Maybe it’s because our homes are feeling increasingly cramped, but 60 percent keyboards seem to be coming into vogue. Those are decks that not only lack a number pad, but also jettison all the function keys and miscellanea like the “scroll lock” and “print screen” buttons for an incredibly slimmed down presence on your desk. But being so diminutive doesn’t make HyperX’s new Alloy Origins 60 keyboard anything less than powerful, packing in a sturdy build and great typing experience in a smaller size for only $100.
The first thing I noticed about the Origins 60 — besides its diminutive profile, of course — is how absolutely dense it is. It appears to weigh about the same as a full-size keyboard, which means all that poundage is packed into a smaller space. Many higher-end gaming decks tend to have a metal plate on top to support the keys, while the casing underneath is usually plastic. Not so here; the Origins 60 appears to be metal all the way through, with two halves that come together with a barely discernible gap in between. It looks and feels like one piece, and when you type on the keys or tap the bottom of the keyboard, there’s a slight metallic ring.
The keys are still full sized and they’re spaced almost identically, so in theory the keyboard shouldn’t cramp your hands. But you will have to reteach yourself how to type a little bit: It took some time to get used to the lack of bezels, and the right function key has been relocated to the edge. That’s to make it easier to get to do all the things that no longer have dedicated buttons on the Origins 60: F1 through F12 have been relocated to the number row, media controls live above the space bar and the arrows have been tucked away on the bottom right. You’ll need to hit FN + [whatever key] which might take a bit of getting used to, but at least everything is clearly labeled on its bottom edge.
Those who prefer wireless accessories will be disappointed, as the Origins 60 is a wired keyboard with one USB-C port to connect. The braided cord included in the box is USB-C to USB-A, which should suit larger setups but, as I’ve noted in the past with other accessories, might be annoying if you’re trying to connect to a slim notebook that only has the smaller port. The dongle life isn’t exactly streamlining your setup, so you might want to swap out the cord for one with USB-C on both ends.
For the most part, the linear HyperX Red switches offer up a pretty pleasant typing experience, quiet and smooth. As is tradition, I am writing this hands-on with the Origins 60, and I’ve gotten the hang of the smaller profile. It’s pretty comfortable and I don’t make more mistakes than usual, which is a huge contrast from my first day with it where I was rykmh kuffokh (typing gibberish). And I have so much more space on my desk, which is both a boon to neat freaks and people who eat lunch at their workstation — I’m less likely to be dropping crumbs on this keyboard, since it’s placed further away from me than my usual equipment.
I couldn’t say for sure if this would become my daily driver, but it is certainly handy to have around. I might slip this into my bag when headed off to a work meeting, or bring it to a gaming con like PAX. It’s certainly sturdy enough to take some bumps and small enough to slip into my backpack next to my laptop. You can pick one up direct from HyperX’s site starting today.