HyperX released the initial mechanical keyboard known as Alloy Origins late in 2019 with its red linear switches. The Alloy Origins was a sleek design comprised of aircraft-grade aluminum with a fast flow for typing and gaming. Now HyperX has introduced its Aqua switches into the keyboard as this tactile mechanical switch is meant to sit between linear and clicky. This version of the Alloy Origins comes in black rather than the silver and comes complete with full RGB options. Choosing specific switches comes down to personal preference, but the linear red switch impressed with its speed. Does the Aqua version do the same?
Every technical option carries over to this version of the Alloy Origins outside of the mechanical switches, themselves. Players can expect anti-ghosting, a game mode, full RGB compatibility via the HyperX NGENUITY software, and on-board memory for three profiles. The keyboard is also detachable via USB-C connection and is compatible with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One if you are looking to jump on something like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
The Alloy Origins remains rigid and durable in its design. It remains a heavier keyboard that won’t move on a player as it will remain firmly planted in place. The aluminum chassis feels a little rough aesthetically and it isn’t a smooth metal composite. There’s a small LED indicator strip in the upper right hand corner to provide indicators for caps lock and game mode. The keyboard still lacks a volume dial or any media buttons as all are mapped as function buttons across the top. What still stands out is just how fast this keyboard is to type with. It’s almost nearly as fast as the red switch. Even typing this review allows for excellent flow. It does contain three different keyboard angles to use.
As for the gaming portion, I tested this keyboard with Journey to the Savage Planet and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. While these are both shooters, the comfort level and response were adequate. Keys and spacing are in a good position as, again, that is backed by just how well the flow of the keyboard is designed. The Aqua switches, however, leave me wanting more in terms of response. The actuation point comes off as feeling flat and while it provides noise for feedback, the Aqua may not be my personal cup of tea. I didn’t like linear keys either, but using the Red linear switches on the Alloy Origins were a pleasant surprise.
The Aqua switches come in at exactly the same technical specs as the Red linear, so there isn’t necessarily an advantage between the two but just a personal preference. Travel time for each key stroke is 3.8 mm with an actuation point of 1.8mm. The operating force for the keys are rated at 45g and the life span is rated at 80 million clicks. Durability will not be an issue for the Alloy Origins line of keyboards. These stats are all improvements in comparison to MX Cherry and MX Brown switches which rate a little bit behind each of the categories. The RGB is extremely vibrant and looks even better reflecting off of the black aluminum as compared to the silver. The HyperX NGENIUTY software still leaves a good bit to be desired in terms of customization options as there are only a handful of presets. More importantly, the RGB isn’t overkill and doesn’t look tacky and this helps with the main look of the Alloy Origins. Light illuminates out of the sides of each key and reflects off of the aluminum to create an excellent ambiance.
HyperX provides the technical specs and the composite design with the Alloy Origins keyboards to help price them competitively no matter what switch you use. There isn’t an insane amount of options, but the retail price isn’t necessarily entry level either. The keyboard retails for $109.99 and while aspects such as the RGB, the aircraft aluminum chassis and the variation of switches help back up that price, there are few other options that could be added for that price such as a volume dial or media buttons that aren’t tied to function keys. The Aqua tactile switches are fast but they leave me wanting more in terms of feedback. It still comes down to personal preference and you won’t know if you like it until it’s in your hands. Both the Aqua and Red switches built with the Alloy Origins keyboards are still solid options for the price.