The last few years have seen the rise of mechanical keyboards beyond anything we could have imagined. eSports has pushed gamers right to the edge for every competitive advantage they can find. Today, we even see companies turning in-house to create their own switches, shaving precious milliseconds off their response time, allowing you to respond and react faster than ever before. Such is the case with the HyperX Alloy Origins Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and this is our review.
- Current Price: $109.99
- Switch: HyperX Switch
- Type: Mechanical
- Switch: HyperX Red
- Switch Operation Style: Linear
- Actuation Force: 45g
- Key Travel Distance: 1.8 mm
- Total Travel: 3.8 mm
- Life Span (Keystrokes): 80 million
- 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
- Anti-ghosting: 100% anti-ghosting
- Key rollover: N-key mode
- LED indicator: Yes
- Media control: Yes
- Game Mode: Yes
- OS compatibility Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7
- Cable Type: Detachable, Braided
- Length: 1.8 m
- Width: 442.5 mm
- Depth: 132.5 mm
- Height: 36.39 mm
- Weight (Keyboard and cable): 1075g
The Alloy Origins is the latest in HyperX’s line of high-end gaming keyboards. It features everything fans have come to love about the line: a solid metal top, some of the brightest RGB lighting you can find on a gaming keyboard, and full programmability with HyperX’s NGenuity software, just to name a few. The Origins has a few unique features that set it apart, however, including HyperX’s very first custom key switch.
Introducing the HyperX Red keyswitch
The Alloy Origins is HyperX’s first keyboard to feature their new HyperX Red switch. It’s similar to what you might expect if you’ve used a Cherry MX Red. There is no tactile bump or click to let you know when the key has actuated. Along with that, there’s no rise in resistance at any point of the key-press; it’s a smooth 45g actuation force all the way down, just like Cherry MX Reds. These switches are loved by gamers for their responsiveness and that smooth motion.
Where they set themselves apart, though, is in just how smooth and responsive they are. I’ve used many different switches at this point and HyperX’s are one of the very smoothest I’ve tried to date. They are remarkably smoother than Cherry’s red switches. A-B testing honestly made Cherry MX Reds feel ever-so-slightly scratchy. The Alloy Origins, as a result, winds up feeling much nicer to use.
Key travel has also been reduced to 3.8mm down from 4.0mm. Actuation has similarly been reduced down to 1.8mm down from 2.0mm. If your reaction time is up to the challenge, this should, in theory, make you a faster gamer, though I personally didn’t notice any difference I could consistently measure. The combination of higher actuation point and smooth travel did make the Origins feel quite snappy, however.
HyperX has also made the switches more durable with a projected lifespan that’s sixty-percent higher than Cherry at 80-million clicks each. Put another way, these switches will be ready to game long after you’ve upgraded every other part of your PC, likely multiple times over.
More than just a switch
Turning to the rest of the keyboard, it features many of the same qualities which sold me on their prior Alloy keyboards. The metal top plate gives the keyboard a nice heft to keep it in place on your desk and a rigidity that completely eliminates any semblance of flex. I also really like that HyperX went for a slimmer design this time which gives the Alloy Origins a sleek, low profile body. It also has dual-stage tilt feet on the back to find the perfect angle for those long gaming sessions. Build-wise, this is definitely my favorite of HyperX’s keyboards and it feels exceptionally well made.
The lighting is also some of the brightest you can find on a gaming keyboard. I mean, really: this keyboard shines. Compared side-by-side with my Razer Huntsman TE, the Huntsman looks downright dim in comparison. This might be too much for some but thankfully the arrow keys have been mapped to control brightness. If you’re not a fan of the rainbow effect, it comes preset with a color shift and reactive typing option also. I was also happy to see that HyperX stuck with their usual capitalized but not gaudy gamer-stencil font. It looks good and really makes the most of the lighting.
Inside the NGenuity software, the real magic happens. You can customize the lighting of every key or choose from an array of presets. We’ve seen most of these by now, but it’s nice to know that you can get your keyboard customized and looking great with little time and effort. You’re also able to program in macros and map them to different keys. This does mean you’ll be stuck using Fn combinations but it’s a good alternative to making this full-size keyboard even larger with a macro row. You can also save your changes to the keyboard’s onboard memory across three profiles and take them on the go.
The only thing I really don’t like about it is the keycaps. They’re exactly what you would expect from a gaming keyboard: thin-walled, single shot, painted, and laser-etched ABS. Like all ABS caps, they’ll shine over time and make the keyboard look pre-maturely old. HyperX did use a surface treatment that doesn’t show oils right away, which is a nice touch. With all of that said, with lighting this showy, using ABS is forgivable. Since it’s not so dense, the lighting shines through even better. Still, the Alloy Origins begs for a set of HyperX’s pudding keycaps.
At $109.99, the HyperX Alloy Origins feels like a bargain. While other companies appear poised to break the $200 mark with their gaming keyboards, it’s refreshing to see such a high-quality option at this price point. The smoothness of the new switch makes it feel great to use whether your gaming or hammering out a paper. The extra-vibrant lighting will also take your desktop to the next level. The HyperX Alloy Origins is an easy recommendation to make.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.