HyperX Alloy Origins Review – Are These NEW Switches Worth It
Not to be confused with the alloy FPS RGB or the Alloy Elite RGB, this is the HyperX Alloy Origins. Yes, that’s a lot of alloys to keep track of. But we first saw this keyboard debut back at Computex this year and the big deal with this keyboard is the implementation of custom design switches by HyperX and they’re calling it Linear Reds. I’m not surprised because a lot of these gaming companies are coming with their own switch designs, some modify existing switch designs from a Kalih, Gator, or Omron, and some other companies perhaps wouldn’t mention who’s oil is humming their switches – I’ll touch on my experience using them later in this article.
I’m also a little bit confused as to where this keyboard stacks up within the rest of the keyboard lab from HyperX because it’s priced at $110 and that’s $30 more expensive than the HyperX Alloy FPS without RGB, but the Alloy FPS with RGB costs the same price. I’m not sure if they’re competing within themselves, but at the same time you’re losing some features from the Alloy FPS on the Alloy Origins, and then you’re gaining some.
Keyboard Options Breakdown
The primary difference between the Origins and the FPS RGB is that you now get the new HyperX Red switches, but there’s also an AQUA Tactile switch option as well, which I think behaves similarly to a Cherry MX Blue switch. They’ve removed the USB charging port on the Alloy Origins, which is a bit odd because with the Alloy FPS that was a convenient feature to charge your mobile devices.
What really surprised me the most with this keyboard is the build quality, because it is seriously by far the best built gaming keyboard that I’ve ever looked at. I mean far better than Corsair and Logitech’s offerings. Why? Because the entire chassis both at the top and bottom are constructed out of aircraft grade aluminum and it screams quality. It weighs more than a kilogram and once you pick this up, you’re definitely going notice the quality that’s gone into constructing this keyboard. This keyboard is rigid and solid enough to destroy some things with, and for the price I totally did not expect this.
I really liked the three adjustable keyboard tilt angles, especially since they add rubber feet below each level. The included USB Type-C to Type-A cable is 1.8 meters, which is adequate for cable routing and it’s removable. What’s really cool is that in order to add stability for the connection, the port is recessed into the chassis. It’s the little attention to details that make this keyboard stand out from the rest. The cable, however, is way too rigid – It’s not flexible and can form kinks easily that are a challenge to undo. It’s also really odd because the cables that come with their gaming headsets are far more premium, a lot softer, and a lot more flexible compared to this mess. I seriously think this is a poor implementation from HyperX and that they can do better next time.
Now this is a full-size keyboard, but they’ve done their very best to minimize the form factor to make it look pretty compact compared to other full-sized keyboards. The media playback controls are integrated within the function keys, but I would have loved to see a dedicated volume dial on the top right-hand side of the keyboard. You also get a game mode built into the F12 key, which locks the Windows key so that you don’t accidentally jump into the desktop when you’re gaming, and the F1, F2 and F3 keys are also profile switching buttons. If you want to switch between three different profiles, that’s the way to do it without the help of software.
The keys are laser etched ABS plastic with an anti-slip UV coating. It feels great, but the downside is that it picks up finger grease easily and you might have to clean this occasionally. There’s no key wobble, which is nice. The concave key profile isn’t too pronounced, and it guides fingers really well. One thing that I did notice is that the heads themselves are bigger than traditional key caps that I’m used to like the Corsair K65 and my PBT Double Shot caps on the Vermilion TKL keyboard that I use on a regular basis but I got used to this quickly.
The RGB lighting looks gorgeous across the board with even light spillage, plus it’s really bright. The choice of five brightness level is good but putting numbers and symbols next to one another instead of stacking them might seems odd. I think HyperX did this to ensure even backlighting for all the texts. I should also mention that if you decide to go with a static color scheme on this keyboard, you might be disappointed with the final output, especially if you go with certain colors.
If you choose white as the backlight color, it isn’t a pure white. Why? Because there’s a little bit of red spill and that’s because the actual switch housing is red in color, not clear, and it looks really weird. However, with other colors like teal, orange and yellow, they light up just fine, but you’ll still notice the red outline from the switch housing at the bottom, which may or may not suit your liking.
Now onto the main star of the show: The switches. Now do keep in mind that they still use the standard MX stems, so you could swap these out with custom key cap sets and the bottom row is standardized so you wouldn’t run into any issues as far as I know. The model that I have over here comes with linear Red switches and having used them for a while, it reminded me a lot of Gator on Reds just because of the way how they feel and respond.
Actuation force is 45 grams, which is likely why I associate them with Gator Browns. However, they’re reasonably fast, which is actuating at 1.8 millimeters and have a total travel distance of 3.8 millimeters. Plus you also get the benefit of an 80 million keystroke lifespan, but there’s no way to test that. I’m not a fan of how the spacebar sounds, it’s just something about the reverb and vibration that feels off to me.
All right, what’s my verdict on these switches? Well, they are pretty fast, so if you’re looking for a gaming keyboard, this will get the job done really well because the travel distance and the activation point are fairly shorter compared to a standard gaming keyboard. But personally speaking, I still prefer my Cherry MX speeds, which is because they still feel a lot faster compared to the Alloy or the HyperX Linear Red switches, and I prefer them for both gaming, typing up scripts, and doing other things as well on my system. Switch choices is completely subjective this is certainly a definitely a step away from your traditional standard cherry MX Reds. It’s good to see something a little bit different from HyperX and if you get the opportunity to try them in person, certainly do so.
Taking a look at the driver software, you’re greeted with the physical overview of the keyboard that instantly allows you to customize the lighting, and in order to change effects, you have to add them. There are a bunch of effects that you can play around with or you can customize lighting per key. The catch is you have to create a separate effect that allow you to set lighting for another key or a set of keys. I find this really odd because it almost feels like you’re working on Photoshop with layers. If you’re someone who’s customizing lighting per key, it’s going to take you some time to get it right on the Origins.
You can also program each key with macro commands or another function. The brightness control is in the top right, and game mode allows you to not only disable the Windows keys, but other sets of keys as well, like alt-tab, alt-F4, shift, tab, control and escape to really help avoid accidental keystrokes in the middle of a game. But for some reason I had issues syncing my presets with the onboard profiles of this keyboard. I ended up with three different presets with different lighting effects. I did customize some keys to open certain commands, but as soon as I exited the software and plugged it into another system, it just wouldn’t transfer. Sometimes the lighting effects wouldn’t sync across the three different profiles, making me feel like there is a miscommunication issue with the driver’s software and the keyboard itself or the memory controller built inside the keyboard. It could be my sample, but that was certainly frustrating.
In the end, the HyperX Alloy Origins is just another gaming keyboard. I mean, the only difference here is that it now comes with HyperX branded switches. But what really surprised me the most is the build quality because it surpassed my expectations for the price because I’ve tested keyboards that are a little bit pricier than this. And yes they do come with a metal frame, but the bottom is typically plastic. This honestly feels like a $200 keyboard, at least on the build quality side of things. Features-wise, not so much because of the disappointing fact that you lose that USB through port compared to the Alloy FPS. I would have preferred to see a volume controls on a dedicated volume dial or a volume scroll wheel on this keyboard because it is full size.
The switches are good for gaming, but for typing, I still prefer my Cherry MX switches, but that could be different in your case because switch choices are completely subjective. Finally I do want to talk about the driver’s software because with my sample, I had issues sinking my presets with the custom onboard profiles, which was certainly frustrating to me. That’s something that I wish HyperX would address with a firmware update. Overall it is just another gaming keyboard, but with new switches and a better build quality, that’s pretty much it. Thank you for reading our review.
Buy items in this review from Amazon at the links below:
Alloy Origins: https://geni.us/ORIGINS
Alloy Origins TKL: https://geni.us/ORIGINSTKL
Alloy FPS: https://geni.us/ALLOYBROWN
Alloy FPS Pro: https://geni.us/ALLOYPRO
Cooler Master MM710: https://geni.us/MM710
Learn more about the Corsair HydroX: http://bit.ly/HYDROXS
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