HyperX Alloy Origins Core Review
HyperX have built a quality line of gaming peripherals in recent years and the Alloy Origins Core mechanical keyboard continues that tradition. With top notch pedigree, the latest RGB Tenkeyless (no number pad) mechanical board variant is the new kid on the block, with its big brother the Alloy Origins already well regarded in the field.
The “Core” as we’ll call it from here on in, emanates quality with its solid aluminium frame, sleek minimalist design and not one, not two, but three adjustable height levels for maximum comfort. Rarely am I huge fan of the compact design, but the Core has a great look and feel – it’s easy to forget it’s compact. It’s also safe to say that the RGB illumination is second to none with extremely vibrant and robust LEDs piercing through the key-cap lettering providing a superb glow from beneath the border-less keys. Yup, it’s rainbow puke heaven here folks in all it’s glory!
With a fully aluminium frame and body the Core weighs in at 900g. This is heavy for a compact board, but damn does it feel good. Total dimensions are w=360mm; D=132mm and H=34mm so it won’t take up much real estate on your desk!
As we mentioned before the stand can be adjusted to three different height levels making the Core a really good ergonomic option for those that need it.
Each key cap can be easily removed so cleaning and dusting should be an issue either……I assume we all diligently clean our keyboards, right? Good. This also highlights the proprietary HyperX key switches which for most will look much the same as any other type of switch – similar to the better-known Cherry MX as an example. We’ll get into a bit more detail on the switches in the performance section.
The Core also comes with a feature I absolutely love and wish more manufacturers adopted – a detachable power cable (USB-C to USB). It makes set up and packing down just that much simpler especially if you change out peripherals regularly. On that note the cable is your standard braided style, but has a fraction more flexibility than most. It’s particularly good in comparison to Razer products which seem to be made out the stiffest material in existence.
Our Core version uses the red “linear” proprietary HyperX switches providing a very quiet experience compared to some more traditional “clicky” mechanical key switches. This means a relatively serene experience while word processing and when you’re in the heat of battle. The linear part of the switch basically means you won’t get an obvious tactile response similar to some other mechanical key switches. There are some technical reasons for this, but the bottom line is the linear style of switch means it’s not as loud, it has a shorter actuation point (1.8mm compared to Cherry MXs Red’s which are 2.0mm) and essentially faster repeat presses for maximum spam!
We asked HyperX if any models of the Core were being sold with different switches and at the time of writing only Red linear keys are being sold here in Australia. Overseas both the Alloy Origin and the Core variants have the aqua key switches in circulation which has the same actuation point as the red linear however provides users with the obvious tactile feedback.
I’ll be honest, my favourite mechanical keyboard used to be the Roccat Suora FX, which (at least in my model) used TTC Brown switches and delivers a very clear and obvious tactile response and clicky noise. Now after trying the Red Linear switches from HyperX, I have a clear new favourite! But we’d recommend giving any “linear” mechanical switch a try, it really does make for a great experience.
As is the case for most peripherals HyperX has its own proprietary software to manage key mapping and RGB illumination to get the most out of your RGB Rainbow Puke’athon. Unfortunately, the latest incarnation of HyperX’s Ngenuity software is currently in BETA via the Microsoft store and provides minimal customisation and pre-set light styles for users. Compared to Razers Synapse or Roccat Swarm software, Ngenuity leaves a lot to be desired. It does however support gaming profiles which you can download directly from HyperX. The down side is these profiles don’t seem to be compatible with the latest beta version of the Ngenuity.
After we did some digging it turns out the profiles were created specifically for the previous/original version of Ngenuity which doesn’t seem to be available for download anymore. Pre-configured game profiles could have brought our impressions out of the mid into something that is at least half respectable. Unfortunately, Negenuity falls short in features, customisation and usability. We can only hope with enough user feedback these issues can be rectified before the software graduates to fully released product.
The HyperX Alloy Origins Core is a sleek, minimalistic board with a premium quality feeling that suits both word processing and gaming. The exceptional RGB LED lighting is genuinely gorgeous to behold and choice of mechanical switch fits this keyboard beautifully.
If you can get past the decidedly woeful “Ngenuity” software which as of writing is still in Beta and we can only hope improves over time, then this is one of the best small form factor keyboards we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing.
A big thanks goes to HyperX for supplying the board for review and we can’t wait to bring you guys some more great content. What’s your favourite keyboard and do you have a preferred key switch for gaming or word processing? Hit us up in the comments below!
And hey…if reading isn’t your thing feel free to check out our video review below or hit us up on our YT channel anytime!