The 2.4GHz option uses a small USB-C dongle that stores neatly in a compartment next to the power switch along the top.

Next to this recess is a button that cycles through different wireless connections. A corresponding light indicates which device you’re using, letting you swap between three Bluetooth devices, letting you use the keyboard with more than just a PC.

I lamented the lack of Bluetooth on Alienware’s accompanying wireless mouse, although it makes much more sense for a keyboard to have the more versatile wireless technology. Responsiveness is still important but a mouse needs a different level of precision.

Performance

Even when not gaming, this is a great keyboard to type on. For the most part. By opting for the 75% form factor, Alienware rearranged some keys, and my clumsy fingers simply refused to adapt.

No number pad isn’t the problem here – I haven’t used one in years. My frustration lies with the position of the remaining keys. Overwhelmingly, this is a comfortable device to type on. But – and there is a “but” – the volume keys are my nemesis.

Squeezed up against the arrow keys on the right-hand side are three volume keys. All too often, I accidentally press one of them, inadvertently muting my computer’s audio or changing the volume. Skill issue? Perhaps. Annoying? You betcha.

Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard volume keys
The offending volume controls. Image: Chris Button.

Other sacrifices in the name of portability include a squished right shift key, and an awkwardly placed delete key above backspace. These instances I don’t mind as much as the volume keys, though. Logitech recently announced a 60% gaming keyboard with a volume wheel on the side, which sounds like a better solution in theory.

Maybe I’ll eventually adjust and stop mistakenly pressing the volume controls. Knowing my limited dexterity and coordination, I’m not holding my breath.

I’m typically a console gamer, so my keyboard and mouse skills are nothing to write home about. Even so, the responsiveness of the keys and switches is good across various genres. Competitive shooters and arena battlers strike me as the best use for this keyboard. MMO players could get away with some creative key binds, but the 75% size means this is better suited to quick action games than macro-filled conquests.

Who is the Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard for?

Competitive FPS and MOBA players wanting a reliable keyboard will find one here. The Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard is lovely to type on too, and connects to multiple types of devices.

Support for hot-swappable keycaps and switches means you can also tailor the keyboard further to your liking. Its linear switches still feel nice, even if you usually favour a more tactile switch.

One trade-off stemming from its 75% form factor is some slightly squished key placements. I accidentally pressed the volume controls regularly, but it only amounted to mild annoyance – certainly nothing worth rage-quitting over.

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Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard
Aimed at competitive players, the Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard feels great to use, while supporting plenty of customisation and connectivity options.
Features
8.5
Value for money
8
Performance
8.5
Ease of use
8
Design
8.5
Positives
High-quality design and sturdy build
Satisfying linear switches and support for hot-swapping
Supports multiple connectivity options
Negatives
Annoying volume key placement
8.3