HyperX Alloy Origins Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

HyperX's Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard is out today and we have a full review right here for you.

Manufacturer: HyperX (HX-KB1SS2-US)
16 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 98%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

If not for the lack of some features in the beta software, the Alloy Origins would have gotten a perfect score. In all important aspects it delivers, and for the visual aspects, it is just as pleasing. A better keyboard for this money is hard to find!

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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Since HyperX came along with the FPS and Alloy series products, we feel like we have seen every iteration along the way. It is not a bad thing to see so many products as they develop, as you get a sense of the direction the company is headed. However, we never saw them reaching past Cherry or Kailh, maybe even TTC to get their switches, by partnering with someone to make all new HyperX branded switches to be housed in their latest HyperX mechanical keyboard to hit the market. Opting to use your own switches allows manufacturers to tinker with things like travel distance, maybe even actuation force, or adding a tactile feel to a switch that maybe shouldn't have it by color, but it appears HyperX is doing it for the glory at this time, as their red switches we find in our sample carry the same specs as standard red switches, except for the travel distance in this instance.

New switches are not the only thing that will set the latest keyboard apart from the many that came before it from HyperX! The new switches deliver a 1.8mm travel to actuation, where the standard is 2mm. Besting other options for switches with red stems, HyperX also developed their version to offer an astounding eighty-million clicks per switch! The literature we were handed for this review also states that RGB lighting was addressed, and to the point to where HyperX says that they have developed a "brighter illumination with radiant lighting effects," and while uncertain of actual lumens of light, at a glance, we can concur that the RGB LED intensity is better than most! A few of the Alloy and FPS models also came with a detachable cable, but this time, not only is it removable, the end which connects to the PC is a USB Type-C connector, so there is much less fiddling around with it to make the connection. The last thing worth looking to the newest in the HyperX lineup is the fact that it appears HyperX has had a rethink of the software, at least so far, while still in beta form for testing with this keyboard.

What you are about to see is the best of the best from HyperX at this time! HyperX demands a lot of themselves when it comes to the Alloy Origins. While they can add on a bunch of features to improve upon their current lineup, something that is tougher to do as time goes on, yet doping it all in the confines of using the least space possible for a 104-key keyboard was also a considerable concern. In what you will see, you are going to find a keyboard that keeps things simple, delivers in spades, and will not put a massive dent in your account when you decide to try out the Alloy Origins on your desk!

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We took some liberties with the arrangement of information as we made the chart from what was in the reviewers guide. We already know that this is the Alloy Origins from HyperX, but we have yet to disclose that it is an exposed top-plate design, using anodized aluminum for the top, with ABS plastic used for the lower section of the frame. From side to side it measures 442.4mm, from front to back it measures 132.5mm, and with the feet not extended, the top of the rear row of keys stands 36.39mm tall. The keyboard itself, without the cable included on the scales, the Alloy Origins comes in at 1075 grams.

The switches used are HyperX branded red linear mechanical switches. They need 45 grams of force to get to the 1.8mm of actuation travel. With the switches going from the resting position to a complete collapse adds another 2mm of travel for a total of 3.8mm. The biggest seller here, beyond near-silent operation, is that these new HyperX switches offer the longest lifespan in the industry, at this time, with eighty-million clicks per key before you could see degradation.

Backlighting is of the RGB kind, where users can choose from nearly 16.8-million static colors. With software, you can choose from ten effects preset as options. However, when it comes to customization, the NGenuity software allows each key to be customized one at a time, which means you can make the lighting present anything you can take the time to program. Once all of that has been done, you can sync your creations to one of the three profiles available.

Other features include a USB Type-C connector for the keyboard end of the 1.8-meter long braided cable, and saying it is detachable is only apparent at this point. The Alloy Origins offers full anti-ghosting, NKRO, and LED indicator for the lock keys, multimedia keys, a Game Mode lock, it works with all currently supported versions of Windows and is protected against defects for two-years.

Because on paper, the Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard we are having a look at today, seems the most feature-rich of the entire lineup, add in new HyperX switches, bump up the lighting and teak the software options, the price has to go up! Or so we thought! The reality is, out of all of the HyperX keyboards we have seen along the way, costs were always kept at the lower-end of the market segment, and today that rings true once again. With the Alloy Origins under wraps as we write this, there are no current sales links available, but we can tell you that the MSRP is set at $109.99. To us, if the Alloy Origins mechanical gaming keyboard is as good as it looks in the literature, the rest of the market is about to have a thorn in their sides!

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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In classic HyperX fashion, we find the bright red and white of the backdrop to grab your attention immediately. On the front of the box, the name of the keyboard is on the left side, and a terrific looking image of the keyboard is in the middle. In the corners, we also see that this can be used on PC, PS4 or Xbox One, that there is NGenuity software available, a notation to the RGB backlighting, and a box highlighting the HyperX linear red switches used on it.

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Lying the box flat on its back exposed this long side panel. On it we find the name of the device at the left end, four sponsored eSports teams in the middle and the company name at the right.

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Spinning the box ninety-degrees, we see the first of the smaller ends of the box. Both ends are identical and show the HyperX name and logo as well as the Alloy Origins product name.

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The second long side of the box offers information worth looking at as well. Here we are given a list of package contents, minimum system requirements, NGenuity software requirements, ending at the right end with a sticker that has the model and serial number on it.

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The back of the box is used to show off some of the main features, and the text offers explanations in nine languages. What we see in the images are the USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable, the aluminum alloy top plate, options for switch types, and the three levels of height adjustment found from the modular feet.

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After cutting a couple of transparent stickers, we can open the box to see what is inside. The keyboard is shipped inside of a plastic bag, nestled tightly inside of the cardboard box. Doing so ensures the least possible damage from shipping. The thick red section of the cardboard at the back contains the cable, and under the keyboard, you will find the literature.

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The cable sent with the Alloy Origins is a 1.8-meter cable which has been sleeved with black, tightly braided material. On the left we see the USB Type-A connection to plug into the PC, while on the right we see the USB Type-C connection for the keyboard. We do wish we would have gotten a strap for traveling, but the rubber bands on it will last longer than a wire tie will.

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The literature from the box is in three parts. The first part congratulates you and welcomes you into the HyperX family, and the next card to the right delivers a link to the support page, should you have an issue. The manual at the bottom runs through the keyboard layout with features pointed out, tells you where to obtain the software, and even explains how to use the dual-layered features found on the Alloy Origins. While not the end all be all of the information, it will guide you through most of the questions, and tinkering around with the software and buttons won't harm anything to try them and see what happens.

HyperX Alloy Origins Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Viewing the left edge of the Alloy Origins, we can see that the lower half creates an angle for the keyboard, while the anodized aluminum top plate wraps around and mates with the plastic. The edges are rounded near the bottom for a more natural grip, and the contrast of clear, black, and red is pleasing, even if we see this angle very little.

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The main section of keys offers cylindrical keycaps with easy to read legends, and all of the keycaps are smooth feeling. We do see some dual-layered functionality on the F-keys, and the quest to keep the keyboard small is seen with the minimal edges of the frame surrounding all of the keycaps.

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F1, F2, and F3 are designed so that it is possible to cycle through the three profiles while using these buttons while also holding the Function key.

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The F5 key is left to refresh the interwebs, but the F6, F7 and F8 keys are used for multimedia. On them, you can go back on track, play or pause that track, or advance on track, respectively.

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F9 through F12 are also used, but only the first three carry on with multimedia, where we see mute, lower the volume, and raise the volume keys. The last of them, the F12 key, is the Game Mode lock, there Windows Flight keys and such can be disabled when in use.

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The command keys, arrows, and number pad offer what we see on any other keyboard, so no surprises here. The HyperX name is at the top with a shiny bit of black plastic next to it, and on the arrow keys, while holding the Function key, you can raise and lower the RGB LED intensity with the up and down arrows.

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The right side of the keyboard is nearly the same as the left, but the view of the keys above has changed, as well as the angle of attack. The feet are extended to their maximum level at this time, and there is another step half this height with the use of a shorter foot.

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As one would look at this keyboard normally, we are far to the right edge of the back of the keyboard, and you can see the foot off to the left. We are looking at where the cable connects to the keyboard via the USB Type-C end of the USB 2.0 cable. For those that take their gear with them, not only does this help keep from damaging the cable, but you never have to fight with which way the connector is oriented.

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The underside of the Alloy Origins is slightly textured, but the overall feel is smooth across the flat expanse. Four feet are used to secure this keyboard on the desk, and they do a good job. In the middle of the lower section is the product sticker, with all kinds of information, including the serial number.

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Unlike most other keyboards on the market, HyperX is offering a two-piece foot. There is a half-height foot that can be flipped out, or if you want the full-height adjustment, you lift the larger one with the smaller foot inside of it. Both have rubber pads applied to the tips of the feet, ensuring traction is not lost.

Inside the Alloy Origins

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The keycaps are standard to the mechanical keyboard market, where the mold is injected with white plastic. Once pulled from the mold, all of the keys are painted with a black coating, blocking the light from everywhere but the legends. We also see that the HyperX switches use the same stems as the rest of the mainstream options.

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All across the Alloy Origins, we find a slew of these HyperX branded switches, and if you look closely, you can see their name on top of the transparent bodies. The stems are bright red, and the LEDs are mounted at the back of each switch. As for the torsion bars, they are enclosed, and use helper studs to connect to the keycaps.

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Opening the Alloy Origins was a bit of a mess until we realized that the front feet were hiding a pair of screws. Once apart, we can see the PCB attached to the aluminum top plate, and in the lower section, we see a two-layer lower part with ridges running from side to side to support the PCB.

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This random spot on the PCB was as good as any to take a look at the quality control. All of the solder points are clean and free of globs, and there is just the slightest hint of flux residue remaining. Very nice, very clean, and this on something most will never see!

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We managed to get an image of the 32-bit MCU in charge of what the Alloy Origins can do, but the most information we have for you is that Sonix makes it. Searching the part number leads us to dead ends to see if we could find a speed, ARM Cortex version, or just how much onboard memory it has.

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Back together, we powered up the Alloy Origins, and even with all of the photo booth lighting on target, the RGB LED illumination stands out. It is due to their move to offer a more brilliant experience, and we have to say they delivered!

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Slightly visible in the last image, the part that looks like a shiny bit of trim plastic, has a function hidden under it. Rather than exposed LEDs for lock indicators, there is a screen backing this section where the Game Mode, number, and Caps locks show if they are active.

NGenuity Software

Ngenuity Software

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Rather than the usual site address for software, we were asked to go to the Windows Store and search for NGenuity there instead. Finding the beta software for the Alloy Origins was simple enough, and so was the download and install process. Once completed, the first look into the software is what we see here, where we are instructed to click on the keyboard icon.

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Once we clicked the keyboard icon, we got a popup that says we need to flash the firmware. That went off without a hitch, and once done, we did have to click the keyboard icon again to get here. You are dropped in the lighting section, where you can change the lights to a static color, use one of the predefined options, or change the target to selection, and you can pick a key, color it, rinse and repeat until you have the desired effect.

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Rather than to list all of the options when you click on "add effect" we figured we would show you. There are six looped modes to try out, three more that are triggered, or reactive to keypresses, and one called sun, which offers a yellow, orange, and red mode that looks like the molten sun.

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The next option is to move to the keys tab, where one can remap and reassign keys. Select a key in the image at the top, and at the bottom, a menu opens, showing choices of replacement. Options cover other keyboard functions, mouse functions, multimedia, Macros, shortcuts, the opening of applications, or disable them.

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If you are looking to set up a Macro, we clicked on Macro in the last menu, and we see this. In this menu, you can name and record the Macro, with time delays recorded on the press and release of all actions in the list. However, at this time, we do not see an import or export menu, and we also see no way to edit a Macro rather than deleting it and starting over.

Gaming and General Impressions


In DOOM, we can get our body where it isn't trapped between a wall and various demons. The Game Mode locks are helpful after longer runs where your hand gets tired and pressing the Windows key is more and more possible with each passing map. In Doom, as well as in PUBG, while gaming only by the light of the chassis and monitor, you will never have an issue finding where you are on this keyboard. It is hands down one of the brighter displays of RGB LED illumination in all of the mechanical keyboards we have tested!

In PUBG, where we are in chat, the Alloy Origins is nearly silent, and won't annoy those who do not like to hear every slight click of movement you make. On the flip side, being softer switches than we are used to, day to day, it does take some time to get used to the softer throw, accidental fat-fingering of keys, and unexpected moments when our hand resting on the keys is enough to collapse the switch to the point of actuation.

Windows and Productivity

For the daily grind, it has slowed us down a touch, but not in the way one might expect. In all aspects of what the keyboard can do, answering emails, chatting online, movements in Excel sheets, it all seems faster. Doing a basic count for this review, our WPM did go up, but we are losing time due to misspellings and multiple keys being triggered at once. With more time, this can be overcome, but it worth mentioning that if you are used to tactile or stiffer springs, you will need a week or so to get into the full swing. Otherwise, moving it around when needed is not hard at all, and even though we hate on feet that can potentially collapse, the angle used makes it tougher to happen, and that is for either height option, not just for the taller feet.

With a lot of hours under our belt with the Alloy Origins, we have to admit, there is not finger tingling or stress related to vibrations, as they are nonexistent. Even more shocking is that with as simple as this design seems at first glance, the Alloy Origins is the most robust option of its size we have had in our hands in a long time!

Final Thoughts

We like the direction that HyperX took, and while the name Origins would make one think you are going back to the beginning, but that is not what happened here at all. While obviously part of the Alloy family of keyboards, what we just saw is the best of them all. Listing the things that stick out, we think of the RGB lighting, which not only offers preset effects, it provides a fully customizable RGB LED setup, per key, where one could make anything they want to see under the keycaps and flooded onto the top plate. Beyond that, and one of the more significant moments for HyperX is the inclusion of switches with their brand on them now. While similar to other switches, HyperX joins the elite few who can control all aspects of their product.

On top of that, the lifespan has been pushed past the fifty-million click we typically see, on up to eighty-million clicks for their switches. For those, like us, who enjoy using the Alloy Origins, it will be there ready to take your abuse longer than all of the rest! The last thing that sticks out in our mind is the use of USB Type-C for the keyboard connector. While not USB 3, who cares, as it is the orientation solving that is the reason it's used, and we tend to prefer keyboards with detachable cables, as it makes it much easier for us to shelve a few while testing another.

Beyond the visual and what we can feel, there are things like the new software we saw, which we obtained without login details, which is a plus, from the Windows store. While not the most involved software on the market, we do have to take it with a grain of salt. The NGenuity software is still in beta form, and the issues where we could not import and export Macros, or edit them after the fact, it can all be fixed in the time between writing this review and the time the software is available in its final form. What is offered gives users full control of all of the keys and each individual LED, which, when done, can be synced in the profile menu of the software to the right side of any window. The new sleeker look and layout of NGenuity will also please potential users as it is more user-friendly and self-explanatory, where users can spend time gaming rather than trying to sort out how the software works.

With reasonable quality control, down to the guts, there is no reason why you should shy away from the Alloy Origins. Many keyboards of this nature, the STREAK comes to mind immediately, have a bit of torsional flex, as this design is not easy to get and have it still be a tank. However, HyperX pulled it off and has delivered a keyboard, that while light and compact for a 104-key keyboard, is still a tank, and will give you hours of stress-free gaming and writing. The microprocessor is more than enough for what the Alloy Origins can do, honestly, in all aspects, it appears that the Tasers at HyperX were set to overkill! We love it, and overkill is something that should never be overlooked. While many are just trying to get by, HyperX is coming out guns blazing with a keyboard that at its heart is ready willing and able to do just about anything you ask of it, for a long time to come!

What blows us away, even more, is that while delivering all of the things we have raved about so far, the do it all with your pockets in mind. By this, we mean to say that with all of the things like new cables, new switches, better lighting, new software, they haven't passed the cost on to us, the potential buyers of the Alloy Origins. At $109.99, you are getting one hell of a deal! Many others would charge more, deliver less, and not offer the lifespan that the new HyperX switches are listed to give! Even for those not in the search for a new keyboard, this is one that you should buy, set aside, and wait for your existing one to fail. We rarely say things such as that, which goes a long way to showing how much HyperX has impressed us, and how good the deal is!

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

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The Bottom Line

If not for the lack of some features in the beta software, the Alloy Origins would have gotten a perfect score. In all important aspects it delivers, and for the visual aspects, it is just as pleasing. A better keyboard for this money is hard to find!

TweakTown award

Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM and coolers.

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