Gaming keyboards come in all shapes, sizes and functionalities. Often it can be quite daunting for a beginner gamer, like myself, or someone who isn’t a hardcore professional to choose the right keyboard that isn’t complicated to use and suits their needs.
Thankfully, HyperX has released a brand new mechanical gaming keyboard, the HyperX Alloy Origins, that is not only compact and responsive but also easy to use, making it the perfect keyboard for both beginners and pros alike.
The Alloy Origins keyboard is compact and much smaller than a typical full sized mechanical keyboard. Not only is the keyboard compact, but it’s also slim and features an aircraft grade aluminium casing that gives it a stylish, sleek and solid look, making it stand out in terms of visual appeal. Having a removable USB Type-C cable, also helps with its portability, making it easy to carry around from location to location.
In addition to its sleek design, this keyboard also comes with adjustable clips at the back of the keyboard, allowing for it to be angled at three different positions to give two different heights. This is rather interesting, considering most keyboards only offer adjustments at just one height.
The only downside is that there are no dedicated media controls on the keyboard, something that I personally don’t mind too much but can be an important aspect for some gamers. It’s not the end of the world to not have dedicated media controls in my book, especially since this keyboard has integrated media keys into the Function row.
The HyperX Alloy Origins keyboard utilises HyperX’s own branded red linear switches. According to the brand, the HyperX Red switch has roughly the same 45g actuation force as standard Cherry MX Red switches, found in many other gaming keyboards. The only real difference is that HyperX have reduced the actuation and travel distances by approximately 0.2mm.
Naturally, this small change doesn’t really make much of a difference as the keyboard felt similar and just as responsive to those that use Cherry MX Red switches. It felt quite nice on my fingers when using it to navigate PUBG as a beginner gamer, something that I’m quite particular about.
In terms of regular use, the keyboard features a standard US layout, which made it comfortable and familiar, though the clickity clack of the keyboard was quite apparent. This made using the keyboard as a normal typing device quite a challenge as it didn’t quite feel as normal, to me anyway, compared to other keyboards I’ve used in the past. I suppose this is where the difference lies between a gaming keyboard with mechanical switches and regular typing keyboards.
Software & Customisation
Most gaming keyboards nowadays come with some form of lighting effect to provide an extra bit of visual appeal. The HyperX Alloy Origins features RGB lighting that can be customised by adding effects, create macros and save up to three profiles using HyperX’s NGenuity software.
The NGenuity software is fairly simple to use and allows you to do some rather cool things with the keyboard’s lighting, such as changing the speed at which the effects work or choosing whether to have individual keys, a group of keys, or the whole keyboard light up. For those who love to have a play with customisation, there’s a fair bit that can be done using the NGenuity software.
Despite having its own branded switches, the HyperX Alloy Origins keyboard is quite reminiscent of other gaming keyboards in the market, with similar features that doesn’t quite set it apart.
The only real difference, I felt, that gives the Alloy Origins an edge is its design. The premium feel, compact size and portability means that it can be easily carried around to LAN events, competitions and what not, all while looking like a solid, sleek piece of tech. The adjustable height will be of value to many who dislike only having two options in other keyboards. When it comes to comfort, the keyboard certainly feels nice to use for gaming purposes but was a bit tough when trying to use it to type out significant pieces of writing without making spelling mistakes. Perhaps after prolonged use, I’d get a lot more comfortable and familiar with the deeper keys.
Considering that the HyperX Alloy Origins costs approximately $250NZD, I personally feel that it might be better to go for something a little cheaper, especially with there being constant upgrades to gaming gear technology. You wouldn’t want to spend a large sum on a keyboard only for a brand new piece of tech to be released shortly after that gives you a much better advantage competitively or has a quicker response time. If you’re likely to keep your keyboard and use it for years to come, however, then that’s another story.
Overall, the HyperX Alloy Origins keyboard is a solid, compact, portable and colorful gaming keyboard that comes all in one package, which may suit some but not others, depending on their individual needs.