The HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard has long been a stalwart of the company’s line up boasting great mechanical switches, a compact aluminium chassis and excellent RGB backlighting. However, HyperX has only ever offered this keyboard with its HyperX Red and Aqua switches.
I’ve no idea why HyperX limits the choice of switches for its different keyboards but it’s a turn off to some of their otherwise great keyboards. For example, I loved the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 but I don’t like the HyperX Red switches which were the only choice for that keyboard.
Thankfully, with the new Alloy Origins keyboard, HyperX is finally giving buyers a choice of all three of their custom switches. The HyperX Blue switches are clicky and tactile with a 50g actuation force that feels great for typing yet still fast and responsive in gaming.
The new Alloy Origins isn’t cheap though- retailing for AUD $230 which immediately puts it in competition with some seriously good keyboards like the Roccat Vulcan 120, Steelseries Apex 5 and the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum. And this is where things get really tricky for the value proposition on offer. Lets dive in.
HyperX Alloy Origins Blue Review
The design and construction materials used on the Alloy Origins remain the same as previous models with the only change being the new switches. The casing is made from aircraft grade aluminium with a subtle texture that feels nice to the touch. The chassis is minimalistic in that sexy way few products are able to achieve.
It weighs bang on a kilogram and is only 44cm wide and 13cm deep so it doesn’t take too much space on your desk. If you want smaller, there’s always the tenkeyless Alloy Origins Core which does away with the numpad. The keyboard has variable height adjustment but no wrist wrest which is kinda shady for such an expensive keyboard.
The Alloy Origin uses a USB-C to USB-A connector for its main cable though I’m curious why HyperX doesn’t include a USB-C to USB-C cable as well. Mac users would appreciate having that..
The new HyperX Blue switches are exposed and this allows them some of the best RGB backlighting I’ve seen on any keyboard. The colors are bright and punchy and contrast against the matte black for a stunning display of color. It’s quite mesmerizing especially when you leave the lighting on the rainbow preset.
Of course you can customize it using the HyperX Ngenuity software and save your presets on the keyboard’s memory. You can then use the Fn key combinations to switch through three saved profiles as well as Fn+Up or Down arrow keys to cycle through the five steps of brightness. I don’t like having to use Fn+ F keys to control media playback and volume. It’s just clunky and a dedicated media keys and volume dial is a much better experience.
Now let’s talk about the keys for a bit because that’s your majorpoint of interaction with the keyboard after all. The HyperX Blue mechanical switches are an in-house blend with a shorter actuation and travel distance than standard Cherry MX Blues; 1.8mm vs 2.2mm actuation and 3.8mm vs 4mm travel.
This means HyperX Blues are faster and more responsive and are also much tougher with a lifespan of 80 million keystrokes. This makes it great for typing and one of my favorite keyboards for work. The shorter actuation distance combined with that subtle bump and none-too noisy click make me feel like one of those film noir writers.
In gaming, the Alloy Origins responded superbly in FPS games and thanks to N-Key rollover and anti-ghosting, nothing was missed in my panicked flurry of keypresses in COD: Warzone. As with any respectable gaming keyboard, the keys are programmable in the Ngenuity software. You can record your macros and key layouts for different games and have them activate for particular games or apps.
The new HyperX Blue switches are a nice addition to the Alloy Origins family and I really enjoy using them for my everyday typing. But as I said, at $230, the competition is extremely stiff.. Yes, it’s a really good keyboard with great switches, a clean design and stunning RGB lighting but that’s about it.
Next to the Roccat Vulcans sexy steampunk design, the Alloy Origin looks plain pedestrian while the Steelseries Apex 5 has dedicated media keys and a wild OLED panel. As it stands, the Alloy Origins just doesn’t have anything compelling to make it a better buy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good but you can do better for the money.