The keyboard looks stunning from the moment I took it out of the box. Of course, that’s not a big surprise, coming from one of the biggest gaming brands around and being part of the Strix range! A welcome bonus, however, is this stunning padded wrist rest which is included.
Even the underside looks well designed, with three huge grips and two smaller ones towards the back. That means that when you snap it in place, it’s not going to slide around unless you apply some significant force to it.
Personally, I don’t like using a keyboard without a wrist rest, so I’m thrilled to see this one included. It is optional to use it, obviously. However, I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t. It looks great and improves comfort while protecting the long-term health of your wrists.
As for the rest of the keyboard, it has virtually no bezel around the sides and back, giving it a very clean profile overall. However, the lack of material doesn’t mean a lack of strength. The bulk of the keyboard is a slab of brushed aluminium that keeps things feeling plenty strong.
There’s nothing about this keyboard chassis that will bend or flex under strain. You can really bash away at the keys with confidence that it will take the punishment. Again, this is a premium keyboard that comes with a high price tag to match, so it’s great to see that you’re getting rock-solid build quality in return for your investment.
A small design I really like about this keyboard is the brushed metal finish. It goes at a 45-degree angle across the whole aluminium top panel. You’ll find this same angled design on a wide range of STRIX hardware too, such as the heatsinks on their motherboards, the backplates on the graphics cards, and even the CPU blocks of their liquid coolers. That means if you’re a STRIX fan, everything is going to have some shared design elements that’ll really make your gaming setup pop.
The switches are recessed into the aluminium body but raised enough to allow the keycaps to float above the aluminium. This design does make the keyboard a little chunky, but with the wrist rest there to keep your hands raised a little, it feels much slimmer and flatter than you may expect. It also has a very flat profile from front to back, which is preferable for fast-paced gaming.
The keyboard has quite a few extra features tucked away, all of which can be accessed via the Fn-Shift key. However, for some keys like on the top row, you can switch between media functions or F-keys as the primary so that you won’t need the F-key as much.
You can easily play, pause, or skip your music easily enough, or take control of the volume levels.
Plus, the keyboard is fully programmable. This includes macros for virtually any key on the keyboard, lighting configurations, launchers, timers and more. Furthermore, you can set them all to the five built-in profiles and flick between them on the fly without using the software.
You also have immediate access to the macro functions, as well as the Windows key lock here. I’ve rarely found the need for on-the-fly macro recording, but I can certainly see the appeal.
I like the little details too, such as that custom STRIX font on the caps. It’s a nice bold font, so it’s going to let lots of light through easily, and it’s pretty clear and easy to read, too, as they’ve used a double shot cap design, which will prevent it from ever wearing off.
Overall, the keyboard oozes premium quality. It feels robust because it is robust! It’s got a lot of lightweight aluminium in its construction, but alas, it has a lot of it, so it feels nicely weighted, and that means it doesn’t want to slide around when your mashing at the keys.
The wrist rest snaps onto the front of the keyboard using some strong magnets. However, you can remove it easily enough without dragging the keyboard along with it.
Yet, at the same time, while working or gaming, I never found it came loose or accidentally detached.
Around the back and from the side view (above), you can see the keyboard has a slight wedge shape, but it’s not overly aggressive.
On the underside, there are three huge grips towards the front and two smaller ones towards the rear.
You can easily increase the angle with these chunky feet at the rear, and they’ve got some rubber grips of their own, so you’re not losing traction at the back.
The model I have at the moment features Cherry MX Red switches, which are pretty much the core standard for mechanical gaming keyboards, so you really know what you’re going to get here.
That being said, the Cherry MX Red switch, or any switch for that matter, really can feel very different based on the chassis and the keycaps they’re used with. Of course, with a thick aluminium body, and I suspect some dampening on the interior, this keyboard doesn’t rattle, ring, buzz or bend when you smash away at the keys. This gives everything a very direct and clean feel when typing. You can quickly tell they’re premium switches in a premium housing from the moment you lay your fingers on them.
For gaming, it’s such a nice keyboard, with a very nice tactile response, and it’s just very light and fast under your fingertips. Furthermore, being able to program all my macros and key configurations and having multiple profiles is certainly welcome. Competitive gamers could even disable any keys they don’t want to use or set lighting combinations for their abilities.
There’s certainly no shortage of colour here, with some very vibrant LED lighting for you to play around with. I didn’t expect that cheeky bit of underlighting on the front bezel—a nice little touch to accent the main colours.
I like that the ASUS logo isn’t just a badge either. It’s fully RGB lit, too, meaning you can throw light into every corner of the keyboard. P
Of course, if you’re feeling funky, there’s a full suite of lighting effects such as fades, rainbows, transitions, stars, and all the usual built into the keyboard, with furthermore per-key customisation available via the desktop software.
Of course, with AURA Sync, you can match it with compatible fans, coolers, mice, headsets, cases, motherboards and more.
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