HyperX Alloy Origins Core on Amazon
We’re looking at a mainstream gaming TKL today, the HyperX Alloy Origins Core. The TKL market has become quite competitive with offerings like the SteelSeries Apex Pro and Razer Huntsman TE. The Alloy Origins Core is going for $90 and it very much looks like an updated version of the Alloy FPS Pro, which was released back in 2017. This board comes with HyperX’s own proprietary switches, and you can choose between the linear Red and tactile Aqua.
The Alloy Origins Core has an absolutely stunning chassis and it’s one of the highlights of the keyboard. Made of aircraft-grade aluminium, it’s an extremely slim and almost bezel-less design with an attractive brushed finish. As pretty as it is, the case is very susceptible to finger marks, as you can from by the unsightly smudge I left on the right side. The compact design means no extras like dedicated media keys or USB passthrough, but I’d happily make that tradeoff for the aesthetics. As expected, the metal construction feels sturdy and I couldn’t get it to bend much. The build quality gives the keyboard a premium feel and it has some good heft at 900g. The case has dual fold outs, which means you can set the keyboard at two additional angles of 7 and 11 degrees. While there may be no dedicated media controls or USB passthrough, we do have a detachable and braided USB-C cable, an important feature that is missing on many similarly priced mechs.
Another thing I was really impressed with was the typing experience. I’m a linear guy but I really enjoyed these HyperX Aqua switches. The tactile feedback is fairly moderate, more or less comparable to a generic Brown switch like Cherry MX or Gateron, but what I really enjoyed was the lighter actuation force of 45g. The Aquas felt very light and responsive for typing and gaming. Even though the tactility is nowhere near a higher-end switch, it felt nice and sharp without any mushiness. There is some pre-travel with the bump occurring 1mm into the downstroke. The stabilisers are decent and the rattle isn’t too bad on the bigger keys. I expected some metal ping from this aluminium case, but it wasn’t too bad and for the most part I wasn’t even aware of it. However it was quite pronounced on a few individual keys, especially R3 keys like E and R. The keyboard has a pleasant sound with a gentle bottom out feel. I reached my usual speeds of around 110WPM on Monkeytype.
If you’re looking for punchy RGB, look no further. The Origins Core has some extremely potent LEDs, and the RGB is really, and I mean really, vibrant. This is one of the few times where I’ve actually had to reduce the brightness of a keyboard! The keycaps feature a fairly thick font, but I wouldn’t say it looks obnoxiously stylised. These keycaps are double-shot ABS, and unfortunately they have that smooth finish that will immediately start showing grease marks. After only a day of use the keyboard had a slew of unattractive finger smudges. The caps aren’t terribly comfortable for typing either, as the surface feels slightly sticky. I would like to see HyperX go for PBT on future versions, and something that is more oil resistant.
HyperX’s NGenuity software offers extensive RGB customisation. It is possible to combine different colour modes through key selections, and you can even throw a reactive mode on top of this. The onboard memory allows for three profiles that are accessed via Fn + F1-F3. You can save one lighting mode and key mappings to a single profile, and just note that these profiles only work when the software is closed entirely. When the software is open, the RGB is whatever it’s set to on the software, and the same goes for key mappings. HyperX have done a lot of improvements and bug fixes on the software, so it works a lot better than a few months ago.
Apart from profile switching, there are media controls as well as a gaming mode on the Fn layer. By default, the gaming mode will disable the Windows key, although its behaviour can be customised with the software. Fn + Up/Down arrow allows you to choose from five brightness levels.
The HyperX Alloy Origins Core is definitely one of the better “big brand” mechs I’ve tried at this price point. The board offers an attractive and sturdy chassis with an above-average typing experience. Replace the greasy ABS keycaps with a decent PBT set, and you have yourself a keeper.