If you had to swap out just one keycap, which would it be? Many opt for a flashy Esc key, but I prefer to jazz up the spacebar. As the largest key with a central position and so much power, it brings dramatic change to the overall look. That’s why it’s hard not to drool at the extra spacebar that comes in the box with the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 announced today.
I’ve jazzed up keyboards with nice spacebars before (there are plenty, but Ducky has a Chinese New Year collection with adorable animals that are hard to resist). And it’s common enough to find keyboards with a spacebar that’s a different color from most of the other keys, such as the Varmilo MA108M Moonlight or Asus ROG Strix Scope TKL Electro Punk. But the Alloy Origins 60 includes a standard plain doubleshot PBT keycap, as well as an ABS one with etched in swirls that transform the keyboard and make that RGB look and even feel trippier -- if you run your finger along it, you’ll be able to feel the texture there.
Unlike the rest of the keycaps, which are the more premium doubleshot PBT plastic, the decorated spacebar here is lower-priced ABS plastic because to do the special design, ABS is a “much better, easier way to get that to market,” Mark Tekunoff, HyperX’s corporate PR manager, told Tom’s Hardware on our CES 2021 livestream discussing HyperX’s announcements.
“We wanted to give it some sort of a differentiator, and the spacebar’s the easiest and the largest piece of material on the board to do that with,” Tekunoff explained.
This isn’t the first time HyperX has included some extra flash with a mechanical keyboard. The brand’s previous (and first) 60% keyboard, the HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini, included an additional spacebar from Ducky. And while Tekunoff didn’t make any promises, it seems possible that we’ll get more HyperX keyboards with fun extras.
“It’s something that they're always looking at doing and expanding the number of customizations in each of the boxes, but for now this particular one is the first one with the fancy spacebar,” Tekunoff said. “And in the future, they haven’t announced it specifically to us, but the engineering guys are always looking for ways to differentiate and do things differently.”
HyperX announced the Alloy Origins 60 with HyperX Red mechanical switches. Those are specced for 3.8mm total travel, 1.8mm actuation point and 45g. That should make them slightly quicker to fire off repeatedly in your favorite games compared to your traditional Cherry MX Reds (4mm, 2mm, 45g).
HyperX already makes the Alloy Origins Core, a tenkeyless keyboard, available with HyperX Red or tactile HyperX Aqua switches, and Alloy Origins, a full-sized board with HyperX Red, HyperX Aqua or clicky HyperX Blue switches. When asked if we can expect more switch options in HyperX’s new compact keyboard, Tekunoff said “probably yes.”
Of course, this is the smallest keyboard in HyperX’s Alloy Origins series, lacking function keys, arrows and a numpad. But HyperX attempted to make this a little easier with functions, including those of the arrow keys, printed on the sides and activatable by using the FN key.
As expected, the Alloy Origins 60 will work with HyperX NGenuity software to allow you to customize things like RGB and up to three profiles of onboard memory.
The full-sized Alloy Origins is one of the best gaming keyboards for people seeking a fuss-free, high-end mechanical experience. So we’re looking forward to seeing how the Alloy Origins 60 stacks up against 60% rivals, like the equally gaming-focused Razer Huntsman Mini, when it arrives on February 22 on HyperX’s website for $100.
Check out the video above to hear more from our CES livestream with HyperX, including details on the ChargePlay Duo Controller Charging Station for Xbox Series X/S announced today and HyperX hasn’t jumped on the optical mechanical bandwagon yet.
For more from CES 2021, stay tuned to our site and check out our CES livestream schedule.