A standard sized keyboard isn’t always the right fit. If you want to cart one around, or want something compact to keep by the TV for your consoles, or you just have little in the way of desk space, a keyboard like the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 is a great solution.
If you’re trying to save space, you’re just not going to get a full-size key mechanical keyboard that’s smaller than the wonderfully compact Alloy Origins 60. That number in its name represents that it’s only 60 per cent the size of a standard keyboard. It’s a just-the-facts design, and it’s an appealing one. The bezels clock in at only a few millimetres each side, surrounding an otherwise full-sized 61-key layout – sans the function keys, numeric keypad, directions and various other keys such as insert, home and end.
Those keys may be gone, but their functionalities remain, with them all assigned a specific standard key and accessed by also holding down the ‘FN’ key. Each one is clearly marked on the front of a key, along with such handy other things like multimedia controls and RGB brightness. They can take a little time to enter into the old muscle memory, but rest assured the functionalities are there.
Yes, as the pictures attest the Alloy Origins 60 has fully programmable RGB lighting, which can be tweaked with various patterns from drab to dynamic via the HyperX NGenuity software. Three onboard memory slots allow switching between your presets, while the software also allows other tweaks such as turning off that infernal shift lock key.
The markings on each of the PBT plastic keycaps – which tend to survive longer than standard ABS ones – are nice and clear, with secondary functions such as punctuation also lighting up. Those aforementioned functions on the front remain in the dark though, but can be made out in a dark space OK depending upon on how bright you have the RGB lighting set.
“Key caps that will take a pounding aren’t the only reassuringly solid part of the Alloy Origins 60…”
Key caps that will take a pounding aren’t the only reassuringly solid part of the Alloy Origins 60, with the base crafted from “aircraft grade” aluminium. This lends the unit a decent amount of heft to help prevent it from sliding all over a desktop, knee or anywhere else that you plop it, without falling into the “too heavy!” basket. If used on a flat surface there are also two handy levels of elevation, provided by two quite sturdy two-part plastic feet.
As for typing feel, HyperX have equipped the Alloy Origins 60 with their super-speedy proprietary red linear switches. If you like your keyboards to sound super-clacky then these aren’t for you, as these get the job done soemwhat more subtly noise-wise, but otherwise they offer great feel and, from our test, reliability.
Speaking of the keys, two bonus ones are included, along with a handy keycap removal tool. There’s a HyperX one that you could use in place of the Windows key if you don’t wish to give that free plug to Microsoft, and a super-cool contour line space bar that really looks the goods when the RGB lighting is flowing – check it out:
While it’s a wired keyboard, conveniently the USB-C cable can be removed for ease of portability, or to move the keyboard out of the way on your desk should you need to open up some workspace, switch to a full-size keyboard, or even swap in something like a music keyboard.
If reliability and durability are key deciders in your search for a compact, space-saving yet fully-functional keyboard – and some funky looks don’t hurt either – then the Hyper X Alloy Origins 60 is definitely one to have a look at.
The HyperX Alloy Origins 60 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is available now.