The Alienware Pro is a mighty mechanical keyboard — yet its let down by real flaws

A brilliant board that isn’t quite worth the money

Alienware Pro Keyboard with RGB lighting turned on.
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

This is a fine and flashy keyboard that feels awesome to type and play certain games with. But the sky-high price Dell is asking you to stump up for the Alienware Pro makes it a slightly tough sell to recommend at the moment.


  • +

    Stellar battery life

  • +

    Strong connectivity options

  • +

    RGB lightning looks fantastic

  • +

    Great for first-person shooters


  • -

    Way too expensive

  • -

    Key placement feels a little cramped

  • -

    Gets dirty annoyingly quickly

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Let me cut to the chase. I’m a membrane guy. When it comes to keyboards, I simply prefer the shorter switch travel, which allows me to write articles without the incessant clickety clack racket that comes from using one of the best mechanical keyboards. Over the last week or so, though, the Alienware Pro Wireless Gaming Keyboard has made me do somewhat of a 180.

This is a premium board sold at a premium price. The Alienware Pro is currently $199, which feels like one heck of an investment for a PC peripheral. Yet this keyboard is so good in several departments, hardcore gamers who have the money to spare should give serious thought to picking it up. To offset that eye-watering price tag, the Pro boasts hot-swappable mechanical linear switches — easily replaceable thanks to the handy keycap puller that comes boxed with this attractive Alienware keyboard.

Did I just say “attractive?” What I actually meant was “downright eye-arousing.” This is one seriously sweet-looking board. In Lunar White, it looks instantly alluring as soon as you get it out of the box, and it only gets more drop dead gorgeous once you connect it to your rig and its first-class RGB starts to light up your world.

The highly customizable Alienware Command Centre app also helps. Though to counter that, the 75% form factor is a divisive talking point. I can see both the virtues and downsides of this slimmed down profile. 

While I appreciate the Alienware Pro hogging less room on my desk, the keys feeling just a smidge too close together to type quickly on. It also stains alarmingly easily (which I’ll get to), though the fact it's been certified by over 100 pro gamers shouldn’t be overlooked. Even as a dedicated gamepad player, the Pro is so satisfying to use in first-person shooters, it’s made me do a bit of a double take about my virtual habits. 

If you need a top notch mechanical keyboard that will service both your work and play needs, the Alienware Pro deserves serious consideration. But there are downsides, which I can’t ignore. 

Alienware Pro Keyboard: Cheat Sheet

  •  What is it? A high-end mechanical keyboard that sells at a wallet-destroying price.  
  •  Who is it for? Serious gamers with a large amount of disposable income who have aspirations in being eSports champs.
  •  What does it cost? $199  
  •  Is it worth the money? Unless you’re an elite gamer, this probably isn’t the board for you.  
  •  Do you need a $199 keyboard? Is competitive gaming your livelihood? If so, you should buy the Alienware Pro without hesitation. But if you’re a casual gamer, its price is hard to justify. 

Alienware Pro Keyboard: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
KeysPS5, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S
BacklightingRGB per key
SoftwareAlienware Commander Pro
Battery life72 hours with RGB enabled
ConnectionsWireless dongle, Bluetooth, 2.4GHz
Weight1.8 pounds
dimensions12.2 inches x 5 inches x 1.5 inches
ColorsDark Side of the Moon, Lunar Light

Alienware Pro Keyboard: The ups

There’s no denying the Alienware Pro is a classy keyboard that is both satisfying to type and game on, while also sporting impressive lighting effects. If money is no object, you should seriously consider picking up this board.  

Battery life is best in class 

Alienware Pro Keyboard in Lunar White with all keys fully lit.

(Image credit: Future)

If you’re anything like me, nothing grinds your gears like having to charge PC peripherals via a USB connection. Thankfully, this isn’t an issue you’ll face if you pick up the Alienware Pro, because when it comes to battery life, we’re talking about peak era Lionel Messi. When it comes to juice in the tank, this Alienware is the GOAT.

Over a 2.4GHz connection with RGB enabled, it can last for an impressive 72 hours. Turn off the lights and the numbers only get more jaw-dropping. With RGB disabled, the Pro can last for an eye-rubbing 798 hours over a 2.4GHz connection. 

Planning on using Bluetooth? The stats only get more impressive, with a frankly absurd charge life of 1,800 hours as long as the board’s eye-alluring lights are turned off.

Connectivity king 

Alienware Pro Keyboard rear ports and Bluetooth indicators.

(Image credit: Future)

As someone who owns a husky that needs walking roughly half a marathon distance a day, I appreciate a keyboard that is easy to connect to my PC. In that regard, the Alienware Pro gets the mightiest of ticks. This wireless board supports Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connections, with the added benefit of swapping instantaneously between three different devices.

When it comes to immediately accessible, hassle-free functionally, I can’t think of a better board than the Alienware Pro. In an era of two factor authentication when you need a six digit code to order a burrito, the Pro is simply a joy to set up as soon as you unbox it. 

Light up my life

Alienware Pro Keyboard close up shots of its backlit RGB keys.

(Image credit: Future)

Forget aurora borealis: this is the overlord of lights. Thanks to a dedicated macro key on the top right of the board, you can switch between multiple color profiles in a flash; all of which are gorgeous. 

I’ll admit that I’m that horrible gamer cliche who enjoys flashing lights emanating from every part of their rig. So the Pro’s classy and customizable RGB was obviously going to win me over instantly. That macro key makes a real difference, though, and switching between different color options with a simple click is a real selling point.  

A gaming great

Playing Doom Eternal with Alienware Pro Keyboard.

(Image credit: Future)

Full disclosure: I’m a controller guy. Even when it comes to enjoying the best Steam games, I’ll always choose a gamepad over a controller and mouse. So one of the highest compliments I can pay the Alienware Pro is that it’s made me reconsider my long held gaming ideals.

Though it’s not ideally suited for every genre — playing open-world wonder Elden Ring was a bit of a disaster — the Pro is ideal for first-person shooters and strategy titles. During my time with this high-end board, I’ve had an absolute blast playing Doom Eternal. The sharply consistent keys of the Alienware Pro make gunning down Hell’s worst beasties an accurate joy. I can see why so many elite level gamers have given this keyboard their seal of approval.  

Alienware Pro Keyboard: The downs

For all of its good points, the Alienware Pro is overpriced, and it’s hard not to come away with the opinion Dell is trying to rinse every last cent out of you. There are significant negatives to this board that would be a whole lot easier to get past if it didn’t cost $199.  

The price isn't right

Alienware Pro keyboard in front of a screen of the official Dell product page.

(Image credit: Future)

For all of the Alienware Pro’s good points, it’s impossible to look past the not so adorable Dumbo in the corner. This is one seriously expensive keyboard. Forking out $199 for a PC peripheral is no joke for your average PC user, but when it comes to hardcore gamers that price tag is probably easier to stomach.

If this board was even $50 less, it would be easier to recommend. But forking out almost 200 big ones for a very good accessory with a few flaws is something I struggle to get behind. 

For more casual gamers looking to upgrade their current keyboard, I’d recommend holding fire on the Alienware Pro, because it will almost inevitably go on sale within the next 12 months. If (more like when) it drops to below $150, I’ll find it much easier to give this board my full backing. 

In the meantime, if your budget can't quite stretch to $200, let me point you towards our picks of the best wireless keyboards and best gaming keyboards. If money is tight, you might want to think about buying the Logitech G413 SE. While Logi's board is a little barebones, it's still one of the best budget keyboards out there. 

Cramping your style

Alienware Pro Keyboard in front of an LG C2 OLED TV.

(Image credit: Future)

One of the key selling points Dell is pushing for in why you should buy the Alienware Pro is its sliced down form factor. Don’t get me wrong, my normal Logitech MX Key Mini keyboard is a smidge smaller than the Pro, but crucially, the key placement doesn’t feel as cramped.

While typing on this board generally feels great, I wish the keys were just a little more spaced out. I’ve found myself making a typo or ten on the Alienware Pro purely because the 75% size of this peripheral feels that little bit too cramped. I’m a reasonably decent typist and using 10FastFingers to put my efficiency with the Pro against my Logi keyboard, the MX Key Mini falls slightly short of the Alienware. My best result with the Mini was 55 words per minute at an accuracy of 95.19%, while I also bagged 55 words per minute on the Pro but at an increased accuracy of 97.85%. I was clearly in the zone there, because my accuracy while typing up this review definitely hasn’t been that high.  

Dirty unpretty things

Close up shot of staining on the Alienware Pro Keyboard Lunar White version.

(Image credit: Future)

One truly bizarre aspect of the Alienware Pro is just how damn dirty it gets. After a few days of usage, its keys were noticeably mired by black stains. As a bit of a clean freak, this bothers me to perhaps an unreasonable degree. My MX Keys Mini is just as bone white as the Pro, yet after a year of use, it doesn’t display a single stain.

Compare and contrast to the Alienware Pro after a short amount of time, and you’d think I was typing up this review after a 12 hour shift in a coal mine. For most people, the slight darkening of keys may not be an issue, but to my obsessive eyes, a $199 keyboard that gets noticeably dirty after a mere week of use is a big problem. Thankfully, the Alienware Pro comes in black, so that’s the version I’d buy if you’re still interested in this board. 

Alienware Pro Keyboard: Verdict

Alienware Pro Keyboard with RGB lighting on.

(Image credit: Future)

The Alienware Pro should feel as satisfying as when Chief Brody blows Bruce up in Jaws. Lovely to type on and with amazing RGB lighting, it should be a no-brainer purchase.

Sadly, it’s not quite that due to its steep price tag and overly cramped key layout. Would I recommend the Pro at a less bank balance-obliatering price? Absolutely. And if you happen to be a serious player who has the cash and wants to go down the early adoption route, pick this board up my all means. 

For more general gamers, though, I suggest you wait until the Alienware Pro gets a big price drop (whether that's on Black Friday or before), when this excellent keyboard will hopefully receive a hefty discount.

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.