ASUS ROG Strix Flare Quick Review
The Asus ROG Strix Flare is a new mechanical keyboard from Asus’ ROG line up. Before I start, I’d just like to say that this is a premium board that demands a premium price, therefore I’ll be judging this keyboard accordingly.
Let’s talk first on the build quality and what comes with the box. The bottom plate is made of white plastic which I personally like since it reduces finger strain when bottoming out the keys. It also helps diffuse the RGB lighting on the keyboard. On top of the base, we have a brushed plastic gunmetal colored frame that helps make the keyboard sturdy. Speaking of sturdiness, the keyboard itself weighs 1,256 grams with the cable and has very minimal flex. Having 2 layers on top makes it harder to clean the keyboard compared to the typical floating key cap design of a lot of mechanical keyboards.
There are 5 rubber pads on the bottom to prevent the keyboard from moving around during use, and there is 1-step keyboard height adjustment – with rubber pads on both sides.
The review unit we received came with Cherry MX blue switches. As with any Cherry MX switch keyboard, all keys are consistent – requiring the same amount of force to press in. There is no micro screeching when pressing and depressing the keyboard. The stabilizers on the space bar, enter key, and other long keys help with the consistency of the key, allowing the user to press anywhere on the key and the pressure will be applied evenly.
The keyboard has a US layout with the now typical function key on the right of the spacebar. Macro and lighting profiles could be stored on the 1-5 keys and accessed using the function key.
There are dedicated media keys located on the top left corner of the keyboard. From left to right there is a volume scroll bar, windows lock key, lighting key, pause/play key, stop key, and previous and next keys.
The font used for the keycaps have the gamer aesthetic, which I personally dislike, but given that they’re using Cherry MX switches, replacing the keycaps is an easy (although expensive) task. Speaking of the keycaps, they’re double shot ABS keys where the second layer is full sized which adds to the stability of the key cap. They’re also smooth to the touch which adds to the premium feel. There is a very slight key wobble, but it doesn’t affect performance as the keys are extremely consistent even when pressed at an angle.
Lighting and Software
There are 4 RGB zones on the keyboard – the backlight on the keys, 1 strip on each side, and on the interchangeable ROG logo on the top right. As mentioned, the white base of the keyboard makes for better light diffusion on the keyboard. The light is bright enough to be seen even during the day, could be dimmed during the night. The glass logo located at the top right of the keyboard can be swapped out with your own custom designed logo for added personalization.
Asus’ Aura Sync software could also be used to sync up the lighting of all your Asus peripherals, as well as any RGB components connected to your motherboard (as well as its compatible). Unfortunately, the software is still buggy and lacks the features of other competitor’s gaming software.
The keyboard comes with a detachable wrist rest. Unfortunately the wrist rest is not magnetic, instead, the keyboard has 2 slots to attach the wrist rest. This means that when lifting the keyboard to move it around the desk the wrist rest falls off which may be annoying if you reposition your set up depending on the game you play.
There is 1 USB passthrough beside the logo which can be used for connecting your devices to the PC. Because of this, the keyboard requires two USB ports to power up.
The cable is thick and braided while the USB connectors are gold plated. The cable is fixed, but unfortunately, there are no cable routing grooves on the base. This may make your set up messy since you have to route the cable on the right side of the keyboard.
All in all the Asus ROG Strix Flare is truly a premium keyboard. Compared to other Cherry MX keyboards, the Strix Flare has almost everything you’d want in a full sized keyboard. With all the RGB attached to this keyboard, I’d say Asus named this keyboard perfectly. Having the option to choose between red, brown, blue, and black switches is also a great addition to cater to everyone’s preference.
But the lack of macro keys, detachable cable, and speed switches makes me think that maybe the Strix Flare is more of a set up/design keyboard than a gaming keyboard. The RGB implementation, customizable logo on the top right, and Aura Sync means that this keyboard is meant to fit your personal set up more than anything. If you value aesthetic and don’t mind paying a premium for it, then this keyboard is definitely a good choice.
This article was written and contributed by Alejandro Miguel Maquinto.