Asus has decided to add wireless connectivity options to its ROG Strix Scope keyboard line. These popular mechanical gaming keyboards are typically solidly built and attractive, so adding a both Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz RF (requires USB dongle) options looks certain to broaden their appeal and convenience in use. Plus it makes them eligible for a spot on our best wireless keyboards list.
The first two members of the Asus ROG Strix mechanical gaming keyboard family to get an Asus' Tri-Mode connectivity upgrade are the ROG Strix Scope NX Wireless Deluxe, and ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe. Yes, they are basically the same keyboard with the same specs (barring the obvious size, weight, and number of keys) in full and ten key less (TKL) sized choices.
As the wireless feature is the headlining change here, let's look more closely at it first. As mentioned above, adding both the Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz RF connection options to a device with a wired option results in a tri-mode connectivity device. Asus has provided similar connectivity options with its gaming mice previously, however its gaming keyboards are mostly wired. Just two keyboards currently offer dual-mode connectivity options: the ROG Falchion and ROG Claymore II both offer wired connections and 2.4 GHz RF.
While the wired and 2.4 GHz modes should probably be your first choice for any fast paced gaming, Bluetooth opens up a lot of flexibility for the user. For example, you might leave the cable or 2.4GHz dongle in your desktop PC and use the Bluetooth mode for controlling your home theatre PC or even a phone or tablet. Bluetooth is also a good option for keyboard input with smart TVs.
One unhappy aspect of going wireless is that batteries add cost and eventually wear out. Asus says the battery lasts about 215 hours in either Bluetooth or RF mode with lighting off. However, the default RGB backlighting scheme knocks that down significantly to 78 hours with Bluetooth, or 60 hours with RF. Asus has implemented an ROG logo light battery level indicator, changing from green to blue to red, as your battery level reduces. The provided USB cable will charge your keyboard battery, as well as being useful for connectivity.
Other attractive shared features of the ROG Strix Scope NX (RX TKL) Wireless Deluxe keyboards are the ROG RX Optical Mechanical Switches, a wide Ctrl key for FPS players, PBT keycaps for durability, Aura Sync RGB lighting, a matching magnetic wrist rest with leatherette finish, and sandblasted texture alloy top plate.
With regard to the optical switches installed, buyers have a choice of three key actuation feel options. These in-house designed key switches with "superfast 1 ms response and 100-million-keystroke lifespan," can be had with red (linear), brown (tactile), or blue (tactile, click) switch characteristics. Additionally, the keys boast 100% anti-ghosting and N-key rollover.
Keyboard settings and lighting is managed via the Asus Armoury Crate software. Aside from lighting changes, you can managing macros, profiles, custom key binds and more. If you subsequently use a PC without this software, your keyboard will still be quickly adjustable thanks to the onboard memory with room for up to six profiles.
Asus tells us that the ROG Strix Scope NX (RX TKL) Wireless Deluxe keyboards are being readied for "late Q2 availability for North America." Pricing is still up in the air. However, as a guide to what to expect, the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX Optical Gaming Keyboard which we reviewed a year ago is now priced at just over $100, though it launched at $129. You should expect to pay a premium for the tri-mode connectivity, probably an RGB-infused ROG-sized premium.