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HyperX Alloy Origins review: Same keyboard, new switches, new name

HyperX Alloy Origins review: Same keyboard, new switches, new name

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HyperX Alloy Origins review: Same keyboard, new switches, new name

By the time the great Keyboard Switch Wars are over, every company will have its own custom-built switches. That’s what happens when patents expire, I guess. The latest to join the boutique switch trend? HyperX, who used traditional Cherry MX switches through 2018, then switched to Kailh, and now has switched a second time to its own HyperX-branded line.

It’s a move so bold, HyperX created a whole new keyboard to give its switches a home. Or…well, they renamed one of their existing keyboard models, I guess. Meet the HyperX Alloy Origins, twin to the HyperX Alloy FPS—at least on the surface.

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Note: This review is part of our best gaming keyboards roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

Big fan of Barbie Girl

HyperX’s keyboard-naming conventions are confusing, and the Alloy Origins isn’t making it any easier. You’d think the Alloy Origins is a brand-new keyboard—and maybe it’s easier for HyperX to treat it that way. Unbox it though and you discover it’s near-identical to the existing Alloy FPS line, except it now uses USB-C instead of MicroUSB for its detachable cable.

HyperX Alloy Origins IDG / Hayden Dingman

I’m certainly not complaining. Here’s how I described the Alloy FPS RGB in my review last year: “It’s a beautiful design, elegant in its simplicity. Few keyboards, especially gaming-centric ones, are this sleek. Its gunmetal backplate and mere half-inch or so of bezel on every side make it a refreshing alternative to the oversized HyperX Alloy Elite—less feature-packed, granted, but more attractive by far.”

Those traits, both positive and negative, carry over to the new Alloy Origins. It looks good on a desk. It’s also dead simple. No pack-in wrist rest, no dedicated media keys, no fancy PBT keycaps. Not without an additional purchase, that is.

Given that the Alloy Origins lists for $110, it’s understandable that HyperX might cut some corners. That said, it’s at a weird price point—too expensive to be truly entry-level, but not expensive enough to compete with its premium-priced (and premium-featured) peers.

HyperX Alloy Origins IDG / Hayden Dingman

But hey, new switches, right? HyperX currently produces two custom switches, with a third to follow. As I write this, you can buy the Alloy Origins with HyperX Red and HyperX Aqua switches. The first is pretty self-explanatory, almost an exact duplicate of the standard Cherry MX Red. The difference is one of millimeters, with the Cherry Red’s 4mm travel and 2mm actuation replaced by HyperX’s 3.8mm travel and 1.8mm actuation. Resistance, or the force you need to depress a key, is steady at 45g.

You might expect HyperX Aquas, then, to be a duplicate of the clicky Cherry MX Blues. Wrong. In fact, HyperX’s third (still-to-be-released) switch is a HyperX Blue, which is intended to replace the vaunted MX Blues.

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