ASUS has stepped up their game considerably over the years, however, they are truly taking it to a whole new level now.
What’s in the box:
- Gaming Keyboard
- Wrist Rest
- ROG Keycap Puller
- ROG Switch Puller
- ROG Sticker
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Booklet
- AniMe Matrix™ LED display: Personalize and express yourself in a unique way with customizable images and animations
- Stylish and ergonomic: Detachable wrist rest with a light diffuser
- Intuitive controls: Dedicated media and volume controls are conveniently placed at the top-left corner of the keyboard
- Almost-instantaneous response: 8000 Hz polling rate provides a 0.125 ms response time? up to 8X faster than other leading gaming keyboards
- Available with ROG NX mechanical switches: Lubricated stem for smooth clicks, lubricated housing to eliminate bouncing noises, fast actuation, and ROG-tuned force curves for great keystroke feel with great keystroke consistency.
- Available with Cherry MX mechanical switches: German-made Cherry MX RGB mechanical switches for precision input
- Swappable switches: Install your preferred switch type for a unique, customized feel
- ROG PBT double shot keycaps: Durable keycaps with mid-height profile and shorter stems reduce key wobble and feature translucent ROG script
- ROG switch stabilizer: Specially designed to ensure smooth keystrokes and stability for longer keys
- Improved acoustics: Built-in sound-dampening foam helps absorb pinging noises and echoes within the keyboard
- Convenient connectivity: The USB passthrough port allows for easy connection to other devices
- Key Switch – Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Brown, Cherry MX Blue, ROG NX Red
- Connectivity – USB 2.0
- Size (Full/TKL), 100%
- Lighting – AniMe Matrix™ LED display, Per key RGB LEDs, Front under glow lighting
- AURA Sync – Yes
- Anti-Ghosting – Yes
- Macro Keys – All keys are programmable
- USB Pass through – USB 2.0
- Cable – 2M braided cable
- OS -Windows® 10
- Software – Armoury Crate
- Dimensions – Keyboard: 435mm x 165mm x 38mm, Wrist rest: 435mm x 85mm x 27mm
- Weight – 1157g
- Color – Gunmetal
It’s a full TKL keyboard and that in itself is absolutely beautiful if full keyboards are your preferred keyboards. We have double-shot keycaps here that have some extra shine to them.
Further complimenting the keycaps are the individual RGB LEDs for each keycap. For the RGB lovers, this will be a huge score. This allows for a much more stable array of colours that’s consistent across the board.
Speaking of RGB, even the wrist rest has RGB, now that’s next-level RGB right there.
The keyboard has a gunmetal finish that just blends perfectly with the entire keyboard.
Then let us not forget that it gets its name from the Anime Matrix display it has at the top right. Now, this isn’t the first of its kind, however, it is definitely an upgrade for sure.
This Anime display consists of white LEDs and with these, using the Armoury Crate software you can customize what it displays there. The limits are almost endless. With 312 programmable LEDs. Download your favourite images or gifs and add them to the Armoury Crate playlist.
The Anime display can also be used to display other features such as stats and so forth. This version is by far superior and an absolute blast. The only downside to these is that the LEDs only display in white.
The PCB is completely hot-swappable, so you can lube up your own switches. This is entirely optional but rather easy to do. This can also enhance your typing experience. This is obtained by providing a smoother keystroke experience and eliminating spring pings.
Another add-on to this keyboard is that it offers a different type of comfort. It comes with sound dampening foam. Again, this is not a new feature to keyboards. Sound dampening foam has been used by many other brands over the years, however, unlike most other boards, this one doesn’t have any spring ping. A definite win for the Flare II.
It’s mentioned that the stabilizers are supposed to enhance your typing experience, however, I didn’t find any difference between these and other stabilizers.
The double shot keycaps allow for extra grip which is a nifty add-on for sure, especially when the adrenaline is high and the stakes are higher… One slip could cost you the round.
The keyboard also comes with a slight incline to aid in typing and using of the keyboard. It can further be inclined by using the two feet at the base of the keyboard.
Also included is a wrist rest, it’s good enough to use but lacks foam. Adding some more foam to it would make it even more comfortable.
First off ill mention the switch plate. It’s made out of Aluminium entirely, and to add to it, it’s one board, not multiple pieces. The LED matrix has no separations from the plate. This does make things sturdier and more robust.
Adding to the stabilizers I would say that these are definitely an upgrade from previous versions. These might not feel different but they perform much better than previous versions such as the Costar.
The stems seem sturdier and stay in place. This makes for swapping keys much easier. This will also aid when it comes to cleaning. Less risk of these stems snapping or bending.
User Friendly & Functionality:
The Flare II has a lot to offer and another great feature that it has is the media controls at the top left section.
There’s pretty much a knob and a switch. These control pretty much everything. The knob is used to turn the volume up or down. It can be clicked to mute the volume entirely.
The switch does the rest, you can play/pause or skip tracks using the switch. The switch is absolutely smooth and very comfortable to use.
Another addition to the Flare II is a USB2.0 pass-through. This allows you to connect other devices easier to your system or help with cable management. It does come at a cost though. Connecting the keyboard requires two USB ports on your IO for the two USB-A connectors. One for the keyboard and one for the USB 2.0 passthrough header.
Keyboards need to constantly change and get better and not just where switches and RGB is concerned. They need to evolve in every aspect and the Flare II did just that. With a polling rate of 8000Hz. This makes this keyboard almost faster than necessary but an absolute necessity.
Attaching the wrest rest is somewhat tricky because it’s not merely a matter of clicking it on. There are a few steps in between first. As I mentioned the wrist wrest features its own RGB. Now to attach the keyboard you will need to remove the RGB diffuser first before being able to attach the wrist wrest.
The NX Red switches are lighter than Cherry MX Reds by 5g indeed, however, unless you go looking for it there’s no actual noticeable difference.
ASUS opted for the clamshell design in this housing. This allows this design’s sound profile to be deeper. This is due to the upper and lower housing of the switch fitting together more snuggly.
On the gaming front, the experience can be one of a kind. Not only can you fully customize the Flare II’s RGB for the game, but with that Led you can take it one step further and even add pictures of the game you’re about to play. This really takes it up a notch.
Using the Armoury Crate software, you can fully customize the experience, and not just for RGB. You can also set custom key remaps for games. So, it offers the full package.
The biggest win here is that the Flare II will add to the immersion of the gaming experience thanks to the LED display.
Setting up the Anime Matrix in the Armoury Crate isn’t that complicated and as a bonus. ASUS filled it up with tons of animation presets for you to make use of.
MGR Gaming’s Conclusions:
I thoroughly enjoyed playing with this one. It exceeded every expectation that I had for it. It has some great additional features and really performs well above and beyond.
Albeit sound dampening not being new, ASUS did a rather marvelous with this one’s sound dampening. With the double shot PBT keycaps, they work very well, even adding a slight bass to the keystrokes.
My typing speed was roughly the same, with little to no effort. This can be attributed to the excellent grip on the keycaps and the light springs making typing much easier and reducing mistakes.
Personally, I don’t swap out keyboards in between, I don’t have a keyboard for gaming and one for working or typing. I have grown accustomed to being able to do either on any type of keyboard.
I will admit though that I found typing and working on this keyboard easy to adjust to, and it was a rather fun to use experience.
Unfortunately, the Aura Creator is still a complicated and time-consuming feature to learn. Even with tutorials, this feature is quite overwhelming to master.
When it comes down to the numbers, ASUS really went above and beyond with this one. Even though it might seem pricey, it’s actually quite reasonable prices for what it offers.
This goes without saying when you compare it to other keyboards in the same price range versus what they offer.
The LED Matrix, the hot-swappable option, and the multimedia controls all make for one pleasurable experience.
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Brand: ASUS ROG
Model: XA07 Strix Flare II
Type: Mechanical Keyboard