Asus ROG Strix Flare [INTRODUCTION]

First launched at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the Asus ROG Strix Flare is the latest addition to Asus’ lineup of ROG branded input devices. True to the PC gaming focus on the Republic of Gamers, the Strix Flare RGB offers all the basic features of a gaming keyboard. Next to CHERRY’s proven MX series switches, the keyboard also has additional buttons for media control and more. The CHERRY MX switches used are the RGB variant, which enable reliable operation paired with vivid RGB lighting spanning 16.7 million colors. This article will further detail the Asus ROG Strix Flare RGB’s special features.

The features at a glance

• Keyboard layout: standard

• Switches: CHERRY MX RGB Red (CHERRY MX RGB Brown, Black and Blue available)

• Backlighting: RGB

• Macro buttons: Dually-assignable buttons.

• Sample Rate: Up to one millisecond

• Matrix: 100% anti-ghosting with N-Key rollover

• Software and built-in memory: Available (ASUS ROG ARMOURY II)

• Media buttons: Four dedicated multimedia keys and a volume up / down wheel

• Wrist rest: removable, soft-touch finish

• Dimensions: 454 mm x 155 mm x 31 mm (excluding wrist rest)

• Weight: 1.256 kg (including wrist rest)

Asus ROG Strix Flare RGB in detail

The ROG Strix Flare RGB has a simple but sturdy plastic housing, whilst the majority of the black case has a matte finish, with a brushed, metal-like appearance. The design extends to the removable wrist rest, which also has the ROG logo in the lower left corner and offers maximum comfort for the user thanks to the soft-touch finish. Asus highlights though, that the keyboard looks great even without the wrist rest attached, which attaches through very inconspicuous grooves underneath the keyboard. 

To ensure a good placement on the desk, the keyboard as well as the bottom support have large rubber pads. The two feet also have a rubber coating. The keyboard weighs 1.256 kilograms, which paired with the rubber footing offers sublime stability on one’s desk. Another special feature underneath the keyboard is the cable management. A notch underneath the board enables users to keep cables tidy, as does a USB passthrough port on the back of the keyboard.

Enough space for multimedia keys and a standard keyboard layout

Thanks to the 454 x 155 x 31 mm dimensions, and placing the standard keyboard layout at the very bottom of the keyboard, Asus was able to integrate additional keys on the upper left section of the ROG Strix Flare RGB. Perhaps slightly unusual, as traditionally the media keys would be on the right side, the purpose of this alternate placement is to spare the user from needing to move their hand from the mouse to the keyboard and back – logically, the other hand is already much closer to the media keys. With your left hand you can play, pause, stop, forward and rewind the music, and change the volume with the large volume wheel. Additionally, there is a windows-lock button that enables the user to switch the windows key off, preventing accidental interruptions during gaming. Finally, there is also a button to control the Asus ROG Strix Flare RGB’s lighting.

CHERRY MX RGB Red, Brown, Black, or Blue

At the heart of every keyboard are its switches. Asus relies on CHERRY’s MX RGB switches, giving the keyboard an almost infinite number of lighting options. The transparent key housing, along with a RGB-LED ensures that all of the 16.7 million colors of the RGB spectrum are displayed brightly. The keyboard is available with CHERRY MX RGB Red, Brown, Black, and Blue switch variants. 

CHERRY MX RGB Brown as a silent alternative to MX Blue switches

For applications where the auditory feedback is undesirable, the CHERRY MX RGB Brown switches are ideal. These switches provide tactile feedback during the keypress, but do not have the audible click the CHERRY MX RGB Blue’s are known for. Actuation happens with a 55g force and two-millimeter travel to actuation. Therefore, the CHERRY MX Brown switch is ideal for office applications that require quiet operation, but also still offers a great middle ground for gaming.

Highly Responsive Input with CHERRY MX RGB Red and Black

The ROG Strix Flare RGB is also available with two CHERRY MX switches with linear switching characteristics. The MX Red switches are an obvious choice to many PC gamers due to their low spring resistance of just 45 grams, with a linear actuation at 2mm of travel. These characteristics aid fast inputs, making sure you don’t miss a step in-game. If you want a little more resistance, the CHERRY MX RGB Black switches offer the same linear profile, but with a higher actuation force of 60 grams. It seems like a small difference, but can make quite a difference in typing in gaming and writing for some users.

Key settings and synchronized RGB lighting through Asus ROG Armory II

To take maximum advantage of the lighting capabilities of the CHERRY MX RGB switches, set keyboard settings, and record statistics of the user’s keyboard behavior, Asus provides the ROG Armory II software suite for the ROG Strix Flare RGB. Macros are recorded in this software, and all keys of the keyboard can be freely assigned with settings stored in individual profiles. The same applies to lighting, where users can adjust lighting per profile. For example, the user can choose from lighting modes including color change, wave, flow, raindrop, and hue. Saturation and brightness can also be adjusted to the user’s taste. Another special feature is the so-called “Aura Sync”, which enables users to synchronize the lighting between their Asus keyboard, motherboards, graphics cards, and more.

Additional RGB underbody lighting and more

To complement the Asus ROG Strix Flare RGB’s lighting from the CHERRY MX RGB switches, the keyboard also has an elongated strip on the right and left, which synchronizes its lighting with that of the keyswitches on top. As a result, it looks like the keyboard has lighting underneath it. Lastly, the upper right side of the keyboard has a triangular, recess, inside which is a transparent piece of acrylic with the Asus ROG logo. If you have the right tools, you can create your own plaques with your own logo to place there.

Conclusion

With the ROG Strix Flare RGB, Asus offers a high-end gaming keyboard that comes with all the basic features one expects on such a board. These include macro-recording, dedicated media buttons, a win-lock button, and customizable profiles through the software. RGB lighting also adds icing to the cake, as practically required in today’s keyboard market. The keyboard can also synchronize its lighting with that of other products in Asus’ extensive portfolio, and the underbody lighting with the individual logo further set the ROG Strix Flare RGB apart from the competition. CHERRY MX RGB switches ensure even lighting among individual switches, whilst the mechanism inside the switches ensure high precision and reliable typing – a particularly valuable trait in gaming and long typing sessions. The Asus ROG Strix Flare RGB is available with CHERRY MX RGB Red, Black, Brown, and Blue switches, which depending on your preference, are focused either on precise inputs with noticeable feedback or lightning-fast triggering with low response times.

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