Back before CES 2023, HyperX previewed its upcoming Personalization line which would introduce a boatload of accessories to trick out your gaming space. One such product line is the keycap collection, which are 3D-printed keycaps either in the shape of adorable frogs, cats, and rubber duckies or cooler designs like dragons.
I immediately fell in love with them, and couldn’t wait to buy and start tricking out my HyperX Alloy Origins 65 mechanical keyboard. Eventually, the opportunity to check out the first in the line of this series, Coco the Cozy Cat, came and I naturally jumped at the chance to have this cute little pajama-wearing cat on my keyboard.
HyperX plans on releasing Coco on January 26 at 9 AM EST (6 AM PST / 2 PM GMT) and in limited quantities, meaning that once it sells out it’s gone for good. And that’s the plan for the rest of the lineup, with one new release per month and limited-edition versions on the side.
So how does this cutie stack up? Does this little keycap bode well for the rest of the HyperX Personalization line?
Editor's Note: This feature has been updated with the new release time as confirmed by a HyperX representative, which is 9 AM EST, not PST. All other time zones have been corrected to reflect this change.
How it looks
Actually getting it in my hands, I’m immediately surprised by how well-made it is. It’s lightweight but not cheap feeling in the slightest, and the paint job is quality as well. There are some very impressive details on the keycap, like the raised sections for things like the hat and scarf, the cat’s sleepy expression, and even down to the little HyperX logo on said hat.
The colors themselves are vibrant and are sure to stand out against your keyboard, especially the dark-colored ones. Which makes sense since the whole purpose of the personalization line is to make your keyboards more lively in the first place.
Due to the design itself, the keycap stands a bit higher than the regular keys, about a half an inch higher at most. It works to make the keycap more distinguishable and immediately trains the eye to it, so it’s guaranteed to be a conversation starter as soon as anyone gazes at your keyboard.
How it works
Just like most other customizable keycaps, the HyperX ones are simple to install. You remove the key of your choice (in my case I picked the Del key) with a tool or, in a pinch, two paperclips and a twist-tie, and then place the new keycap in that space. It’s surprisingly easy to push it in place and though there’s a bit of wiggle, it’s very secure and won’t come out if you pull it up.
Using it as a key is simple too, and feels nearly as satisfying as pushing down on a normal mechanical key. It’s instantly responsive, so it’s completely compatible with the mechanical switch. In fact, it's compatible with any HyperX mechanical keyboard as well as the vast majority of mechanical keyboards in general. But don't think you can slap this on a non-mechanical one, as you need to be able to attach it to upraised switches.
The only worry would be that if you choose a busy key, you might slowly wear down the design over time, but this is easily resolved by simply using a less-used key. The other issue is that the one I received, as well as the ones I previewed, are made for regular width keys and not the longer ones like Shift, Caps, Tab, etc). Size variations would be nice for future releases, especially a special one for the Spacebar with a more resilient and flatter design in the center that wouldn’t interfere with finger presses.
So far I absolutely adore Coco the Cozy Cat. They’re an adorable addition to my keyboard with wonderful detailing and great build quality. I look forward to the rest of the line as new keycaps drop every month. And the limited quantities approach is smart since it should keep engagement up for each release.
Hopefully, enough of each one is made so we don’t run into scalper situations that keep these products out of the hands of its audience, which would kill an otherwise great concept. But with its launch approaching, it’ll be interesting to see how well gamers respond to this fun product line.
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Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.