If you do a search for Mechanical keyboards, you’ll undoubtedly find an absolute treasure trove of opinion, both informative and destructive. With so many options available for users, it’s almost impossible to find a valid choice in the market. However, with HyperX recently unleashing several options, they sent a couple of them over to us to give a thorough testing. The first is the Alloy Origins 60, a sturdy unit with a diminutive 60%, ten keyless design and a detachable USB-C cable. The second is the Alloy Elite 2, a full sized keyboard with unique “pudding” keycaps to really show off the vibrant RGB options available within.
ALLOY ORIGINS 60
Let’s start with the baby, shall we? A delightfully cute keyboard, with a sturdy, all-aluminium design, the Origins 60 makes a statement that belies its size. Secondary functions adorn a number of keys, providing the functionality of a full size keyboard without too much additional drama. They keys themselves feel sturdy and solid, with standard Cherry MX designs to facilitate easy replacement. The switches themselves are custom HyperX Reds, which are indistinguishable from the Cherry branded ones, and feel solid, with decent actuation points and a smooth, linear motion.
The design itself is extremely robust. A solid aluminium base is accompanied by sturdy feet that provide a typing angle that feels really nice to work on. The 60% size takes a little bit of getting used to, particularly with having to hold a function key to perform actions like moving a cursor around a document etc, but on the whole it’s a lovely keyboard to work with. When it comes to gaming, things are fantastic. Everything is as responsive as you’d hope, with no ghosting or accidental presses to report.
Where things truly excel is within the lighting and customisation of the keyboard. Each key has an individual RGB LED, with three spread across the space bar, providing a beautifully vibrant display across the entire keyboard. Included in an accessory pack are a key puller, as well as a replacement “X” branded key, alongside a patterned space bar which really helps accentuate the LEDs tucked away underneath, especially when customised using the NGenuity software.
To compliment the small and potentially portable nature of the Origins 60,
All in all, the Alloy Origins 60 is a superb little keyboard, providing plenty more desk space for any sweeping mouse movements required, or if you’re pushed for space already. It’s a superb gaming keyboard, with a really nice typing feel and some staggering LED effects with incredible vibrancy.
ALLOY ELITE 2
Next up is the full sized option. The Alloy Elite 2 boasts a solid steel frame, giving a reassuringly sturdy and weighty feel to an already sizable keyboard. There is absolutely zero flex to it, making it feel like you could probably kill a man with it if you were that way inclined! A full sized layout is accompanied by a trio of buttons in the top left to adjust the brightness, lighting effects and enabling “Game Mode”, which disables the Windows key. In the top right, there are a set of media control keys and a scroll wheel for volume control, all of which work flawlessly.
As with the Origins 60, the switches are sturdy and with a good feel to them. The actuation isn’t too heavy, but not light enough that you’ll accidentally press one, and the N-key rollover allows for as many keys to be pressed all at once. The keycaps have a nice level of recess to them, but other than that, there’s not a huge amount to say other than that this is an excellent mechanical keyboard that would satisfy anyone who’s in the market for one right now. Rounding out the design is a now-common USB 2.0 passthrough port, enabling you to quickly throw in a USB stick, or even a mouse or wireless dongle.
Where the Elite 2 comes into its own though, is with the lighting effects. The “Pudding Keycaps”, as they’re called, allow for a ton of light from the individual LEDs that sit at the top of each keyswitch thanks to the diffusive white bottom half of each key. The LEDs are super-bright, with the same excellent customisation offered by the NGenuity software. You can layer colours, and have multiple effects attached to individual keys or entire swathes of the keyboard, and there’s also a lightbar above the function keys, which separate the main body of the keyboard from the top row of specialist keys. This lightbar can also be animated, providing a fantastic effect that can really show off your RGB-enthused tastes. Of course, you can always tone down the effects with a tap of the brightness key in the top left, but where’s the fun in that?! The NGenuity software also allows you to set presets up for specific games, so if you’re keen to have your WASD keys lit up and specific functions per game, you can set those up and link them to individual programs if you so choose. This is also really handy for editing, as you can get your hotkeys set up to be more prominently visible with just a few clicks.
If you’re not a huge fan of having pieces of software running in the background to enable your lighting effects, you can save them to the keyboard’s memory as well. There is enough space to have 3 completely custom setups saved into the board, toggled with the middle of the three top left buttons, so you can go from “super serious office work” and only have a few keys lit up in white, to full on unicorn vomit, just like you should have with an RGB offering.
Overall, you can’t go too far wrong with either of these keyboards. If you’re after a compact offering, either to get more desk space or you just want a small keyboard, then the Alloy Origins 60 is an excellent choice, giving you tons of lighting effects and a sturdy yet lightweight option, all with a detachable USB type C cable for the absolute best in portability. The Elite 2 is a superb keyboard as well, with a solid, weighty feel, enough lighting to put Blackpool at Christmas to shame, and a lovely typing feel, along with some really useful media controls. I’ve got absolutely no hesitation in recommending either of them, and the Elite 2 has already taken pride of place as my daily driver.