HyperX Alloy Origins Core TKL Gaming Keyboard Review
NOTE: HyperX graciously sent me a final retail unit of this keyboard to review at my discretion alongside marketing assets and technical information. I don’t receive a kickback if you decide to buy one, and none of the links in this article are affiliate links. I wasn’t sponsored to write this, and I had full editorial control over this article.
HyperX’s Alloy Origins Core TKL gaming keyboard first launched at the end of 2019, and it featured custom HyperX Red linear mechanical switches. Next, they brought out a version with HyperX Aqua switches, essentially their take on a Cherry MX Brown/tactile bump style of key switch.
Now, a brand new edition is out featuring HyperX Blue switches, and it’s one of the best gaming keyboards I’ve ever used. It blends an incredibly sturdy build, sleek design, and excellent performance into a keyboard priced lower than the market average.
The HyperX Alloy Origins Core sells for a standard retail price of just $89.99 (official site here). That’s one of the lowest prices I’ve ever seen for a mechanical TKL keyboard from a dedicated gaming brand. Impressively, you’re not really giving anything up in exchange for that competitive price. Inside the box, you get the keyboard itself, a nice braided USB-C to USB-A cable, and some documentation.
Build quality is the standout feature of the Alloy Origins Core. The entire body is built out of aircraft-grade aluminum, both top and bottom. It’s built better than I expected for the price, and better than many more- expensive keyboards I’ve used in the past. The metal body is sturdy and premium-feeling, and has a very small bezel edge around the outside, wasting no extra space on your desk. The edges are sleek and rounded, and the solid nature of the casing helps enhance the auditory and physical feedback of the clicky switches.
Those new-to-this-edition HyperX Blue switches are a joy to use, whether for typing or gaming. They have a fast and precise feel, and the actuation point lines up nicely with their satisfying click. The solid case gives the switches a great sound without too much ping, so if you’re looking for maximum feedback when you’ve pressed a key then this is an excellent option. The great build quality also extends to the mounting of both the switches and the keycaps. The stabilizers work well, and the keys have minimal wobble across the entire board.
I love the clean font on the keycaps. It gives the keyboard a luxurious professional look, with only a subtle HyperX logo above the arrow keys and a HyperX insignia on the space bar giving this away as a gaming product. The secondary functions of each key are lit by the RGB function thanks to smart placement on the keys, and although that makes some keys a little more cramped visually than on other gaming models, having everything lit up is worth it.
RGB light customization is quite easy with HyperX’s Ngenuity software. You can save three different custom light and key assignment profiles to three different hardware-stored slots under the F1, F2, and F3 keys. Once you’ve written these profiles to the board you can completely close the software and toggle between your custom settings instantly with a key press, which is great for those that don’t like to have extra software running all the time. Lighting is vibrant, clean, and even across the whole keyboard, and quite eye-catching in spite of the black backplate.
The keyboard stays completely stable even during aggressive typing or gaming sessions. It has large rubber feet in the corners, and includes adjustable feet with two different levels of height so you can tilt the angle to your liking. Those adjustable feet swing in and out with a prominent heft and click that’s worthy of the build of the rest of the keyboard. I found it worked great for my personal setup in the flat configuration, and the standard spacing and ergonomic profile of the key caps both helped me get up to full typing speed after just an hour of adjustment. I went through a longer adjustment experience with the wider spacing of the Roccat models I tested out last month.
I wasn’t sure that the HyperX Blue Switches warranted a new marketing push for this keyboard, but after using them for a full week I was totally wrong. These are excellent clicky key switches. They have a faster response time and shorter overall travel distance than Cherry’s blue switches, shaving .2mm off of each in comparison. They also have a durability rating of 80 million presses, which is really high for non-optical switches, and matches ratings that Razer once boasted of as “industry-leading.”
The feel of the key switches is essentially perfect, as far as what I’m looking for out of a clicky switch. They’re quick and snappy and fun to press, with a perfect amount of actuation force and no grain or cheapness throughout their travel. The faster response and shorter travel distance compared to Cherry switches is noticeable, and makes these feel lighter than you might expect for how firm and impressive their audio feedback is. I’d pick these over Cherry’s blue switches, and also over Razer’s green mechanical switches I also have extensive experience with. The HyperX switches offer a more satisfying, lighter feel with a powerful and accurate click.
The detachable cable is both high quality and plenty long for any setup, and I personally like that the port is offset to the right side of the frame as my desktop sits to the right of my monitor. The keyboard has dedicated white LEDs for caps lock and game mode indication located to the right of the HyperX logo above the arrow keys, and while that’s an uncommon choice it’s still functional.
I have only a couple of very small things to complain about here, and they come down to personal taste rather than being actual flaws. The key caps are made from ABS plastic, and although they have a nice smooth finish on them and are built better than the caps I’ve seen on cheap OEM boards, they will still probably develop some shine and wear after extensive use. HyperX sells an affordable PBT keycap set for under $30 that you can swap to if you’d like, and even after that upgrade the price of the keyboard is still lower than average for the gaming market.
The sleek design unfortunately means that the Alloy Origins Core doesn’t have any dedicated media controls, but it still has several media shortcuts available with the function key toggle. I’ve been spoiled by the dedicated volume knob on Roccat’s boards, but adjusting to the Alloy Origins Core didn’t take too long. I also think dedicated controls would ruin the sleek nature of the design here, so I’m ultimately glad HyperX went this way, and for the low price I’m willing to give up dedicated controls.
Overall, the Alloy Origins Core is an excellent gaming keyboard for a super-competitive price. HyperX’s clicky blue switches are one of the best examples of this switch type on the market. The build quality is phenomenal, with a frame design and sturdiness that puts much pricier models to shame. Even after an optional PBT keycap upgrade, the low price here makes the Allow Origins Core an outstanding value.
If you’re looking to stretch your dollars on a gaming keyboard I can’t think of a better choice than this. Going both cheaper and more expensive you’re going to potentially run into plastic frames and less-performant switches. You can get some more premium features like optical switches and media controls by stepping up to the $150 range, but you’ll be out enough extra cash you could have bought a new video game on top of your new keyboard. The Alloy Origins Core is the definitive price/performance winner for gaming TKL keyboards. The new clicky HyperX Blue switch option means it’s now available with all the most popular switch types too, so it’s a great choice for a wider range of gamers.
Earlier this year, Roccat’s Vulcan TKL Pro established itself as my gold standard for a flagship premium- priced TKL gaming keyboard, and the HyperX Alloy Origins Core is now my primary recommendation if you’re looking for a cheaper model. It has such a solid build and capable performance that HyperX could easily charge more and still not be doing their customers a disservice. The $89 price point is phenomenal, and perhaps the fairest deal in gaming keyboards.