Long the preferred choice of many programmers, 65 and 60 percent keyboards have also recently started attracting the attention of gamers looking to save desk space. Trimming the fat without losing any functionality is the name of the game, and more than a few manufacturers have delivered. Top picks like the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog and the Corsair K70 RGB Pro Mini Wireless lead the pack, but they’re certainly not the only shaved-down options on the market. Enter the HyperX Alloy Origins 65, a 65 percent board with a light aluminum body, pleasant RGB lighting, and comfortable HyperX key switches that make every key press satisfying. And at $99, it’s sure to be a favorite among gamers on a budget.A Keyboard With Humble OriginsThe HyperX Alloy Origins 65 doesn’t look any different than most compact keyboards available, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. A matte black finish wraps the 67-button layout and gives the HyperX an attractive sheen, while doubleshot PBT keycaps protect the keys from wear and tear, with translucent lettering that lets the RGB lighting shine through. The Alloy Origins 65 is down about 40 keys from the standard full-size keyboard layout, so secondary functions have moved to the sides of the keycaps as additional functions.Turning the aluminum body over to examine its underside, you’ll find four rubber grips—one at each corner—and three adjustable keyboard angles, a nice addition for those interested in their keyboard’s ergonomics. At the top, you’ll find one USB-C port for the included USB-C cable. If you’re looking for a wireless keyboard, look elsewhere, as there’s no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support here. At 1.4 by 12.4 by 4.15 inches (HWD), the HyperX is a compact keyboard, and while you can go slimmer if you opt for a 60 percent keyboard like the Kinesis TKO, the HyperX Origins 65 is just a hair thinner than many other leading 65 percent boards, like the Asus ROG Falchion. The extra 5% allows for a row of additional functions on the right-hand side, as well as comfortably spaced arrow keys. Weight-wise, the Alloy Origins 65 hits 1.8 pounds, fairly light but hardly the lightest compact board. Turning attention to the keys themselves, savvy users may notice that HyperX doesn’t utilize Cherry-manufactured key switches, instead turning to its own proprietary switch brand. Our review unit uses HyperX Red linear switches, the same kind as in the HyperX Alloy Origins 60, the board’s 60 percent variant. If linear keys aren’t your thing, you can instead configure your board with Aqua switches, HyperX’s tactile option. The switches feel unique, striking a balance that lends itself both to gaming and general use. They have an operating force of 45g, the same as a Cherry Red switch, but with a slightly shorter actuation point and travel distance (1.8mm and 3.8mm respectively). The actuation point is the distance into the down-press at which the switch registers an input, while the travel distance is the maximum distance a button can depress. A standard polling rate of 1,000Hz is also found here, which affects your keyboard's response time. (The higher the number, the faster the response.) Rounding out the package is a keycap puller, always a welcome addition, and a few replacement keycaps. The included alternate space bar ditches the topographic artwork of the Alloy Origins 60, and instead opts for spaceships and planets. It's still a very cool-looking upgrade that looks great with RGB lighting underneath, though the red key and cartoonish print might not be for everyone.A Little Ngenuity Goes a Long WayHyperX still employs the Ngenuity configuration app for all your customization needs. The app itself has become quite impressive, with a fantastic feature set, and it's very easy to navigate. Here, you’re able to remap keys as well as adjust RGB lighting and a host of other settings. The Alloy Origins 65 can support up to three profiles, a nice plus for those who like to customize their settings for each game. While I’d rank it a notch under the software that comes with Razer, Logitech, or Corsair keyboards, it works just fine. Taking the keyboard into battle, I used it mostly to type out commands and queries in various MMOs on both the PlayStation 5 and the PC. While I'll always take a full-size board when I can, I can't say that I had any issues with the Alloy Origins 65 across any of the games I played on either platform.Finally, at $99, the 65 percent version of the board is slightly more expensive than its 60 percent variant, but you are getting a few extra keys to work with, so the tradeoff isn’t bad at all. It’s much more affordable than the recent 60 percent offerings from Razer and Corsair, though with fewer bells and whistles to its name.Verdict: A Small and Mighty Key MasterDespite the lack of wireless functionality, the 65 percent HyperX Alloy Origins is a solid keyboard all around, easily keeping pace with the competition thanks to excellent HyperX key switches and some attractive RGB lighting. While it doesn’t have the deep set of features that you may expect from higher-end keyboards, at the end of the day, most gamers want a keyboard to handle the basics well, and the HyperX Alloy Origins 65 does just that, all while saving you desk space along the way. The Fnatic Streak 65 and the Kinesis TKO are our first and second choices in this category, but the 65 percent Alloy Origins is no slouch, and a worthy buy for $100.