In this review, I’m going to be checking out HyperX’s Alloy Origins Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, complete with HyperX’s new proprietary linear (red) keyboard switch.
From the first keypress, I knew that this keyboard was superior to what I’ve been using at home — a pack-in membrane keyboard. I’ve also been using a WASD Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches at work, and the experience with HyperX Alloy Origins was drastically different.
It should be noted that if you are an owner of the Alloy FPS keyboard from HyperX, the appearance is only slightly altered. The main aspect of the Alloy Origins is the Linear (red) switch. While it is slightly disappointing to find the bodies to be so similar, it is extremely comforting as the FPS has a strong track record. Read on to learn how things went with these new red switches.
In the Box
- Gaming keyboard
- Quick start guide
- USB-C cord
- Thank you letter
When I first pulled the keyboard out of the box, I noticed it’s incredibly hefty. The aircraft-grade aluminum backplate feels built to last. As I was setting it up, I also found there are three different height settings and rubber nonskid material. Nevertheless, having a sturdy keyboard is somewhat of a standard in the gaming world, so what makes the Alloy Origin worth the price? To me, this keyboard shines in a few categories.
I was fortunate enough to be able to try this keyboard out on ESO, Binding of Isaac, Age of Empires II, and Killing Floor 2, just to name a few, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Regardless of whether the game was more key-heavy than not, it provided the response time that I was after. Keep reading to see how I felt about each aspect of the keyboard, and to see my final score for the HyperX Alloy Origins Mechanical Keyboard.
Most of the time, as gamers, we open the box, giddy with excitement, plug the USB cable in, install the software, and expect our keyboard to work perfectly. Unfortunately, when I was trying to download the HyperX NGENUITY beta driver, I encountered problem after problem.
Only through some process of elimination did we find that my issues stem from using a Windows 10 Professional Version multi-user computer. We were able to get the driver working slightly in just over a minute on two other computers that had Windows 10 Home edition. But, we never got it to so much as install on mine. After many a Ctrl-Alt-Delete and a lengthy troubleshooting session, I gave up trying to get it to work.
Once it’s installed and fired up, the software is intuitive and even has a live update of your changes. You can make virtually any backlighting or keybinding changes you wish to with ease, and the UI works well despite being rather minimalist.
Before even plugging the Alloy Origin in, the keyboard looks sleek and attractive. The deep black of the keys and base, complemented by the iconic HyperX red coming from the Linear Switches provides for a charming visual appearance. Being my first foray into the world of RGB gaming keyboards, I wasn’t prepared for the main event. I took some time to watch the cycling of the vivid RGB lighting. It was almost a holiday-like joy I felt after that initial plug-in.
The Alloy Origins comes with three different color profiles right out of the box. Including a basic crawl from left to right, a slow pulsing, and the triggered effect of a branching light on every keypress. These three profiles are just the tip of the iceberg as far as customization goes, but were an easy way for me to get my feet wet and see what’s possible. For me, the max brightness can be a bit much. It acted as a distraction to whatever I was doing and pulled my attention away from the monitor a few times. Of course, it’s easy enough to rectify this by lowering the brightness (as long as you can get the driver to work!).
The frontrunning feature on this latest keyboard from HyperX is the proprietary mechanical switch they developed. They call these the HyperX Red Linear Switch. Does it live up to all the hype that’s been brewing since they first announced their switches? After experiencing the keyboard first hand, I think it does.
There’s something so satisfying about having such a smooth response with these keys. Each press feels easy, light, and responsive. I never realized how heavy-handed I was with my keyboard until using these HyperX red linear switches. It was an enlightening experience — it requiring so little pressure for each key actuation. HyperX lowered the actuation point to 1.8mm which is 0.2mm less than Cherry MX red switches.
In my mind, this low key actuation is as close as we can get to a direct connection between brain and PC gaming. And if you’re like me, you’ve had the delightful experience of using a keyboard well below acceptable standards. I think my membrane keyboard at times requires at least 12 psi per key actuation.
The switch feels much better than most that I’ve used, and the quiet nature of the Linear switch is preferred. When comparing it to the Brown MX Cherry switches I use at work in my WASD keyboard, there are noise and tactile differences. To me, that makes the red linear switches more appealing for something like gaming, but when it comes to typing accuracy within the workplace, not so much.
Here’s a full list of specs for the Alloy Origins keyboard:
- Price $109.99
- 2 year warranty
- RGB (16,777,216 colors)
- 1.8mm actuation point
- 3.8mm travel distance
- USB-C Connection Type
- 1075g or 2.4lbs
- Full aircraft-grade aluminum body
- Three adjustable keyboard angles
- HyperX Linear Switches made for responsiveness, reliability, and brighter lighting.
- Quality app UI and adjustable settings, when it works.
Product Name: HyperX Alloy Origins Gaming Keyboard
Product Description: Making the red switch even redder, HyperX delivers a quality key press experience with their new linear switches. A travel distance of 3.8mm and an actuation point of 1.8mm may be just the boost your APM needs. The HyperX Alloy Origins is a full-size keyboard with an aluminum frame, RGB backlighting, and all black design.
The ultra-responsive keys are something to be aware of before buying this keyboard. Any slight finger fudge will result in an input. So if you’re a programmer or something of that nature, I’d recommend going with something else. Gamers, however, will not be disappointed. The switches feel like the real deal. The software is easy to navigate and the backlighting is vibrant.
- Latest HyperX Linear Red Switches
- Lighting and keybindings can be customized on a per key basis
- Trim for a full sized aluminum keyboard
- Pay a premium for new proprietary switches
- Software is basic
- Install issues using Microsoft Store