Past HyperX keyboards have been using mechanical switches from Cherry MX and Kailh. Now, the new Alloy Origins keyboard, which first introduced in Computex 2019, features their very own branded switches. It is released with minimalistic design and per-key RGB lighting.
The Alloy Origins is shipped with a long cardboard packaging, with the signature HyperX red and white color scheme. The front of the box has the product name, the equipped switches and a photo of the keyboard. A few key features, like the detachable USB Type-C cable and full metal body, are highlighted at the back.
The keyboard is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. You are required to be on Windows 10 to use the new NGENUITY beta software.
Inside the packaging, you get the usual HyperX Thank you and support cards, as well as a quick start guide. A braided 1.8 meters USB Type-C to Type-A cable is also included to connect the keyboard to the PC.
HyperX Alloy Origins Mechanical Keyboard
The Alloy Origins is a full-sized 104 keys keyboard, with a width of 44.25 cm and a depth of 13.25 cm. There are a full row of function keys and a number pad besides the arrow keys. No dedicated media control keys can be found. It weighs in at around 1075 grams.
A sticker at the back shows the model number, serial number and power consumption (5V/500mA) of the keyboard.
The reversible USB Type-C port is located on the top right corner, which is also recessed to securely hold the cable in place. Unlike the Alloy FPS and Alloy FPS RGB, there is no USB pass-through port on the Alloy Origins.
Four anti-slip rubber pads can be found on each corner with the keyboard feet folded. The feet can also be extended to provide up to three total keyboard angles for typing (3°, 7°, or 11°).
For the Alloy Origins, HyperX chooses to use their new custom switches, which will at least have three different types. At the moment, only the keyboard is only available in the Red switches, while the Aqua switch variant is expected to come in the first quarter of 2020.
The HyperX Red switches are fitted with a transparent plastic housing to allow more RGB lighting to shine through. Each switch has the LED installed on the top, instead of inside and behind the switch, which should provide much brighter lighting. The stem design is similar to Cherry MX’s, and keycaps should be cross-compatible.
All the keycaps are swappable like other mechanical keyboards. They are made out of ABS plastic. The legends on top are laser-etched, which would wear off slightly easier than double-shot injection.
The Alloy Origins uses the popular bezel-less, floating-key design with no aggressive gamer-looking edges and lines. It is also one of the most sturdy keyboard I have ever tried, which has a full aluminium metal body, instead of only a metal top plate. Although every switch is pimped with its own individual RGB LED, there is no extra light bar for a more “colorful” experience.
Custom HyperX Red Switches
All HyperX switches are rated to have a lifespan of about 80 million keystrokes, which is 30 million more than what Cherry MX offers. The Red switch provides a linear key press with no noticeable tactile bump or click, similar to Cherry MX Red. The actuation distance is at 1.8 mm with a total travel distance of 3.8 mm. The spring will require about 45 grams of actuation force. The switches feel very responsive and smooth, and are especially suitable for gaming.
- HyperX Red: Linear (45 grams @ 1.8 mm)
- HyperX Aqua: Tactile (45 grams @ 1.8 mm)
RGB Lighting and Software
The RGB lighting effects of the Alloy Origins keyboard is controlled via the new NGENUITY (Beta) software, which can only be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. It would be nice if HyperX can make the software available in separate locations and in .exe format. Microsoft Store can sometimes be too buggy and slow.
In the new NGENUITY software, the user interface is greatly improved from previous versions, with a clearer and more intuitive design. The left sidebar shows all connected and compatible HyperX products. The sub-menus are simplified to two categorizes, Lights and Keys. You can change or add different lighting effects, as well as adjusting its brightness, speed, colors and direction/angle. You can also customize each key’s colors and effects by selecting the desired key on the top preview.
Apart from the RGB lighting, you can use the software to re-assign functions to every key on the Alloy Origins. You can set the key to perform as a right mouse click, or open a specific file/program, or do a series of macro actions. The keyboard has up to three profiles, that will be stored in the onboard memory.
The RGB lighting of the Alloy Origins looks really bright and vibrant. Transitions between different effects are smooth and fluent. Because of the exposed LED on the switches, the RGB light will bleed around the keycaps. You can watch the RGB lighting effects, as well as the how the keyboard sound (HyperX Red) when typing in the above video.
There is no dedicated media control or macro key on the Alloy Origins, but some of the existing keys will have secondary functions by default. You can also activate Game Mode to disable the Windows key, to prevent accidental presses in games.
The Alloy Origins keyboard is an awesome first entry for HyperX to use their own mechanical switches. The build quality is superb with the full metal body. It may not have special features from higher-end keyboards, but it gets most of the fundamentals right. The Red switches perform amazingly with quick, consistent and quiet actuation.
The new NGEUNITY software has hugely improved from previous versions, albeit still in beta. There are a lot of customization for both the RGB lighting and key programming in the software.
The Alloy Origins costs $109.99 USD (MSRP) at launch, which is the same as the existing Alloy FPS RGB with Kailh switches. You can consider the Alloy Origins as an upgrade with more durable HyperX Red switches and solid construction. The price is rather competitive in the market, compared to other mechanical keyboards from bigger brands (Logitech and Corsair). It would be a great addition if a wrist rest is included in the accessories. Though, HyperX sells a memory foam one for $19.99 USD (MSRP).
You can purchase the keyboard from your local/online resellers or the links below from Amazon and Newegg.
- Amazon US: HyperX Alloy Origins Mechanical Keyboard
- Newegg US: HyperX Alloy Origins Mechanical Keyboard
Thanks HyperX for providing us the keyboard for review. (Review Sample)
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