ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX Review
When it comes to FPS, ROG knows exactly what FPS gamers want — performance, features, and of course, flamboyant looks. The ROG Strix Scope range of mechanical gaming keyboards has built its reputation on these foundations with some of the best keyboards for FPS gamers such as the ROG Strix Scope and the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe. As good as the Strix Scope range is, ROG knows that there is always room for improvement, especially as this range all feature Cherry MX mechanical switches… until now. ROG has unleashed their newest FPS keyboard to the market and their first keyboard to feature the all-new ROG RX Optical Mechanical Switches, the ROG Strix Scope RX. As gamers begin to transition into the next generation of games, ROG has ensured that the Strix Scope RX is ready to meet their demands. But is the Strix Scope RX really a game-changer for gaming keyboards? Or nothing more than a fancy switch?
The Strix Scope RX closely resembles the core design of the Strix Scope with a simple no-fuss design. Its charcoal alloy face provides a premium feel and design but lacks the sophisticated brushed effect that I absolutely love on the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe. ROG has chosen not to include the full-length illumination strip also included in the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe, which in my opinion is a great decision as this targets gamers who want a more professional keyboard and rather let their gaming do the talking.
To complement the premium look of the Strix Scope RX, there are several features that many other keyboards don’t offer such as USB 2.0 passthrough, which is great for charging your phone or connecting other peripherals. The keyboard also offers industry-leading IP56 protection, meaning that the Strix Scope RX is rated against both dust and water ingress. To put this in perspective, IP56 is the same level of protection that is required for electrical equipment installed in heavy-duty industrial environments where dust, dirt, water, or liquids are present. IP56 technically offers partial protection against dust and other particulates that won’t affect the performance of the product, and complete protection against powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) of water from any direction.
Let’s compare this to the SteelSeries Apex 3, which offers IP32 rating. This means it can protect against water droplets, not high-pressure jets like the Strix Scope RX. Sure, you’re not going to blast your precious Pepsi Max or chilled sparkling mineral water all over your Stix Scope RX, so IP32 is more than efficient. But here is the real difference; the Apex 3 features a membrane switch rather than a mechanical switch, effectively compromising on performance for durability, but not on the Strix Scope RX. ROG has provided the best of both worlds with next-level performance, yet still the ability hose down the keyboard after a big night of spilling your Pepsi Max and eating buckets of chicken while playing CS:GO and Valorant, If that is your thing…
The keyboard’s floating key design is a highlight of the entire Strix Scope range as it showcases ROG’s amazing Aura Sync RGB illumination effects. Even with ROG’s new switch design, the Strix Scope RX’s per-key RGB illumination is bright and vibrant and is completely customisable by ROG Armoury Crate software that can be saved to one of the five onboard memory profiles.
I was a little disappointed to see there was no TKL variant available, only a traditional full-sized option (440mm x 137mm x 3mm (LxWxD)) that weighs in at just over 1kg (1.07kg). I would have loved to see ROG launch the RX range with a TKL, even a Deluxe model to take full advantage of the hype around their RX Optical Switch. Another slight criticism of the Strix Scope RX is the wrist rest, or lack of. Again, I was surprised that ROG didn’t include a wrist rest with the Strix Scope RX, especially as the keyboard that costs $180AUD. But in all likelihood ROG is most likely saving the wrist rest addition for future models, maybe a Strix Scope RX Deluxe?
It is no secret that the ROG Strix Scope range has been designed for FPS gamers, so it should come as no surprise that the ROG Strix Scope RX is a beast of a keyboard. This is thanks to a host of features such as 100% Anti-Ghosting, 1000Hz polling rate, USB pass-through, 1ms response input, and of course, ROG RX Optical Mechanical Switches. This foundation is everything that FPS gamers demand, with such luxuries as the ability to record macros on the fly and dual-function keys for multimedia and other pre-configured functions thanks to ROG Armoury Crate.
FPS gamers will love the enlarged L-Ctrl key, an iconic feature of the Strix Scope range. We all know that rounds, even matches can be won and lost from minuscular errors such as missing or slipping off the Ctrl button, but not with the Strix Scope RX — The enlarged keycap is the same size as your traditional L-Shift key and ensures that you are always hidden, lying prone in the open field, instead of accidentally standing up and meeting your demise.
I’m not sure if this is considered performance, but the Stealth Key featured on the Strix Scope RX is the perfect accessory for anyone who wants to quickly hide what they are doing on their PC — Teenagers who still live at home, or for middle-age men who write articles for an Australian website when they should be working will love the ability to quickly minimises all your applications and mute the audio with one simple press of a button. I understand that it is nice to have a bit of me time once in a while, so having the insurance of the Stealth key almost justifies the price itself!
ROG RX Optical Switches
This is where the Strix Scope RX really piqued my interest; incorporating optical technology is perhaps the biggest evolution we have ever witnessed in the mechanical switch. The leap in performance and durability is truly a game-changer and there is no doubt that ROG has developed one of the most technologically advanced optical switches on the market. Its next-level performance of a 1ms response time feels instant, while its incredible durability of 100-million-keystroke rating is double that of a traditional mechanical switch. It is clear that when ROG stated that this switch was meticulously designed from the ground up, they weren’t lying.
The core design of the ROG RX Optical Switch revolves around an infrared light that is used to register the keypress, rather than the traditional mechanical design of two metal contacts closing. This technology is able to produce near-zero debounce time, meaning the input is instantly received rather than the chattering caused by the metal contacts closing. The 1.5mm actuation point is perfect as it not only provides a short stroke distance for actuation but also neglects false inputs from being registered when moving your fingers across the key faces.
The unique physical design of the RX Optical Switch has been developed to increase the stability of the keycap and eliminate the wobble you experience when pressing on the edge of a keycap. A hollow square box replaces the traditional low profile housing of the switch and allows for a unique four-post keycap design to slide into the hollow square base of the switch. This provides support at each of the four corners of the keycap rather than at the center of the switch. To further aid the switch’s stability, a scissor-like mechanical action called X-stabilizer supports the switches vertical keystroke. The results are incredible; even trying to induce a wobble into the keycap is impossible. When you remove the keycap you begin to appreciate the level of engineering involved in designing this switch begin to understand how no other switch can match the stability and input consistency that ROG’s RX Optical Switch can offer.
Armoury Crate is the one-stop software for the Strix Scope RX and combines both the functionality and Aura Lighting effects of the keyboard. Armoury Crate is a welcomed improvement over Armoury II but there is still plenty of room for improvement. The integration of Aura Sync into Armoury Crate is great and allows you to create custom macros and control the RGB illumination with ease, including your Philips Hue setup. This is great for gamers who love their RGB setups and allows your ROG compatible products to sync with your Philip Hue entertainment zone.
Armoury Crate also allows custom profiles that can be assigned to games and apps. I found this useful for creating specific profiles for Music, Gaming, and Work. My music profile was able to sync all my ROG products to Music Aura Effect and react to my music playing, Gaming profile allowed me to showcase all my glorious RGB effects, while I was able to create less distracting effects for my Work profile. I would have loved the ability to assign macros to certain profiles, meaning I wouldn’t accidentally run a macro while working on an article, but this is a very minor criticism.
The ROG Strix Scope RX is a game-changer for gaming keyboards — As good as Cherry MX mechanical switches are, ROG has changed the game with their RX Optical Switches. The performance and engineering involved in these switches is impressive, and when you combine this performance and technology with the durability of IP56 rating, sleek ROG aesthetics, and features that every FPS gamer wants, it is clear that the ROG Strix Scope RX is one of the best FPS keyboards on the market and has set the standard for gaming keyboards.
ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX Review
- PERFORMANCE - 96%96%
- DESIGN - 89%89%
- QUALITY - 91%91%
- VALUE - 88%88%
The ROG Strix Scope RX is a game changer — ROG’s RX Optical Switches provide next-generation performance that is backed by a host of features such as IP56 rating, USB Pass-through and Aura Sync technology. It would have been nice if ROG included a wrist rest for additional comfort, but this small criticism is outweighed by a number of positives that have set the standard for FPS keyboards.
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