After partnering with keyboard-maker Ducky on a couple of limited-edition One 2 Mini mechanical gaming keyboards, HyperX made its first 60% mechanical keyboard, the Alloy Origins 60. It's noticeably smaller than the brand's tenkeyless keyboard, the HyperX Alloy Origins Core, since it's missing the number pad as well as discrete arrow keys and other keys like Insert, Page Up, Page Down, Home and End. The smaller size frees up desk space for mousing and is better for travel. But there's more to this keyboard than just its compact body.
The $100 keyboard (about £75 or AU$130, converted) uses the company's own Red linear mechanical switches, which are fast, smooth and responsive. The switches have MX-type stems, and HyperX used double-shot PBT keycaps and there's no discernable wobble to the keys. Key presses have a solid feel and sound to them, although there is a slight rattle to the spacebar and it doesn't sound quite as nice as the Ducky One 2 Mini. Still, there's a lot more to like about this keyboard.
Little and bright but not light
The Alloy Origins 60 has an aluminum body like the other Origins keyboards. This gives it added heft compared with other 60% keyboards, which tend to be all plastic. By comparison, the Ducky One 2 Mini weighs 583 grams (1.3 pounds) while the Origins 60 is 741 grams (1.6 pounds). It's not a huge difference, but it's discernible and the metal gives it a higher-end feel and sturdiness. On the back left side of the keyboard is a recessed USB-C port that the included USB-C-to-USB-A braided cable fits snugly into.
HyperX's key switches have exposed LEDs, which makes them really shine brightly through and around the keycaps. Included with the keyboard are a cap puller, a HyperX-branded keycap and a spare spacebar with a swirling, somewhat topographical design to it that looks fantastic when lit. It seems silly to swoon over such a small detail, but it really ups this keyboard's appeal.
The per-key RGB lighting can be programmed using HyperX's Ngenuity app, as can the base and function layer key assignments. The preprogrammed function layer keys are on the right side of the keyboard and labels for them are on the fronts of the keycaps. I especially like the arrow key placement because they're right next to the Function key, making one-handed use easy. Up to three profiles can be stored directly to the keyboard, too, so they're accessible regardless of the computer you're using.
At $100, the Alloy Origins 60 is priced similarly to other 60% mechanical keyboards, but the solid build quality gives it more value. Since it doesn't have hot-swappable switches, however, you'll have to be happy with HyperX's linear switches, which I am (though I prefer its tactile Aqua switches for typing). With a 45-gram operating force and a 1.8mm actuation point, they work well for both gaming and typing. The category might be dominated by smaller brands but the Alloy Origins 60 is a standout.