From ASUS’ ROG CES 2021 Launch event, we were excited about the announcements for the new ROG Claymore II keyboard and the ROG Gladius III Wireless mouse. Before we get the chance to dive into those products, we got our hands on a ROG Strix Scope RX optical mechanical keyboard. There are many features that make this keyboard special. However, the headliner here is of course the implementation of the ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches. Introduced a couple of months ago, these linear switches tout crisp actuation, wobble resistance, and solid feedback.
So, let’s dive right into the ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard and its ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches.
Build and Features
Starting off with the meat and potatoes, the ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches, these switches sport an actuation point of 1.5mm, an initial force of 40gf (gram force), and a total force of 55gf. Each of these switches use a hollow square stem with an X-stabilizer to combat key wobbling, regardless of where you come in contact with the key cap. This linear key press feel is backed by lightspeed actuation, where light is used for key actuation at the apex of a keystroke.
This differs from a traditional physical contact point that non optical switches use for actuation. Not only does this benefit fast and dependable key stroke actuation, but it also allows for less key degradation and near-zero debounce delay. Thanks to this design, a ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switch can reach a lifespan of a whopping 100 million keystrokes.
On top of all of that, the ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches also employ central LED lighting to give each key its flair. This allows for slick all-around lighting from each key, both on the top and from the sides.
As for the overall build, the ROG Strix Scope RX houses an aluminum alloy top and an IP56 rating of water and dust resistance. The keyboard sports 100% anti-ghosting and n-key rollover, allowing it to be ready for practically any combination of key presses at any speed. Rubberized feet and sections on the bottom keep the unit steady and centered throughout game play. You also have a USB passthrough port on the back of the base to give you some easy access USB options for your additional peripherals.
Going into some of the unique ROG Strix Scope RX traits, you have an “Xccurate Design” Ctrl key, which is twice as wide as a standard-sized Ctrl key. This allows this crucial key to be even more accessible to reach for, mid gameplay.
Function buttons F5 through F11 double as multimedia control keys, housing your run of the mill media track and volume controls. The F12 key doubles as the “Stealth Key”, which can be used to hide all apps and mute all audio. This is ideal for hiding anything and everything you have going on whenever unexpected passersby present themselves. Engaging the Stealth Key again returns all apps and audio to the state they were in beforehand. At any time, you can also toggle default state of the function keys with the Fn + FN Lock buttons.
The ROG Strix Scope RX also houses onboard memory. This allows the keyboard to store up to six custom keyboard profiles, which you create and finagle with using the Armoury Crate software. Armoury Crate the free ROG customization software for controlling ROG peripherals, their lighting, and their behaviors.
If you want to customize and create macros on the fly without using Armoury Crate, the ROG Strix Scope RX gives you that option as well. With this keyboard, you can perform on-the-fly macro recordings and map them to keys whenever the mood strikes.
As far as build and visuals go, the ROG Strix Scope RX is simplistic yet stunning. The RGB lighting, shining as brightly as it does from both the tops and fronts of each key cap, is a pleasure to look at. The ROG Strix Scope RX overall footprint is also minimalistic, sporting a space-conscious frame despite having a numpad. The aluminum top plate, the keyboard’s weight, and rubber feet contacts allows the unit as a whole to remain stable throughout rigorous gameplay. While Anti-ghosting and n-key rollover are features you should expect in any reputable gaming keyboard, that IP56 rating of water and dust resistance is a welcomed addition. Using key switches that tout a 100 million keystroke life span only further reinforces this investment. The ROG Strix Scope RX sports a solid build that is both pleasing to the eye and is ready for the long haul.
Feel and Performance
Starting off with the feel, the ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches feel simply amazing. I am a heavy-handed gamer. I prefer to use weighted mice with all the possible weights installed in them. When the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 offered the option to tighten the analog sticks, I tightened them to the max. So, having keys with an initial force of 40gf was refreshing for me. Not only could I type and press with authority, but I did so devoid of accidental keystrokes. Each keystroke felt satisfying with actuation being on-point during gameplay.
Not to mention, I did not realize how much I would enjoy the luxury of a larger Left Ctrl key. The Xccurate Design Ctrl key is such a simple implementation to make for a gaming keyboard, that it surprises me that I do not see this as a more mainstream feature. Hell, it was plenty useful in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as I scored this win with a couple of friends. When it was time to hit the dirt and dodge some sniper fire, I did NOT miss this Left Ctrl key.
On top of all that keypress comfort and tight response times, the keys themselves are surprisingly quiet. I do all my gaming from my desk with my girlfriend also gaming on the couch behind me. She was overjoyed that for once I was not using or reviewing a loud or super clicky keyboard. The keys still “click” in a satisfying fashion, complete with solid rebound feedback. Yet, they maintain this keypress sensation without disturbing players that are nearby or on the other side of your mic.
I am particularly impressed with the level of control you have with lighting, macro creation, and profile setups without having to even touch the Armoury Crate software. Being able to create macros and assign them to any key on the fly is a very nice touch. Just press the Fn + Left Alt keys, start your keypresses as you want the macro to emulate, then press the Fn + Left Alt keys to stop recording. The keyboard will then prompt you to assign your recordings to a key. The keyboard will also highlight any key that currently has a macro already assigned to it, just so that you can keep track of your creations. Sure enough, the recorded macro replays your keystrokes with the exact timing in which you recorded them.
Combine on-the-fly macro recordings with onboard memory, and just like that you have yourself a solid keyboard for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S gaming. Yes, I am referring to console gaming. Not having to rely on customization software to control the ROG Strix Scope RX’s behavior comes in big here. As the Xbox One and later systems support keyboard inputs, this keyboard is perfect for playing on keyboard friendly titles such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Phantasy Star Online 2, and most of the later Gears of War titles. If you like to dabble with mouse and keyboard gaming on your Xbox Series X as I do, then the ROG Strix Scope RX and the bulk of its features are ready to support you.
Starting at $129.99 on Amazon and Newegg, the ROG Strix Scope RX is a great solution for both PC and console gaming. You have keys that are satisfying to press and actuate at light speed while somehow remaining quiet during use. Those quiet keys, coupled with practically full customization control straight from the keyboard, make this a viable solution for both work and play. You can enjoy the vast majority of what this keyboard has to offer without ever thinking about installing customization software. Not to mention, a sturdy build with an IP56 rating of water and dust resistance combine to reassure you that this keyboard is built to last. The ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches alone make this a solid keyboard, while its accompanying features do more than validate its price point.
I have not been this impressed with a keyboard in a while. If you are in the market for a new keyboard, right now the ROG Strix Scope RX is high up on my list of ones to suggest to you. Check out the ROG Strix Scope RX for yourself by clicking here.
† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.