Asus has taken a similar approach to many of the component makers who have branched out into peripherals: develop one product at a time, keep tweaking it, and (for reasons we don’t quite understand) mention them only sometimes.
Asus in particular has had its intriguing Claymore variations kicking around for a while, but at CES we spotted a new plank, the Asus Strix Flare (opens in new tab). The Strix Flare is aptly named, because at its heart it’s all about that RGB. It sports Cherry MX RGB switches (in four flavors), the “tray” under the switches is white to enhance the glow, the left and right sides of the keyboard sport LEDs that glow on your desk, and it’s all coordinated with Asus’ Aura Sync software. (You can also choose to adjust some of the lighting and create and edit macros on the fly.) Further, the clear acrylic plate on the upper right side is customizable (with clear stickers), and it’s lit by two programmable RGB LEDs.
Asus also moved the dedicated media controls to the upper left side of the keyboard instead of the right so you can hit them without taking your hand off of your mouse.
You can configure profiles and such with the accompanying Armoury 2 utility. Instead of a separate piece of software, it’s part of the driver, and it will be downloaded and installed automatically when you plug the keyboard into your computer.
The overall look of the Strix Flare is a departure from the Claymore. It’s got a svelte, clean look with an understated brushed metal swoosh that descends from the upper right corner. That palm rest is removable, too.