There are many mechanical gaming keyboards out there. The reason for the different options usually boils down to two things: keyboard size and the switches used. Mechanical keyboard switches offer up different response and reliability speeds, depending on the type. Our HyperX Alloy Origins review takes a look at one mechanical gaming keyboard available with two different switch types: linear and tactile.
The HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard has the following features and specifications:
- HyperX mechanical switches
- Full aircraft-grade aluminum body
- Compact, portable design with detachable USB Type-C cable
- Dazzling RGB lighting with dynamic effects
- Advanced customization with HyperX NGENUITY software
- Three adjustable keyboard angles
- Onboard memory for three profiles
- Game Mode, 100% anti-ghosting, and N-key rollover functionalities
|Backlight||RGB (16,777,216 colors)|
|Light effects||Per key RGB lighting and 5 brightness levels|
|On board memory||3 profiles|
|Connection type||USB Type-C to USB Type-A|
|Key rollover||N-key mode|
|OS compatibility||Windows® 10, 8.1, 8, 7|
|Key Switch Type||HyperX Red, HyperX Aqua|
|Operation Style||Linear, Tactile|
|Key Travel Distance||1.8 mm|
|Total Travel||3.8 mm|
|Life Span (Keystrokes)||80 million|
|Cable Type||Detachable, Braided|
|Cable Length||1.8 m|
|Dimensions||442.5 x 132.5 x 36.39mm|
|Weight (Keyboard and cable)||1075 g|
What’s in the box
- HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard
- USB Type-C to USB-A cable
- Quick Start Guide
The HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard has an obvious weight to it when taking it out of the box. At just over 2 1/3 pounds (1075g), the keyboard sports a full aircraft-grade aluminum body. Even though it has a bit of heft to it, the actual keyboard frame is fairly thin. The keyboard itself is just under 17 1/2 inches (442.5mm) wide and just under 5 1/4 inches (132.5mm) in depth. including the keycaps, it sits just under 1 1/2 inches (36.39mm) in height.
With its full-size keyboard, the Alloy Origins has the typical six rows of keys with a full number pad off to the right. The top row of function keys has functionality for switching between three onboard profiles, media controls, and toggling the Game Mode. To the left of the top row and just above the number pad is the HyperX logo and a digital screen that displays when Game Mode, number lock, or caps lock are enabled and active.
The USB Type-C port is located on the back of the keyboard, between the last key on the top row and the HyperX logo. On the underside, in each back corner, are the rear keyboard feet. These feet can be adjusted to three different angles — asdf — depending on your preference.
As for functionality, when Game Mode is enabled, the Windows key, as well as other key combinations you select in the NGENUITY application, are disabled. The keyboard also supports five different brightness settings: off, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%. These are.
Overall, the HyperX Origins Alloy keyboard is a solidly built and slick looking mechanical gaming keyboard.
To get more out of your HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard, you’ll want to download the HyperX NGENUITY application for Windows 10. Once downloaded, you can use it to update the firmware on the keyboard, change the lighting, re-assign key functions, and set up profiles.
The application is pretty straightforward. The first screen is where you can set up your lights and add new effects. The second screen lets you assign macros, keyboard functions, mouse functions, windows shortcuts, and more to individual keys. The app also lets you fine tune the brightness of the LED lighting, set what key combinations are blocked in Game Mode (in addition to the Windows key), and manage your presets.
Overall, the NGENUITY application is simple to use and pretty straightforward.
HyperX is taking on CHERRY MX with its switches. The HyperX Red are linear switches, like CHERRY MX Red. These mechanical switches don’t have a bump and thus have smoother movement. They are also slightly quieter than tactile and more clicky switches, but not by much.
On the other hand, HyperX Aqua tactile switches are comparable to CHERRY MX Brown. The slight bump when pressed provides — you guessed it — tactile feedback that confirms the keypress has registered. They are louder than their linear counterparts but can be slightly more accurate.
On that note, while both the HyperX and comparable CHERRY MX switches have an operating force of 45g, the HyperX versions have an actuation point of 1.8mm instead of 2mm. As a result, they also have a shorter total travel distance of 3.8mm instead of 4mm like the CHERRY MX counterparts. CHERRY MX Switches are rated for over 50 million keystrokes and HyperX claims a life span of 80 million on the HyperX Red switches. To be honest, you’ll likely be hard-pressed to tell the difference between 0.2mm travel and actuation, but for serious gamers where speed matters, every millimeter counts.
In case you’re interested, here’s a short video from HyperX on how they make and test their switches.
Now for performance! With 100% anti-ghosting and N-key rollover functionalities both the Red and Aqua switches performed as one would expect. The Red linear switches offer up nice, smooth keypresses while the Aqua tactile switches deliver that nice subtle bump when depressed.
HyperX recently introduced two different types of Double Shot PBT Keycaps: black top with white “pudding” bottoms and white top with white “pudding” bottoms. The “pudding” refers to the translucent white on the bottom portion of the keycaps, allowing more RGB light through.
Features and specifications of the HyperX Double Shot PBT Keycaps include:
- Translucent design for lustrous RGB lighting
- Made of durable double shot PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) material
- Stylish HyperX keycap removal tool included
- Compatible with HyperX mechanical keyboards
- Layout: English US (104 Keys)
- Color: Black + Translucent White, White + Translucent White
The HyperX Alloy Origins keyboard comes with black keycaps. If you want a bit more lighting on your keyboard, the HyperX Double Shot PBT Keycaps offer up to alternatives. The first has a black top with a translucent white bottom while the other has a white top with a translucent white bottom. On the inside, you can see a plus-shaped hole which is what connects and holds the keycap onto the Red or Aqua switch. There’s not much else to say about the design of these as they are your typical full-size keycap.
The Double Shot PBT construction adds durability over the Alloy Origins included ABS keycaps. In addition, they are oil-resistant and when used I didn’t notice any lingering oily marks from my fingers as some keycaps are apt to show.
The keycaps also come with a keycap removal tool, making it easy to remove your existing keycaps. It’s quite durable as well and easy to use.
At US$24.99, the Double Shot PBT Keycaps are reasonably priced given you are getting a full 104 key set. The construction is quite durable so these should last for the life of your keyboard.
The HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard has an MSRP of US$109.99, regardless of switch chosen. Given the build quality and slim look, as well as performance, it’s pretty reasonably priced.
Offering up great performance, the HyperX switches also offer up lower travel and actuation over some of its competition. Whether you prefer linear or tactile mechanical switches, the HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard has an option for you.
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HyperX Alloy OriginsUS$109.99
- Solid build quality
- Great performance for gaming
- Three height levels
- Customizable RGB lighting
- Linear or tactile switch options
- Store three profiles on board
- Detachable cable
- Smaller footprint than other full sized keyboards
- Replaceable keycaps for more lighting
- USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable would be nice
- Occasionally tripping over keys while regular typing
- No dedicated macro buttons
- Costs $25 extra for more luminescent keycaps
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