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HyperX Mechanical Keyboard Buying Guide

14 August 2020

 

With everyone working from home more than ever, there’s never been a time to look after your fingers. Chances are you’re typing every day, so if you’re giving your fingers a constant workout, then they might as well be tapping on something comfortable.

 

That’s where mechanical keyboards come in. While you don’t have to go to the crazy lengths that some fanatics do, everyone can benefit from a nicer, better keyboard. Not only is it more comfortable in the long term, mechanical keyboards can help your typing accuracy, are nicer to look at, and come in a range of styles and colours to suit all needs and environments. And just like people, keyboards have their own differences and unique traits. That’s why companies like HyperX offer such a wide range of layouts, designs and, most importantly, switches.

 

The second thing to know about keyboard switches is that they’re split into colours, actuation force (how much weight you need to make the key register) and the sound the keys make when pressed. If the word “switches” doesn’t ring a bell, it’s basically the main physical characteristic that you’ll notice when you first type on a keyboard. When you press down on a key to type something on a computer it’s the physical switch underneath the keycap that sends the input through.

 

In mechanical keyboards, those switches are what determine how much force is needed for the keystroke to register, what sound the key makes when pressed, and generally how durable the keyboard will be over time. Putting it simply, a mechanical keyboard will generally cause your fingers less fatigue than your regular laptop or cheap brand from Officeworks.

 

The second thing to know about keyboard switches is that they’re split into colours, actuation force (how much weight you need to make the key register) and the sound the keys make when pressed.

 

 

An example of two “switches” for mechanical keyboards: HyperX’s red and aqua. If you’re working in a regular corporate office environment, particularly one that’s not accustomed to a lot of IT equipment, then chances are you won’t want an especially loud, clicky keyboard. Some users prefer the loud clack when typing, which helps reduce typing errors. But it’s not for everyone, and if that’s you, then a keyboard featuring HyperX’s red switches will be the way to go.

 

Red switches don’t have any tactile bump when pressed, which means you won’t get any physical feedback at the point when the key is pressed. The benefit here is that the switches are generally quieter, making them perfect for corporate environments, shared rooms or instances where you’d prefer a quieter keyboard.

 

The red switch iterations of the HyperX Alloy Origins and Alloy Origins Core TKL are perfect for this instance, and the RGB lighting can be fully customised, or disabled entirely, to your preference. (The Alloy Origins is a full-length keyboard, while the Origins Core is what’s called a “tenkeyless” keyboard, meaning it doesn’t have a numpad on the right hand side. This is great if you don’t have a lot of space on your desk, or just want a smaller keyboard.) Red switches are commonly recommended for gaming, since their linear design makes them easier to press rapidly. That’s a big help if you’re playing games like Starcraft or something where you’re moving back and forth rapidly -- think Counter-Strike, Valorant or PUBG. If you want a keyboard with a little more tactile feedback -- but still doesn’t require any more force to press -- then HyperX’s aqua switches are a great alternative.
 

The aqua switches are tactile, instead of linear. This means you’ll feel a slight bump when pressing down the keys. The tactile response is great for avoiding typos, but the keys don’t add that extra clack that you might find with some keyboards (like this classic!).

 

 

Aqua switches are still great for gaming, so the real difference between the two is down to your personal preference and your speed and accuracy when typing. If you have a habit of making too many typos, there’s Aqua versions of the Alloy Origins and Alloy Origins Core. The Alloy Origins won Best Gaming Keyboard at the 2020 Australian PC Awards, so you can’t really go wrong. But if you want a keyboard that’s as flashy as possible for your gaming setup, there’s one other option worth considering.

 

The Alloy Elite 2 is a new keyboard sporting “pudding keycaps”. Keycaps are basically the shells that go over the top of a keyboard switch. It’s the things your fingers touch thousands of times a day. And because mechanical keyboards let you customise every individual key, special keycaps exist to enable all sorts of eye catching designs.

Pudding keycaps earned their name because of the design. The bottom half of each keycap is translucent, creating this two-tone effect that, at first glance, looks a bit like pudding.

 


 

The translucent bottom allows for more light to come through, which is great if you want your keyboard to really shine. HyperX’s pudding keycaps have been available before, but previously you’ve had to buy them as a separate kit -- meaning you’d have to individually swap out every single key on your existing mechanical keyboard.

 

The Alloy Elite 2 RGB mechanical keyboard -- this version ships with red switches -- comes with the pudding keycaps pre-installed. That saves an enormous amount of hassle, and it also has the benefit of looking incredible.


It’s great if you need to have a wired gamepad plugged in for certain Steam games, or if you just need a nearby port to keep your phone charged. The keyboard’s compatible with all Windows and Mac devices too. You can go one step further, making your environment more immersive and dazzling by customising its array of dazzling light effects. Pudding keycaps are a great combination for a gaming room that’s already outfitted with LED lighting or smart light strips, as they let out much more light than a regular RGB keyboard. The Alloy Elite 2 comes with the HyperX NGENUITY software, letting you control and customise the lighting down to each individual key, along with other handy features like macros and Game Mode. But regardless of what you choose, your fingers will thank you in the long term for buying a mechanical keyboard. Not only is it better for your fingers in the long term, a good keyboard can also make your work, home office or gaming setup much more enjoyable.

 

Tags: mechanical keyboard, hyperx, keyboard, rgb, buying guide

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