The HyperX Alloy Origins Core Dumps The Bells And Whistles, And I Respect That

The HyperX Alloy Origins Core is a fairly standard mechanical keyboard for HyperX. The Core in its name, I assume, refers to its single-minded focus on core features. This is in line with the ethos projected by almost every HyperX product – gear that is sturdy and reliable, and eschews frills. It’s this willingness to cut the crap and focus on function that I’ve always respected.

So what are the particulars on a board like this? Well, for a start this is a compact board, sometimes referred to as a “tenkeyless”. That’s marketing speak for “doesn’t have the number pad on the end”. The chassis underneath is what HyperX calls a Full Aircraft-Grade Aluminium Body. This is more marketing speak for “it’s heavy enough to sit still on your desk even when you’re going absolutely ham in the middle of a Halo Infinite match“.

The board is compatible with HyperX’s own in-house switches, which are Red (linear), Aqua (tactile) and Blue (clicky). For clarity: the board I used for this review had the noisy Blue switches. This is the area where your mileage will vary substantially. Depending on the kind of keys you prefer, you’ll find certain switches unbearable and others quite comfortable. For me, I don’t love clicky switches – they break through the noise gate on my Blue Yeti X microphone too easily for my liking – but if they’re what you want, the click is sharp, clear and matter-of-fact. Blue switches require a slightly higher actuation force of 62cN (or centinewtons) across a distance of under 4mm. This is slower by mechanical keyboard standards, particularly when you’re key-mashing. This won’t surprise anyone familiar with mechanical boards. It’s well known that clicky switches sacrifice a small amount of speed in exchange for clearer feedback.

It’s certainly comfortable beneath the fingers, and the actuation drop is honestly still quite small. Hyper still doesn’t ship it with a wrist rest so bear that in mind if you need more support. The keys all feature exposed LEDs for greater vibrancy and a full RGB spectrum. Lighting on older HyperX boards strictly reflected the company’s red-on-black aesthetic, but they’ve since embraced the rainbow. There are three RBG settings, all bound to the function keys. There’s a wave, a full-panel colour shift and an explosion function that sends lights rippling across the board with each keypress. Again, fairly restrained compared to its direct competition, but that restraint is what has won HyperX so many fans. These are of course just presets, and you can use the HyperX Ngenuity app to design your own light show. From there, they can be bound to the preset keys for future use.

What else is there to talk about here? The HyperX Alloy Origins Core can be placed in three orientations, from flat to 45 degrees. It has a detachable USB-C cable and retains the Game Mode key on F12 for anti-ghosting. My favourite box feature is that it lists the PS4 and Xbox One among its box features, further proof that the gap between consoles and PC’s is now about an inch wide.

And that’s really it. If it feels like I’m reaching for features to address, it’s because I am. There isn’t much else to talk about with this board, and that’s actually kind of nice. This is a mechanical keyboard with manners. It doesn’t need bells and whistles to impress you because its grasp of the fundamentals is so strong. It may feel like I’m withholding more effusive praise for this board, but that’s not what it wants. This is a keyboard that desires the Miyagi-esque nod of respect from a customer that knows what they’re about. So, in lieu of a rating, that’s what I’ll give it.

Razer Zephyr
Image: The Karate Kid, Columbia Pictures

The HyperX Alloy Origins Core is available from most gaming retailers for $119.95. It’s available now.

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